Creating flexibility in your budget

Creating flexibility in your budget

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Budgeting is a fantastic tool to help us manage our money.  It allows us to clearly see what is coming in and out.

 

In a perfect world, we would stick to our budget every month and not spend a penny over or under.  But unfortunately, it is rare that life goes like.  Therefore, it is useful to build in some systems to create flexibility.

 

I want you to be able to stick to your budget every month, that is why I have a few ways that you can wiggle money around if surprises happen.

 

Have a miscellaneous pot

One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a miscellaneous pot that contains a small amount of money for dealing with those things that don’t have a place elsewhere.

 

You could think of it as a mini emergency fund for each month.  This isn’t your fun money (I’ll talk about that in a minute), it is for the items that come up that don’t fit into another category.

 

When you create your budget, decide what you are going to do with the money that is left in that pot at the end of the month.  Debt?  Savings?

Give yourself an allowance

This is your fun money.  Give each member of your household a pot of their own fun money.  A bit like pocket money that they are free to spend how they like each month.

 

The great thing about this is that it gives you more freedom and avoids arguments.  Everyone is allowed to spend that money how they like and once it is gone it is gone.

 

I mean that the rest of the money is free to do the job it was intended to do.  No tough mid-month discussions about whether you can afford that game or TV subscription or that treat for your cat.

 

Review your budget each week

Keeping an eye on how you are doing towards your budget each week is a great way to ensure that your budget has room to cope with the demands of the rest of the month.

 

Doing a quick tally of what you have spent so far means you can see if you need to move money around.  It could be that you are overspending in “food” but underspending in “travel”.  Shift some money around to make the rest of the month work.

Check your accounts regularly

Try not to let yourself get caught out.  Check your bank accounts regularly to what bills and money have come in and gone out.

 

Sometimes payments can take a few days to leave your account.  You don’t want to be caught out by this because you think you’ve got more money than you have or, perhaps, less than you have.

Again, this will give you time to move money around or reign in your spending for the rest of the month.

How do you create flexibility in your budget?

Do you have any systems built into your budget?  How do you create spending freedom whilst not overspending?

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.


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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Surabhi

    Great tips! I liked the idea of having a miscellaneous pot

  2. Olufunke Kolapo

    This is really great tips and reminder especially now that we are always home.
    I love the giving oneself allowance part most. Thank you.

  3. Katelynn

    I love some of your ideas! Definitely something I need to start doing!

  4. I like the idea of having a miscellaneous category as well as a fun account for each member of the family. Life is better when you have room for the little extras.

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