How to Spruce Up Your Budget in Three Easy Steps

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                                   Image Credit: Unsplash: Kyle Broad

When it comes to your budget, like most people the easiest part is creating one. You may go for months obsessing over every dime and documenting your purchases like crazy.  But, sometimes a good thing doesn’t last and sticking to it becomes nearly impossible. Life has an uncanny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. It can throw off even the most meticulous of savers.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where that vacation fund paid for a car repair…or your mini-emergency fund all of a sudden went to a new wardrobe then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The good news is that you can get yourself back on track with a few simple tips.

     

1.)Take Inventory of What You’re Spending 

When you account for outgoing expenses there are two types of spending….fixed expenses and variable ones. The fixed expenses are items that typically don’t change such as rental payments, car notes, and electricity bills. With variable ones everything is basically subject to change from one month or week to the next. A good way to get a handle on yours is to write down a list and separate them into the proper categories. 

2.)Adjust Down for Your Savings

When your budget is starting to look like a puzzle of numbers instead of carefully planned out…then you need to adjust somewhere. One of the easiest places to look is your savings rate. Adjusting down by a few hundred dollars or a couple of percentages can help to allocate funds to different areas to plug in the gaps. 

3.) Automate Your Finances 

There’s nothing wrong with using the excel spreadsheet or good ole pen and paper method to keep track of your expenses. But, one forgotten transaction or miscalculated deposit can derail your records  and cause a domino effect. An easy way to make sure that everything is going smoothly and avoid overspending is to automate your finances. That’ll help ensure that you can’t use what you don’t have for unintended purposes in the future. 

 

Remember, it’s okay to get a little bit off track when you’re still trying to figure things out.    But, what’s important is that you shift the financial gears back into place . Once you’ve got a plan worked out to fill in the gaps and bring your savings back to life, then you can  go back to enjoying the things that you’re used to.

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