There have been so many times at the end of the months where I’m looking over my proposed budget and seeing what I actually spent and I feel somewhat sick. I planned so well, how could I have messed up on such astronomical levels??!! Maybe you’re feeling the exact same way: guilty about overspending in a certain category you may be trying to cut back or eliminate. Maybe something came up and you had to blow through your savings.
There’s a reason it’s called “personal finance.” Because it’s all about YOU. YOU are the only one who knows what you need or want from your budget. Everybody has different goals and plans with their budgets, and not everybody can adhere within the same proposed budget template.
Sometimes, I completely mess up my budget and I have to realize that is just going to happen on a regular basis. The key is how you react after those mistakes.
For instance, in August I spent more on gas during BOTH paycheck cycles than I allotted. However, I didn’t take it too badly because I worked more shifts for a little more pay per hour so that will come back to reward me on September’s paychecks. That way I can put more towards my debt or put some aside for car maintenance (because it’s due very soon).
On the other end, I spent more on fast food because our fridge broke. Once again, I didn’t try to think too hard about it because we had a broken appliance and that was out of our control. While our landlord took FOREVER to get us a new one, now that we have one, I spent a little more on groceries to start September on a healthy note. Travis and I will be cooking lots of hearty and healthy meals and taking sandwiches and leftovers to work.
This is how personal finance works! It’s a constant game of trial and error. Different months require different budgets (for example, the holiday months for gifts and parties, summer months for a higher electric bill, back to school, etc).
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is going to tell you that personal finance is easy. If it was, everyone would do it and no one would be in debt! But that’s not the case, is it?? You just have to want to make that choice to spend a good deal of your free time looking over your finances and budgets, and you have to want to do it frequently. I personally chose to have weekly and monthly sit-down meetings with Travis, but again, it’s however you want to do it according to YOUR budget.
Remember, Dave Ramsey says if you live like no one else now, then you can live and give like no one else later! Keep hustling and keep your eye on the prize!