Post-holiday debt- A familiar word to many Canadians after weeks of shopping, eating and celebrating the season with loved ones. It’s only after the damage is done that we begin to think about proper budgeting. If you are having budgeting problems, you may be doing it wrong. Check out these four common budgeting mistakes that can help you get on the right track for the holidays.
- A budget that is too strict
You embarked on this process to get a better grip on your cash flow, pay down your debts and start saving some money. A budget that is too strict is one that won’t stick. It won’t last because you’ve left nothing for yourself to enjoy. It’s okay to treat yourself periodically. Give yourself some wiggle room so that you don’t feel completely tied down. Just make sure it’s in the budget. Otherwise, treating yourself with your little spending sprees will crash your budget.
- Lumping eating expenses into one category
Separate groceries from the cost of eating out. Take a few more steps. Identify the cost of lunches at work, eating out on your own or with friends after work and on weekends as well as alcohol or other things you buy. Figure out where you can cut back, substitute or cut out. Preparing your lunches and dinners may look a whole lot cheaper and healthier. Eating in with friends can be both bonding and a money saver for everyone. They may have budget issues too.
- Handling entertainment costs
You need a category for expenses to enjoy life today. Don’t cut back too much. You will feel like you’re missing out. You may feel frustrated, disappointed and then overspend or toss out the budget. The key here is moderation and finding alternatives that will give you pleasure and happy memories.
- Forgetting about emergencies
Everyone needs an emergency fund. Plan and budget for those car repairs, house repairs and trips to the doctor, dentist and veterinarian. Set up a sinking fund, some money you put away regularly that you can use to cover these expenses when they come up. Include life and health insurance for those budget busting events