Stop Wrecking Your Budget
When was the last time you thought about how much you loved your budget? If you can’t think of a time, you’re not alone. Thousands of people across the country have issues sticking to their budget. There are numerous reasons why budgets don’t work or why you just can’t seem to stick to it.
The first problem to address is maybe you’re using the wrong budgeting technique, or you’re not using any technique at all.
Here are four of the most common budget methods:
- Cash-only: This is where you only use actual cash for your budgeted discretionary spending allotment each week or month.
- 50/30/20: This method helps to determine how much of your budget is allocated to essential bills (mortgage or rent, food, transportation, insurance, etc.), personal or discretionary spending (vacation, shopping, eating out, and personal, non-essential memberships (magazines, gym, subscription boxes, etc.)), and savings. The budget breakdown is 50% essentials, 30% discretionary, 20% savings.
- Zero-based: This is where your budget would always amount to zero at the end of the month. All dollars both in and out, including discretionary spending, is designated each paycheck. This way your budget would always show zero.
But it doesn’t’ stop with determining the budget method that best fits your lifestyle. You have to actively manage your budget and prioritize your financial health. If you start to feel your budget losing a wheel, here are our tips for getting back on track quickly:
- Plan around important events each month for the people and things you value most. Keeping a running list of these extra events and expenditures will allow you to take a more detailed look at whether or not it is worth it to break your budget regularly for the same reason.
- Allow for a redo! Problems happen unexpectedly. When this happens, take the time to go in and actively manage your remaining budget until you get paid again. If you had to pull from your savings portion, make sure to adjust next month to stay on track with your savings goal.
- Ask yourself follow-up questions to your random spending…and reply honestly. Was there a problem you were avoiding that you covered up with unnecessary spending? Was there something else you could have done differently to change your mood or how you were feeling? Each month you should be revisiting your financial goals with an intent to stay motivated, reevaluate the purpose for the goal, and see if there is a better way to accomplish your goal sooner or for less money.
You will blow your budget. It happens to even the most financially prepared person. The difference between a one-time event and a regular budget explosion is your intention. Being intentional and thoughtful about purchases can minimize reflexive or reactive spending. In the event of an emergency, don’t wreck your budget, contact EmployeeMoney. A low-cost solution that will never negatively impact your credit.