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End of the month stretch

January 26, 2009

If you are a really smart and disciplined budgeter, you might make an effort to be extra frugal in the first half of the month, so you are sure not to feel pinched at the end of the month.  I always intend to do it that way, but it never seems to happen.  Besides, once I start to see excess money in one category, I start to funnel it to one of my various savings goals, always leaving my budget tight.

Currently, the only categories that I have money left in for January are gas and grocery (I’ve been having an awful time predicting my gas budget).   This doesn’t mean I’ll buy absolutely nothing.  I won’t be going out to eat or buying clothes, but if I need something (batteries, toilet paper, etc.), I’ll purchase it.  No big deal.   I take a detailed approach to tracking my spending and creating a budget, but I take a more relaxed approach to meeting the budget to the dollar.  As long as I’m close and adjust everything so it all adds up, I’m happy.

Life is too short to worry about not spending $10 extra dollars.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2009 12:42 pm

    Agreed! I always manage to be struggling to stay in budget at the end of the month, and so what happens is I go over. However going over by $20 or $50 isn’t that much to me when I consider how much I was able to save. I also worry that if I increase my budget by $20-$50 I’ll still go over by $20-$50. So I would rather be tight and know it’s okay to go over a little, then have a lot more money to spend so I end up spending a lot more money. If that makes sense.

  2. January 26, 2009 1:02 pm

    I’m with asgreen on this one. I’d rather have aggressive savings goals and go over by $10 occasionally then have comfortable goals with less savings. That being said, if I was habitually breaking my budget, even by just $10, I’d want to review my budget/spending. I think a consistent ‘meh’ attitude towards going over is a slippery slope that can lead to even greater deficits.

  3. January 26, 2009 10:02 pm

    Well I have a little built in padding I call my miscellaneous fund, of course it’s empty right now. I use it to cover those little $10 overages that used to kill my budget. I would forget to budget things like car registration, I was an idiot. If I ever have a nice cushion in that account I’ll put it towards savings, like I’ll ever have any extra!

  4. January 27, 2009 7:33 am

    I have quite a few “budget accounts” and this is my first real month using this process. Several unexpected birthday invitations busted the gift budget and my son is in American Lit, so the book budget got stretched too…but for the most part, we’ve done quite well and I’ve “borrowed” from other accounts to cover the overages.

    The one category I forgot to create was what we call HBA (Health and Beauty Aids) things like soap, cosmetics, vitamins, etc. – so I’ll have to figure that one out going in to Feb. I’m also not 100% on where to put cleaning supplies, paper towels, mop heads and that kind of stuff – I’m thinking it belongs in “house upkeep” but I was hoping that would go to projects…I think I just answered my own question – time to set aside a fund for home improvement projects!

    The other two new categories are allowances for the kids. I’m hoping to have it pretty well set by April.

  5. January 29, 2009 6:15 am

    I smashed a lot of my categories, esp Transportation, Gifts & Wardrobe… but *shrug* 🙂

    I’m not sweatin’ it.

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.

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