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Here are the top three common budget busters and how to deal with them.
Food comprises the biggest expense in American households. From grocery staples, work and school lunches to dining out, it’s so easy to go overboard your food budget. While consuming nutritious food is a must to have a healthy body and become productive at work, it also doesn’t have to be very expensive.
To keep food from busting your budget, you must eat at home more and out less.
Restaurant food prices can get inflated with service tips. Add to that the cost of fuel to get there and your tab is running high. Eating at home more ensures that your groceries will get used up and you’re able to serve nutritious food to your family.
Second, deal with leftovers. Wasting food is tantamount to wasting money. Keep your leftovers and use them for next day’s lunch or snacks. It’s also great to shop food in season and freeze the surplus. In season produce are just so much cheaper than out of season.
What is life with no play, right? Entertainment keeps you sane despite working several hours earning a living. After a stressful day, it just feels so rewarding to be able to watch movies, watch professional sports or play at the casino. But these types of entertainment could easily wreck havoc to your budget.
Instead of costly entertainment, settle with those that require little to no expense. You can binge-watch movies over Netflix at a lower cost than in the cinemas. You can opt to watch local sporting events or play with your kids instead of gambling your money away.
Just with the term “emergency”, it’s easy to see how this expense can blow your budget over. An unexpected car repair could cost you several hundred dollars that you don’t really have. A trip to the emergency room could lead more damage to your budget.
As much as possible, save up for emergencies and only use these funds for emergencies alone. Having an emergency fund will provide you some breathing room and confidence that you can face most of what life might throw at you.
Experts recommend saving at least three month’s worth of expenses into your emergency fund. This will caution you from the unexpected and keep you afloat as you try to gather your finances together. If you are feeling more financially-savvy, you can save up more and invest the rest.
Budgeting is a very important activity in helping you realize your financial goals, but sometimes you’ll meet a few setbacks. You could spend more on food and entertainment than you intended, or a single emergency could heavily dent your budget. While you might stray from your budget at one point or another, it is just important that you bring it back on track as soon as you can.