Living within a budget can be difficult at times and there is always a challenge to stick to it. This is where the proverbial budget buster comes to life. You try your best to stick to your budget, but there is always something that trips you up each time you want to do your best.
In light of that, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the fixes we’ve implemented to kill our budget busters and allow us to have more of our money work for us.
I’ve written before about saving money on groceries and this is likely our biggest challenge. We aim to keep our grocery spending to under $500 per month for a family of five, so we find ways to be creative.
One of the bigger budget busters in this category is organic produce. We’d love to shop at Whole Foods, but that isn’t budget friendly for us. The two biggest things we’ve done to change that is garden and stock up when it’s on sale. By doing both we’re able to freeze or can vegetables so they last us longer. Another option, if you have a Costco membership, is to buy organic produce there that fits within your produce. We get numerous items there and can usually eat them before they go bad.
Can spending be a budget buster? You bet it can, especially when it goes unchecked. It can be easy to fall into this when you solely pay by cash or not track your expenses on some level, especially through something like Manilla.
We have used a number of different things to protect against the overspending issue with the main one being credit cards. It’s sounds a bit ironic, I know, but it can help you see what you’re spending as opposed to just using cash all the time. Of course, this must be down with balance so you don’t give in to the temptation of overspending.
Paying for Services You Don’t Use
I know that paying for things you don’t use is a common area to examine when you’re wanting to cut expenses. There is a reason for that though…it’s money that is essentially going out the window and busting your budget. There are a wide number of things to look at where this is concerned, such as:
- Landlines…seriously, why do we even have these anymore?
- Car Insurance – well you still need it, but do you need all the coverage you have?
A simple way to kill these budget busters is to try living without them for a month. With the landline example, if you’re seeing that you have not used something more than a few times during that month then it’s a fairly good sign you can live without that service. Assuming that’s the case, then you can cut the expense and use that money for other things in your life instead of allowing it to be a drag on the budget.
What are some of your budget busters? What unique ways have you found to kill them?
Image by Tax Credits / Flickr