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3 Budgeting Mistakes

by Alice C. Woodhouse
June 25, 2009
There are times when we try to budget we still scratch our heads at the end of the month trying to figure out where EXACTLY our money went. Sure, the budget looked good on paper and we followed it through. So where did we go wrong? There are people who still fail to plan for inevitable expenses. How can you plan for the inevitable, you ask. When it comes to budgeting, we should remain REALISTIC and provide a margin for contingency:

1. Home maintenance - Even for people with a good head for finances, home maintenance isn't a popular variable when factoring in our budget. Whether you own or rent your home there are things that you probably have to set aside in your budget, not just mortgage or rent payment. Home-related expenses are usually both a planned and "unplanned", meaning even though you budget every four to six months for home maintenance, a sudden need to call the repairman to fix the washing machine, call the plumber for a sudden leak in the faucet or replace appliances such as the lights or air conditioning unit when they're busted. These don't usually happen every month (hope not!) so they're referred to as 'variable expenses'. It's easy to forget that it accidents like these can happen, but we have to remember that eventually all appliances break down.

2. Personal Necessities and Clothing - Running out of personal necessities seems to be something negligible but sometimes it's irritating when we run out of it when we need it the most. Personal necessities should be budgeted in as well, so you and your family aren't deprived of basic toiletries like deodorants, anti-acne creams, sunscreen and the like. The same applies for clothes. There are times when your child might need new pants if they've outgrown several pairs, or buy them accessories (don't let them go to school looking shabby). Remember to be reasonable and realistic! Don't fall into setting a budget and we don't include these stuff and the moment we need it or run out of it we go to the drugstore or clothing warehouse and buy it without thinking. That's not following budget now, is it? It's best to add personal necessities to the budget, as long as its costs are minimal and its in the last priority of course.

3. Gifts and other contributions - Birthdays occur all-year round, and sometimes there's really no getting around it. Even if times are tight, don't let money hoarding get in the way of remembering and cherishing important dates like birthdays and holidays. You need to show your love with a token especially if it's close friends, beloved family members, your spouse and your kids. One thing you can do is include this in your budget should such need arise. Put in a small amount away each month and try to look for gift ideas that will fit your budgeted amount. Look into bargains and deals or opt buying from craft shops and make a handmade gift yourself!

Maybe there are other things that you're forgetting to include, so consider everything and this time. Rather than completely take out these expense, just control the amount that you spend on them. This way you can make a realistic budget that you can follow through!

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3 Budgeting Mistakes




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