Have you ever wondered why your money is short at the end of the month? Chances are, there was some unexpected spending that sabotaged your bank account. Here, we will show you some ways you can avoid unbudgeted spending and keep your budget on the right track.
Steps to help avoid unbudgeted spending
Create a budget and stick to it
One of the best ways to help prevent unbudgeted spending is to have a budget laid out before the start of the month. However, the best budget in the world is useless if you don’t stick to it.
One of the best ways to stick to your budget is to monitor your spending. For instance, if your budget is $3,000 a month and you have spent $2,000 by the middle of the month, then you know that you may have to make some adjustments so you don’t run out of money.
Avoid having too many credit cards
Credit cards can be a giant budget killer because there is a common misconception that credit cards are “free money.” However, credit cards may have some hefty interest rates if you don’t pay back the balance in time.
Credit credits can be great for convenience. However, you may want to avoid seeing your credit cards as an extra source of income. For instance, if you don’t have the money to go out to eat this month, perhaps avoid using a credit card so you don’t buy something that you can’t afford.
Keeping just one credit card - instead of three of four - may also help prevent overuse or misuse of these cards.
Have emergency money saved
There may be some unbudgeted expenses that are going to be inevitable. For instance, if you have a pipe burst in your home, you may have to call a plumber. That emergency plumbing service might cost several hundred dollars. By having emergency money, you may be able to handle any unexpected expenses.
Avoid trying to “Keep up with the Joneses”
There may be a big temptation to buy things to keep up with friends, neighbors, or work colleagues. However, some of your neighbors - who are spending big - may be going into significant debt in order to look prosperous. Be sure not to fall into their trap.
One of the best ways to avoid “Keeping up with the Joneses” is simply not comparing your financial situation with others. This may help keep your budget on track and avoid unexpected expenses.
- Regularly maintain your home and your vehicle
Some of the biggest budget killers can be unexpected home and vehicle repairs. These big expenses might happen if you do not regularly maintain your home or vehicle. For instance, if you don’t have your vehicle inspected often, then a mechanic may not be able to detect an issue with your fan belt until it breaks.
Try to invest in the regular maintenance of your home or vehicle. This may save you more money over the long run.
Keep a healthy diet and exercise regimen
Another large source of unexpected expenses could be medical bills. In fact, medical expenses are tied to 66.5% of bankruptcies in the United States. If you want to avoid extra visits to the doctor or the hospital, you may want to try a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Doing so might allow you to maintain a healthy weight, stay strong, and avoid many common diseases (heart diseases, high blood pressure, chronic pain, etc.) that might lead to unexpected medical expenses.
- Avoid dining out on a regular basis
Dining out can be fun. However, going to your favorite restaurant should be reserved for special occasions. That is because it is usually more affordable to eat at home. For instance, you may be able to create a pasta dinner for four people for about $20. That same pasta dinner - at a casual Italian restaurant - might cost up to $60, when you factor in the 15% tip. Over time, that could lead to a strain on your budget.
- Do not make major spending decisions on the spot
Are you thinking of buying a car or a piece of furniture? It might be a good idea to sleep on the purchase idea before signing on the dotted line. That is because a major purchase could affect your budget for years to come. Try to look over your income, your current expenses, and your income stability before making any major purchasing decisions.
- Avoid browsing when shopping
When you go to the mall, the supermarket, or any department store, you may be tempted to buy impulse items. That’s because these stores are usually laid out and designed to make you spend more. Make a shopping list before you go and purchase only what is on your list. Impulse purchasing decisions might cause an unexpected stress on your budget.
- Seek the advice of a financial planner
If you feel that your spending is out of control, then it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial planner. A certified financial planner might help put you on the path of better spending and saving behavior.
If you do not have the resources to hire a financial planner, then look to financial blogs to find advice on how to keep your spending under control. The more you learn about spending and saving, the more likely you are to keep your budget on the right track.
Keeping your financial spending under control
If you can prevent unbudgeted spending, you can be well on your way to having extra money at the end of the month. Try to take the proper measures to prevent yourself from overspending each month. Over time, controlled spending may have a big benefit to your overall wealth.