Budgeting… we all know the feeling of writing up a budget that we expect we are going to follow. The key word here is expect. Following a budget is hard for the typical person because when we are writing a budget, we expect things to go exactly as planned. Since the unexpected happens more frequently than not, we have to budget for the unexpected as well. Here are some tips on how to stick to a planned budget:
- Plan for the unexpected- I cannot reiterate this enough. Everyone needs to have a savings account where they are saving up for unexpected expenses. This could be home repairs, a new car, medical bills, etc. This is going to be a fund where you put money into it every month and then only use it for unplanned expense. The point of this fund is to keep you from using money that you have already planned for other expenses throughout the month.
- Meal planning- Meal planning is essential if you aren’t trying to waste all of your money on fancy dinners every night. The reason for this is if you write down what you are going to have and when you are going to have it, chances are you are going to stick with it. Even if you are planning to go out to dinner a few times a week, planning this will mean that you won’t buy food from the grocery store. Not only will meal planning save you from getting home and realizing you have nothing to make, but it will also benefit your wallet as well.
- Using your tax refund- Use your tax refund wisely! Using your tax refund towards paying down debt or putting it in a savings account is going to be the best option. Whatever you do end up putting your refund towards, it is best not to expect it and to instead use it as additional income once you receive it.
- Planning for miscellaneous expenses- Miscellaneous expenses can include things such as clothes, vacations, gifts, etc. They are inevitable and they are expenses that are usually pretty enjoyable. If you know that you go on vacation once or twice a year, plan for this! Save a little each month so that you won’t have a huge expense once the time comes. This is true for things such as back to school shopping or Christmas shopping as well. If it happens every year, make sure you plan for that!
Budgeting can be intimidating, but if you take the time to write up a realistic plan it can benefit you greatly. Look for ways to make it easier on yourself by using apps, websites, or the old fashioned excel way! If you need ideas or templates, check out our website www.apprisen.com.