Budgeting for a Life You Can’t Afford - Deepstash

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The Most Common Budgeting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Budgeting for a Life You Can’t Afford

This becomes a problem when you’re spending for a life you can’t afford. It puts pressure on your budget and encourages you to live in a paycheck to paycheck cycle.

Assess your financial situation, cut back on your expenses, prioritize your money goals, and then come up with a new spending plan.

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The Most Common Budgeting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

The Most Common Budgeting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

https://twocents.lifehacker.com/the-most-common-budgeting-mistakes-and-how-to-fix-them-1748191499

twocents.lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Making Your Budget Too Strict

Budget for the life you have. When you’re going through your budget and assigning spending categories, be realistic. 

Don’t tell yourself you’ll never buy a single discretionary item, because you’re setting yourself up for failure. Give yourself some breathing room.

Budgeting Without a Purpose

It’s hard to stick to a budget that doesn’t have a goal.

When there isn’t one, your budget becomes an afterthought rather than a spending plan to reach your financial goals.

Forgetting About Irregular Expenses

If you keep blowing your budget because expenses “pop up” every month, you’re probably not budgeting for irregular expenses.

It’s a common budget problem with an easy fix: find those quarterly, annual, and other seemingly random expenses, and add them in.

Not Having a Cushion

It’s important to have an emergency fund. When your car breaks down, you have money to pull from, rather than screwing up your budget for the next few months until you get back on track.

It might take you some time and slow down your goal progress, but building an emergency fund will keep you from blowing your budget.

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A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

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The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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Side Hustle to Make More Money

You don't have to sacrifice all of your free time to start a side hustle, use the time you’re comfortable with and make a little bit of progress every day. 

Take Action

Get to working on improving your finances today, not tomorrow. Reading the steps and thinking you’re capable of doing it but postponing it is just an excuse, an unprofitable one.

Communicate With Your Partner

Talking about your financial goals, and scheduling time once a month to go over your finances together can prevent money from affecting your relationship.

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When budgeting comes in handy
  • You have no idea where your money is going.
  • You’re chronically overspending.
  • You’re not saving any money.
  • You struggle to afford the things you really want.
  • You...