I have a budget that I follow to the penny. It’s extremely helpful for me, as it helps me to save money, as well as allocate money to the correct places. This way, I’m not tempted to spend money on unnecessary items, because every dollar has a place and a purpose. However, sometimes it’s necessary to adjust my budget to better fit my goals.
One of my personal finance vices is eating out at restaurants. I can’t help it, I like good food. When I was new to personal finance, and started tracking my food spending, I was dismayed. One month I spent close to $800 on restaurants alone! Without my budget, I wouldn’t have realized I was throwing away so much money. Thus I knew I had to adjust my budget.
I set a goal for myself, and have gotten my total food spending (groceries and restaurants) down to $400 a month. Eventually I would like to get that number down under $300 a month, but for now, $400 will do. With this, I freed up a few hundred dollars a month that I could put elsewhere, such as my student loans or savings. Here are a few other things I’ve done to adjust my budget:
- Signed up for a cheaper internet package, saving myself $50/month
- Took collision coverage off of my car (my car is older), saving about $75/month
- Adjusted my rate of savings up to 25%
The nice thing about a budget is that it can be tailored to your own personal needs. Give yourself a couple of months with your budget to see what your spending habits are, then if you need to add more money to a category, or take some out, feel free to. This way, you can still keep track of all money that is coming into and going out of your possession.