Every family situation is different… but MOST of us normal human beings, go over budget every once in a while. That is typically OK. BUT… if you tend to be ALWAYS over budget, read below for some reasons why, and their solutions.
One of the biggest problems you are always over budget is you are forgetting to budget in one-time expenses such as Holidays, Birthdays, Annual Life Insurance, Annual Memberships, ect.
Figure out how much you spend on each one-time expense. Then budget the amount and put it into savings each month. For “back to school” expenses, figure out what you need at the end of the school year so you can shop for sales all summer long for the supplies you need. Read “How to Budget for One Time Expenses” to learn more.
You don’t make enough. Your bills and expenses are more then you make. If you are thinking about upgrading your house, read this article first.
Find ways to lower your bills. You can call your utility companies, or switch phones and find a lower cost plan. Finding a second job is always an option.
Your budget isn’t realistic. For example, you aren’t adding in your coffee you drink each day, or those quick girls night outs where you spend money on a meal. Another reason could be the limits/amount you set in your budget on food and pleasure aren’t realistic. Read “4 Questions to Ask Before Setting up a Budget” and “6 Things to Do Before you Budget” to help make your budget more realistic.
Sit down and look at your expenses each month. Be HONEST with yourself. Just because you have the budget set low, doesn’t mean you will follow it!
Realistic budgets work, NOT fantasy budgets.
You aren’t aware of your money. Ya, you may have set a budget, and are trying to stick to it… but do you REALLY know where you money is going? What you are spending it on, and when you bought it?
Every 2-3 days you should be looking at your bank and credit card accounts. Look to make sure expenses line up. Be sure to check that you haven’t been over charged for anything. Keep an eye on how many $1 items you buy… a lot of little expenses over the month could break your budget. LOOK at the accounts more than just once at the end of the month to see how you did. Read about how we manage our budget to help you figure out a way to manage yours.
We tend to be always over budget on the months we aren’t paying close attention to the bank accounts.
You aren’t planning. Not planning on your vacation coming up. You forgot to plan for the baby and it’s extra needs such as diapers and formula. Or not planning on growth spurts for your kids where you’ll need to buy more clothing. Not planing on guests coming to visit, which you will most likely be spending more money then usual. Are you planning your meals? Planning meals can save you a lot of money.
Start planning. Plan your food, and meals. Read about the 10 ways we cut our grocery bill each month. Food is so convenient these days. Even grocery shopping is convenient. Meal plan ALL your meals, then MAKE your food! Don’t go for fast or frozen food every night. Meal plan. Here are some “cheap meal ideas“.
Start planing for your vacation. Read “How to Budget for One Time Expenses”. Plan and really create your budget to fit your lifestyle and what YOU bring home. Make sure you start with the “Top Budget Items” first, then work down to the wants. When planning vacations, make sure to plan EXTRA! You will most likely spend MORE than you plan.
Plan your night outs with friends, make sure you have extra expenses for that. Plan ALL your expenses. Like Dave Ramsey says… I think…
“Give every penny a name and value so it knows where to go”
You don’t have a shopping list.
Create a shopping list for EVERYTHING! Groceries, home depot, clothing, ect. Create a list on your phone or fridge of everything you need. When you walk into the store you want to get in, get what you need, then get out ! The longer you are in the store, the more you will wander around and SPEND money. That’s the way stores want it to be. DON’T let yourself fall into their trap. As you think of something you need, write it down. This also allows you to make one trip a month instead of 2 or 3, which allows you to save money also. Oh, and DON’T BUY ANYTHING IN THE CHECKOUT LINE!!! Just don’t do it please!
You window shop. No-a-days it’s not “window” anymore. It’s shopping those apps on your phone or computer AKA Recreational OR Boredom shopping.
Make a list of other things to do when you get bored INSTEAD of looking at your phone. Delete ALL phone shopping apps such as Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, Target, ect and stop! This was a hard one to accept and follow through in our family. We were always over budget because we were spending $3 here or there, or something was on sale we just “had to get”. Live I’ve said before… just don’t do it!
You don’t have financial goals. Without having a financial goal, you aren’t working towards anything.
Set a goal. Some examples:
- Save for retirement
- Pay off car
- Pay off student loans,
- Put X amount into savings each month
When you set a goal, your mind will help you. As you start to go buy something, there will be a little voice in the back of your head reminding you of your goal. “Buy a $10 sweater, or $10 towards ___insert goal here_____. ”
The Total Money Makeoveris a great book by Dave Ramsey to get you started towards financial success.
You don’t KNOW how to stick to your budget. You don’t realize how to stick to one, or the tricks to staying on task.
Read this list of 48 tips to stick to your budget. Start with one tip for a week, then add a new one each week. You’ll be sticking to that budget in no time!
Whats one of the biggest reasons you are always over budget?
As always, if you love what you read or have found it helpful, please PIN, share or comment below.
Thanks for reading!
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