Budget Busters: 3 Solutions

What is it about these things?  You have your budget set.  How much you spend on each expense is tucked away nicely in each category.  For some unknown reason you end up with zero dollars in your account with 5 days until payday.  Where does the money go?  Where did it get off to?  Sometimes the best laid plans can go awry at times.  So what’s the solution?  What are your budget busters?  Better yet, what can you do to remove them from your financial life?  I do believe you can overcome these budget busters with some specific actions.

Solution 1: Track All Expenses.  I went through a program at my church called Crown Ministries.  One of the first assignments was to record every purchase I made for 30 days.  I kept all receipts and recorded them in  a log book.  What an eye opener!  What amazed me was what I spent on eating out.  Doing this exercises will help you know any unaccounted spending in your budget.  GO ahead and get a small notebook and pencil and start following ehere every dollar goes.  You’re bound to identify some budget busters here.

Solution 2.  Budget for Non-Monthly expenses.  There are some expenses that I don’t pay every month.  Here are a few examples: newspaper subscription, laundry detergent (we buy this in bulk), printer ink cartridges, and dog grooming.  These expenses occur every other month.  What this means is I have to be careful to set money aside to cover these expenses even though I don’t make a payment every month.  You could even withdraw that money from your account and put it in an envelope until you make payment the next month.  Example: $40 for ink cartridge.  Put $20 in an envelope from one paycheck and combine the next month and you’ve got it covered. 

Solution 3.  Balance your checkbook every month. As you reconcile your checkbook and statement you may identify expenses that weren’t in your budget.  If you’re like me you’ll find several entries missing from your checkbook.  I make a debit card purchase and forget to write it in when I get home.  Balancing your checkbook every month is a good practice.  It will usually give you a clue to some changes you need to make.

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