Today we are going to talk about budget busters. What they are and how to avoid them. Creating a budget is one thing, staying within that budget is a whole different thing. We have all been there. Your son just informs you that his shoes are too tight. Your daughter decides to go to prom and needs the dress, the hair the ticket. You stroll down the Dollar Spot at Target only to end up spending way more than a dollar. In short, budget busters are all around us and it’s important to have a plan in place to avoid them.
- Budget for the irregular expenses. Let’s take the shoe example. I know that my kiddo goes through at least 2 pairs of shoes a year. Plus, he is in the school band so I know he will need something a little dressier for the concerts. Since I know this, I budget for it ahead of time. The same could be said for all of the irregular expenses that happen in our lives. Check out our post on sinking funds for more information about how to save for this.
- Give yourself some fun money. Listen, we all need that retail therapy now and again. So budget for it. Maybe it’s not retail. Maybe it’s books, concerts, spa treatments. Whatever your vice is…allow for it. To clarify, only you know your budget, so only you know how often or how much you can do this. But do it. It helps you stay more on task the rest of the time.
- Unfollow and unsubscribe. If you watch carefully, the stores you love will ALWAYS have some sort of sale. And guess what? If you spend a dollar to save a nickel, you really are not saving. Unsubscribe and then look for sales when you NEED to buy something. Not the other way around.
- Have a cheap and easy meal. By now you know that food tends to eat up our entire budget if we let it. And eating out is one of the worst ways to blow that food budget. But, real talk here. We are human. And if the thought of putting a meal on the table exhausts you, you are not alone. To combat this, have a go-to cheap and easy meal. Mac and cheese and hot dogs, nuggets and fries, spaghetti, scrambled eggs, and toast. Something easy that is kind to your wallet and kind to your exhausted spirit. Every meal does not to be gourmet.
- Find a hobby. Lastly, find something that gives you joy that does not involve consumer spending. Hear me out on this one. If you like to paint, buy the materials and paint. Moreover, that one-time investment will give you days of joy. Much more than buying that pair of shoes will.
So here you have it. Some budget busters and the best ways to combat them. How do you prevent budget busters? Share with us in the comments.