Have you ever sat down at the end of the month and realized that your budget is completely busted?! Here are the Top 3 Things That Are Busting Your Budget!
If you’re wanting to take control of your finances and have success with money you have to watch out for these 3 Things That Are Busting Your Budget. Budgets are a WONDERFUL thing! If you use them right you can really track and utilize the money that you have where it feels like you got a raise. Making your money work for you and telling it where to go is KEY to keeping your budget on track! Here are 3 things that bust your budget that you need to be cautious of. Stay away from these 3 things and be diligent to protect these areas of your budget. Plus, here are 10 Budgeting Hacks for SAVING Money!
3 Budget Busters
1) Not Using Cash
It truly is amazing how much less you spend when you use cash for purchases. And believe me, I get it. Sometimes it’s SO hard to go by the bank and take cash with you when it’s easier to swipe the credit or debit card.
I am one of those people that follows a monthly budget but still uses a credit card. I use it like a debt card and pay it off each month, but it’s still sitting there in my wallet only a swipe a way.
I have found that when I will use cash for daily purchases or specific budgeted items I spend SO. MUCH. LESS. Even to the point of actually having money left over at the end of the month and not going over my budgeted allotment.
The areas that I can save the most by using cash are restaurants, snacks (yes, there are two categories because this girl likes to eat), clothing, entertainment, and groceries. All of the other areas I manage by debit or credit card because they are purchases that happen less often or only a couple times of month. Like gas, I will swipe for gas because 1) it’s convenient, 2) I know how much is in my gas budget and it’s hard to “overspend” on gas unless we are traveling.
It’s amazing how our choices change when we use cash. If we are using a card it’s easy to run through the drive-thru to grab a snack instead of eating something that’s already at home. If you have a specific amount of cash in your envelope then you are less likely to spend it for a $1 hamburger because you want to save it to either go on a special date night or out to dinner with friends and family. Your choices become deliberate because you are making decision to say “yes” or “no” to something now so that you can say “yes”, or “no” to something later.
If I say yes now, I may not have the cash to say yes later. It makes me really think about what’s important and where I want my money to go.
2) Eating Out
Eating out is a HUGE area that can bust your budget SO FAST. Do you even realize how much you are spending when you go out to eat, order a meal, get a drink to go with it, and include the tip at the end? It’s SO expensive. Yes, it’s fun and convenient, but are you really think about the cost associated with that meal?
Now, I LOVE eating out. It’s a social thing for me. I want to go to a restaurant and enjoy the meal talking to my husband or with friends and family. I get that it’s easy (and delicious). So I’m not saying “don’t ever eat out again”, I just want you to really think about how much it costs to eat out. Have a restaurant budget. Have a set amount each month that you go out to eat and enjoy it. But stay within your budget (whatever it is). For some people, their restaurant budget may be higher than their grocery budget, and that’s fine if it’s in the budget. But whatever it is, be sure you stick with it.
Just by using cash I can save SO much in this area because it helps me to make wiser choices. I’m more likely to take my lunch to work so that I can use my restaurant money somewhere else during the month. Snacks are another thing. Sometime’s it’s easy to grab something on-the-go when really we don’t “need” that snack, or we can grab something later at home or plan something to take with us ahead of time.
So much of this category is self-control and being able to say “no” when needed (even if that’s to yourself).
3) Miscellaneous Spending
Miscellaneous Spending can bust your budget SO fast. These are the things like car washes, random household supplies or decorations, or random expenses you weren’t expecting that month. Now, I have a miscellaneous budget category every month because I know there are going to be random expenses come up that I wasn’t planning for. The problem comes in when you haven’t budgeted for these miscellaneous items and you start having to pull from areas of the budget.
Being aware of your spending, knowing what you need each month, and planning in a little wiggle room can really help your budget stay on track. You will discover freedom in your budget because you have planned for the unexpected. Now I’m not talking about emergencies or an emergency fund for this one, I’m talking about random small expenses that cost $2-$5. Have a budget for that and plan ahead. It will help you keep your budget on track so it’s not busted at the end of the month.
If you can keep these 3 areas of your budget in order each month, it will save you SO. MUCH. Money over time. Track it. See how much you can save by switching to cash or having some extra wiggle room for unexpected items. The results might shock you and change the way you think about your monthly budget. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the stress of a busted budget each month!
After you fix your busted budget, think about ways you can save even more money each month! Here are 10 Ways To Save Money Quickly for paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for your next vacation!