Upcoming Expenses? Here Are 4 Ideas to Help Budget
At one time or another, most people today find themselves in a situation that forces them to budget their expenses in life. Whether it’s because their family is expanding or they’re becoming a homeowner or investing in new appliances, it’s important to stay on top of finances and look ahead for upcoming expenses.
We’ve put together a shortlist of ways to help you budget for these life changes. Even if you don’t have any major lifestyle changes in the near future, it’s important to be prepared for anything that could happen, whether it’s a job loss or unexpected medical bills. Living off of a credit card can help you through rough patches, but there are better ways to manage your budget.
1. Renovate your home within your budget.
It can be tempting to go all out while renovating your home, especially as a first time home buyer. In this day and age, there are so many options for home improvement budgets, including DIY tutorials online and the process of refinishing something rather than doing a complete remodel.
If you wish to renovate, consider smaller projects that won’t significantly cut into your budget but will still increase the home’s value in the long run. Some of these smaller projects could include putting in vinyl hardwood floors, refinishing your kitchen cabinets, and finding the right contractor for the anticipated renovations. If you’re confident in your home project abilities, you might consider taking over as the contractor to avoid hiring someone.
2. Treat yourself within your budget.
Perhaps you’re someone who has an eye for beautiful jewelry or the desire to shop for Audemars Piguet watches. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can treat yourself to something nice without putting yourself in debt or sacrificing other upcoming expenses you might have.
Some companies specialize in this endeavor to provide consumers with used designer pieces, such as Watchbox, which is a business that has several collections of pre-owned luxury watches. They might be resale timepieces, but they’re in good condition, and the cost estimate is must less than what a brand-new watch would run.
3. Track your monthly expenses in detail.
When it comes to budgeting, you want to get down to the last penny of your monthly expenses. If you’ve never done this before, simply make a chart with every category of your expenses, such as utilities, clothing, food, and home improvement projects. In another column, include the amount you expect to spend, along with an additional column for what was actually spent in that category.
After the month is over, analyze your budget, and see where you can afford to make cuts and spend less. While doing this, it’s important, to be honest with your spending habits, so you can make budget improvements that will make significant changes in your bank account.
4. Use coupons and rebates whenever possible.
You may have seen shows on TV about extreme couponing. While these shows are often exaggerated, it’s not out of reach to use coupons on a regular basis and see a significant change within your outgoing expenses each month. Whether you’re using them at the grocery store, online, or at clothing stores, coupons go a long way when you’re trying to cut down on spending and stay within budget.
Many grocery stores will use a rewards program to track what you typically buy at the store and send you paper coupons for those items in the mail, which is great because many stores produced coupons that can be coupled with manufacturer coupons that you can cut from newspapers and online coupon websites.