There's always something…

Confession: I’ve never had a perfect month of budgeting.

I usually create my budget a week before the month begins anticipating what expenses will come up based on my calendar and current needs/wants. But there’s always always something that comes up unexpected or unplanned mid-way through the month that brings a kink to the “First Edition Budget” I create. Sometimes it’s because of emergencies and sometimes it’s me just having fun.

This Year’s Unexpected Expenses:

January: Well, ok. Bad first example. I didn’t have anything unexpected, except paying $200 towards Christmas expenses I was in debt for.

February: NYC trip for $150

March: Brake pads for $134

April: Bridal shower & gifts for $350

May: A $79 car repair and $78

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  • I haven’t had a perfect month of budgeting for a long time, and I wonder how I used to do it! Some part of me says that the budget is just a guideline, but also I know that if I go over my budget, I’m not going to go into more debt, but I’m certainly not going to save as much as I could be saving.

    I’ve been trying really hard to stay within my set budget, if only just to show myself that I can do it still. August is my test. Summer spending has been kind of out of control. Time to settle down for the fall.

  • Yeah, I hear ya. Budgeting is an art for sure. At least you’re being smart about it, which is much more than most people.

  • I like that you are pretty easy about this. I’ve been beating myself up for not meeting my budget targets. You’ve put some good perspective on it, thanks!

  • I really want to go to Boston with my fiance to visit his family, but I just can’t swing it. When I looked at plane tickets the other day, it was $440 roundtrip! YIKES! I just can’t justify spending that much to hang out there for five days, especially since I’d have to put it on a credit card. :-/ I’m glad you’re able to be so flexible. I feel like there is never enough wiggle room for me to be comfortable with.

  • Yah, I also have a hard time staying within the budget – but I also try to make it such that I have an extra $200-300 available each month for items like this. Maybe I’m just budgeting for these expenses without knowing it? Who knows!

  • I know what you mean — there is always something.

    But some of those “somethings” can be predicted, somewhat. You’ll need to spend $X on car repairs at some point, you’ll need to buy gifts at random times, running shoes always need replacing.

    Some bloggers create general slush funds for these, I create tiny funds for each predictable expense (ex: $100/mo for car, $100/mo for gifts).

    But even then, things come up… Especially major purchases (uh, plasma tv) that I didn’t know I was going to buy right then.