My journey towards a well maintained family budget is ongoing. My not so obvious mistakes that have ruined my budget, became obvious. My frugal living techniques were working, I thought. Our family was able to save money and have some financial wiggle room.
Well, once I decided to put more effort into my budget my not so obvious budget mistakes were clear. Money was being spent in area’s that I had deemed important. Taking note of unnecessary financial purposes is my challenge for this year. Setting a more firm boundary in my budget other than just a category.
In addition to many other items, my not so obvious mistakes have been narrowed down to three for right now.
Overspending on Budget Categories
Narrowing down how much is too be spent in each category illuminates actual spending. Using only what is the set amount for the month takes discipline. Now that every part of our financial lives are online, the actual physical touch of spending money becomes obsolete. Thus, making it easier to spend more.
For example, setting a monthly grocery budget of $400.00 seems feasible. Until the end of the month comes, and actual expenses total $550.00 through the debit card or phone. A tough realization occurs that overspending is the culprit. No physical contact of money. Using my debit card has helped me to overspend each month.
Monthly Household Expense Report
Monthly expense reports do not have to be fancy. A plain 10 cent notebook will work. Setting a time at the end of each month and writing down what goes on in our checking account will be progressive toward change. Some people used to sit down and balance checkbooks each month. I am also betting that these people had a tight hold on their financial situation.
Here’s what had to happen, I had to become a numbers person. On a monthly bank statement, or online app go through what is spent where. Finding the area’s that need work will bring financial control closer.
Lack of Financial Vision
Having a savings goal is motivation. Instead of shopping for clothes that will be tossed in a year, I had to remember the family car that we wanted to save for next year. Setting goals helps to keep financial boundaries at the forefront of our minds. Without something to work towards it is hard to stay motivated.
Financial motivation will differ from person to person. One not so obvious mistake that will ruin a budget is to not take the building steps. First, See which category needs to be revised, and how. Next, keep track of monthly expenses, and be informed where household money is being spent. Finally, have a vision for your money. Setting a savings or retirement goal will fuel the speed of shaping up the budget for the future.
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