Mistakes you’ll make when creating a budget

Making a budget is a breeze. Sticking to it, now that’s a different story. If you’ve never felt the need to budget until now, you’re definitely going to discover some weak spots as you get started. Here are a few ways you might screw up when you’re trying to stick to a budget…

You’re not ready for anything: You may think that an emergency fund is independent from your budget. If you’ve built up a solid one, you may be kinda right. But if you’re not prepared for the unexpected bill, you’ll have to dip to into other accounts and that’ll probably have a a huge effect on your budget. Be ready when the time comes.

Stop guessing: The easiest bills to budget for are the ones that stay pretty much the same every month. My water bill isn’t exactly the same each month, but it’s usually within a couple of bucks. A power bill on the other hand? If there’s a science to keeping those consistent, I haven’t learned it. If you’re going to estimate prices when you start laying out a budget, make sure you err on the high side.

It’s not complete: It’s simple to remember the big bills, but it’s the small ones that can hurt you. Something like a Saturday breakfast with your friends can be easy to forget and can really add up when you’re doing it on a regular basis. Spend some time really thinking about all the money you spend and if you’re still worried that you’re forgetting something, add in a cushion so you won’t put yourself in a hole.

Annual fees: One bill I always forget about is Amazon Prime. I get charged in January every year and it’s always an “oh yeah” moment. If you think about it for a few minutes, I bet you’ll think of something similar.

John Pettit

John Pettit

John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. Through news, community, press, jobs and events, he keeps credit unions digitally informed throughout the day. Web: www.cuinsight.com Details