Budgeting is about more than just jotting down how much you need for major bills and spending the rest. A real budget can help you figure out your spending patterns and save for important life events while becoming more financially responsible. Here are five mistakes that anyone making a budget should avoid:
1. Not Including Enough Detail
There's more to a thorough budget than just housing, food and utilities. Dig deep into how much you spend and where you spend it. If you take cabs, have a gym membership or hit the dry cleaners, all those details should be included in your budget so you know where exactly your paycheck goes.
2. Not Leaving a Cushion
Emergencies happen, and nothing will destroy your budget more quickly than unexpected car maintenance or a medical bill. If your budget takes you down to your last cent each month, you're doing it wrong. Make sure you leave yourself a financial cushion. With luck you can funnel the extra money into savings, but if something unforeseen does happen, you won't be behind on your budget for months to come.
3. Not Paying Yourself First
When people hash out a budget, they often make a list of everyone they need to pay but themselves. The key to building savings is paying yourself first. By making sure that your savings deduction comes out of your paycheck first and is moved to an account that isn't easily accessed by ATM, you can ensure that you don't accidentally spend that money on something frivolous.
4. Not Making Adjustments
A budget is a living document, so it should shift as your life shifts. During the holidays, you may want to buy gifts for loved ones but also discover that you spend less for food since you spend time with family. Tweak your budget accordingly. Flexibility in your budget is important, but if you allow yourself more wiggle room in one area, you should decrease your spending in another.
5. Forgetting the Fun
One of the easiest ways to fall off the wagon is trying to be too disciplined. Make sure that you're still allowing yourself time and money to do the things you enjoy. Budgeting for drinks or a movie once a month can help you feel less restricted, and knowing that you've built in some rewards means that you're less likely to splurge indiscriminately.
There's no single way to create a successful budget. While you should be vigilant about your money, you should also try to come up with a budget that allows you to live your life while still having fun and reaching important goals.
Subscribe for the latest in Content Marketing & Freelance Writing!
While you're here, have you tried Scripted lately?
Used to be a member, but moved on? Heard of it, but never signed up? The current iteration of Scripted will amaze you! Streamline your content writing efforts and build your own team of high-quality writers. It's all you need for content writing. Try it free today and meet your next favorite writer or writers!
Scripted’s talented community of freelance writers have a variety of expertise and specialties. While many of our customers hire writers to execute their content marketing strategy, our writers deliver high-quality content in many formats. You can find content writers, blog writers, ghostwriters, and SEO writers all with experience in your niche.