Money doesn’t grow on trees and unless you’re lucky enough to have to not worry about how much you’re spending, keeping track of household expenses is something you do to make sure they don’t get out of hand. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as easy as it sounds and making sure you remain on budget isn’t always possible no matter how hard you try.
However, there are some smart ways you can track your budget that can help you. By following these five tips below, you’ll see more money in your bank account at the end of each month and feel a lot less financially stressed.
- Plan to spend more than you want to.
When you put the bare minimum in your budget chances are you’re going to spend more than you expect. Leave room for error by making your budget a bit higher. If your food budget for the week is usually $150, up that to $175 instead. The same goes for other bills that don’t exactly cost the same amount every time, like car repairs.
- Look at your weekly spending instead of monthly spending.
When you break it down weekly it can be easier to see where you’re overspending or not allowing for enough error in your budget. It can also make budgeting seem like a less daunting task if you have a large family with considerable obligations.
- Have a miscellaneous column.
Not everything fits neatly into your budget – that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t track it. Make sure your budget leaves room for miscellaneous expenses you don’t plan on.
- Make plans for money you have at the end of the month or year.
Perhaps you need something fun or maybe you need something essential. Plan how much you’ll save and know where it’s going to go. If you do, it will be easier to reach your goal and budget accordingly.
- Don’t put money you don’t know you’ll have in your budget.
You might expect a pay raise but until you have it, don’t plan how you’ll be spending it. This is especially important for self-employed individuals or people who regularly do freelance work.