Is Your Budget Really Working for You?

Budget vs debt scales from clip art

If you decided to read this blog based on the title, you’re likely feeling there’s something missing, something else you need to do to make your budget REALLY work for you. You just don’t know what it is!  You’ve tracked your variable expenses such as car repairs, entertainment, etc., so you know it’s as accurate as it can be. You’ve updated your fixed expenses: rent, food, gas, childcare, etc. and income, too.

Yet, you find that you don’t always have the money for those fixed expenses, and sometimes you’re “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul” for your variable expenses. You wonder, “Am I overlooking or forgetting an important budget step?”

The missing step may be that you haven’t thought about how or where to put the money aside for those variable and fixed expenses. Your expenses are all there on your budget. Now it’s time to take another budget action step: ensuring you’ll have the money during the month to pay the bills and those daily expenses.

How? It can be as simple as putting the money in separate envelopes, jars, or coffee cans (be creative and have fun doing it) each time you receive your income/paycheck.  Another idea is setting up a payroll deduction to have the total amount you need for all of your expenses sent from payroll to a savings or checking account.  Or, you can set up several accounts for various categories: car expenses, home repair, emergency savings, etc.  This can make it easier to track and access the money when you need it.

Make your budget work for you: choose one of the above action steps and put aside the money you’ll need each month.  If those action steps don’t appeal to you, take the time to think about a strategy that does – then commit to doing it!

Below you’ll find two links that expand on these suggestions and will give you other ideas to take that next important budget step.

https://www.balancepro.net/education/publications/handlingperiodicexpenses.html

https://www.familymeans.org/assets/files/Financial%20Solutions/PERIODIC%20EXPENSES.pdf

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