I don't know what it is, but lately, I feel like I've been spending money NONSTOP.
Is it the time of year? The streak of good weather? Maybe I'm just in the mood to spend my paycheck!
The reason why I'm feeling a little apprehensive is because I'm experiencing something called...
Unbalanced Budget Syndrome.
Aside from the fact that I just made up this term, I feel like it's something many of us experience. Life isn't always perfectly balanced.
Some weeks, a lot is happening, and you want to be a part of it. Maybe you bought tickets to a show that you didn't want to miss, maybe your sister came up for an unexpected visit and you went out to dinner and bowling, or you needed to buy gardening supplies AND pick up your baby chicks. (All of these things actually happened to me by the way...)
When things get crazy, and the demand on your paycheck goes up, it can take a toll. We suffer financially because "the amount of money you spend on the various needs and wants in your budget has a big impact on your ability to maintain financial stability."
If you're spending too much money in one area of your budget, some other area of your budget is going to suffer...
Don't you think that if you doubled your spending on clothing, it would hurt your ability to afford food, transportation, or even housing? The budget is a delicate balance, and since life is so unpredictable, how can we expect to stay afloat when these unexpected events happen?
1. Be prepared, all the time.
An emergency fund is something that everyone must have. It's a savings account, separate from your savings account (if that makes sense). The emergency fund is for emergencies and for the unexpected. The savings account is for major life purchases, like a down payment on a home or on a car, a vacation, etc.
I know how hard it is to save money, but start small. Even a couple of dollars per week is manageable, and will build over time. By having an emergency fund, you're prepared to cover the cost of a blown tire or a broken laptop.
2. Say no.
Sometimes, no is the best answer. I heard a saying once, "you can have anything you want in life, but you can't have everything." It all boils down to making choices: what you need versus what you want; what will help you reach your long-term goals versus what will set you back.
3. Make a separate savings account for the miscellaneous expenses.
Miscellaneous expenses come up more often than we think. By having a miscellaneous spending account, you're not dipping into other parts of your budget - like the part that pays your rent, car payment, or grocery bill.
Now, I'd love to hear from you!
Have you ever noticed periods of time where you're spending wayyyy more money than usual? How did you keep yourself on track? What did you learn from it?
Share your thoughts and stories in the comments!