Beyond Debt Blog

8 Things to Avoid when Making a New Year Budget

Posted by Kristin Perissinotto on 15/12/18 5:16 PM
Kristin Perissinotto
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New Year is the perfect time to start fresh, write some new goals, and overturn your finances. But why do almost all resolutions and new years goals fall by the wayside by January 15th? Because they are often unrealistic. Hit your New Years goals by avoiding these eight things.

budget mistakes savings

1. Having a huge savings goal

When writing your goals for the new year, be realistic with what you want to achieve. You won't be able to save all your income. Things will come up, and you are likely to have unexpected purchases. Set a realistic goal. You can always increase it next year!

2. Not Reevaluating

In order to be successful in saving and budgeting, you need to be constantly reevaluating your income and saving capacity. You might go through changes at work, or start a side job, so your income may fluctuate over the year, meaning your budget will need to reflect this.

reevaluating savings budget

3. Being too strict

One of the biggest complaints people have about budgets are that they are too restrictive. If you budget makes you feel like you're missing out, or can't have any fun, it needs to be reevaluated. Be sure to make room in your budget for things you enjoy.

4. Visiting multiple stores to save money

Some people will visit three grocery stores and a farmers market of a Saturday in order to get the very best prices on all their groceries for the week. Take some time to think about if it's worth running around chasing sales. It will take up a lot of your time, and you may not save enough to justify it.

guessing expenses

5. Guessing your expenses

The very first step of creating a budget should be to track all your expenses. Track them as exactly as you can - guessing will only cause you issues down the track when your budget begins to fail. Take a look at bank statements in order to figure out just how much you're spending and where.

6. Not being accountable

The easiest way to stay on track with your budget is to stay accountable. Appoint a friend of family member to tell your goals to, and check in with them if you feel like going off track with your budget.

seasonal changes expenses

7. Not accounting for seasonal changes

Every month will not cost you the same amount. For example, December may be full of present buying, dinners out, and holiday parties, whereas February is often quiet. Take into account any weekends away, kid's birthdays, car maintenance, and quarterly bills. Make changes to your budget accordingly.

8. Not having an emergency fund

An emergency fund is an important tool to account for when building a budget. This will be the money you reach for when a car breaks down, a medical expense comes up, or you have to pay for unexpected damage. The emergency fund is highly important, so be sure to keep some money aside for the unexpected!

Tags: Gifts & Holidays, Personal Finance Basics, Handle Money

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