Typical Budgeting Errors Might be Avoided: Budget How-to
Budget planning in the simplest sense involves placing limits on what you want to spend over a given time period. But there is a subtle part of budget planning that is often overlooked: guidelines to keep you from stumbling into pitfalls that could ruin your budget. I call this bloop-proofing your budget.
A budget blooper is something that was not in the budget, is significant enough to bloop it, and could be avoided if there were a strategy to deal with it. Budget bloopers are different for different people. The irony is that you probably won’t know what bloops your budget until it’s been blooped at least a couple of times. Here are a few rules that help to keep me from blooping my budget.
Five budgeting steps
1. Evaluate a record of past income and expenses
2. Project income and expenses into the future
3. Balance your budget
4. Monitor income and expenses and compare to budget
5. Don’t bloop the budget!
Avoiding budget bloopers
- When eating out by myself, use fast food or as-cheap-as diners. My son-in-law would add: take a sack lunch to work.
- Get a second opinion on service recommendations (auto, house, medical).
- Don’t make discretionary purchases over $50 without sleeping on it and praying, or over $100 without consulting my wife. If over $500, keep looking until I find someone who tries to talk me out of it. The whole idea is to reduce impulse spending because my budget doesn’t have a category labeled "impulse expenses."
- Tell salesmen I want to look first by myself and then ask questions. For some items that I don’t know anything about, the opposite order works best. Either way, I need to be left alone to think by myself. If they won’t honor that, walk away so I can think. Having someone along to talk to makes ignoring the salesman easier.
Budgeting articles by this author
- Cash Management Techniques for Family Budgeting
Keep track of income and expenses in order to compare the actual to what was planned. Here are several cash management techniques that make budgeting easier.
- How to Budget for College Students: The Special Challenges
The essential budgeting steps differ for college students than for other people. It is easier because there are fewer categories to budget for, but harder because there is little control over big expenses.
- My Daughter is Engaged: How Much is the Wedding Budget?
When a daughter becomes engaged, you need to get serious about saving for a wedding. The average wedding costs too much. Here are statistics and practical advice. along with polls of those who have planned and are planning weddings.
- How to Save Money on the Four Expensive Parts of a Vacation
The purposes of a vacation are to break the routine, get a change of pace, get a different perspective on life, have fun doing so, and often to catch up with family or friends.
- Avoid the High Cost of Living Beyond Your Means
How much do you lose if your home is foreclosed? What if your leased car is repossessed? What if you majored in Basket-Weaving in college, and nobody is hiring basket weavers now? Offers practical advice.
- Plan Finances to Help You Live Within Your Means
Income must exceed expenses. Organize your finances to support your plan: Dont spend what you dont have. Expect the unexpected. Automate your finances. Pay off monthly balances in full. Know your personal limits.
- How Can I Save Money on Grocery Shopping?
There are many ways to save money at the grocery store. Many of our household items are bought there as well. This article presents tips for saving on groceries and online shopping.
More by this Author
“She’s engaged!” Now you need to get serious about saving for a wedding. The average wedding costs waaay too much. First, I question the statistics, and second, I’m not average. (Neither are Kate...
Nobody likes to have an auto accident, not even a minor fender-bender. It is possible, however, to come out of a fender-bender with hundreds of dollars that you can save towards the purchase of your next car.
The average automotive hobbyist can do a passable DIY seat repair to prevent further damage. My technique depends on whether the rip borders on a seam or not.
No comments yet.