Let’s pretend that we didn’t go over our Christmas budget (which we did) and that we didn’t have any unexpected expenses this month (which we did) and that we are totally on track for 2017 so far with the family budget (which we are close enough to pretend so we are). Whew – okay now let’s look at the past year and how we budgeted like crazy yet still had leaks. Leaks that caused money to trickle out more than we thought until we went back to see what happened. And guess, what? We think we aren’t the only ones finding these top budget killers lurking around. Go ahead, take a peek and see if these apply for you too!
Budget blunder #1: kid costs
Wow – how things have changed over the past few years for us. Babies are expensive thanks to diapers and formula and child care costs, but our older kids are costing us a fortune all of a sudden. From increased eating to pricier outings, both kids just aren’t as cheap as they were! Between sports, school and friends our kids are draining more and more of our money each month. Now that we are a full year in to these increased spending habits we can plan for them better. Still, we know parents of even preschoolers who are shocked when they go back to see the what was spent “on” their children.
Budget blunder #2: poor planning
Okay, so poor planning is a general term. What we mean is that we noticed on weeks when we did not meal plan, dinners involved another trip to the store or possibly even eating out. Huge money leak there. Another example, we underestimated costs on vacation because we tried to be frugal and wound up going over budget instead. Or we did not appropriate research deals and coupons prior to purchase so we spent more than necessary on a couple of items (ugh, cell phones). Poor planning. New technique now involves harnessing the power of technology for smarter accountability and planning.
Budget blunder #3: impulse buys
In the history of every budget the impulse buys are the downfall aren’t they? But it’s true. Impulse buys came in the form of buying popcorn and soda at the theater, stopping by Target instead of the grocery for Tylenol and finding a pair of shoes on sale, etc. That’s another reason that we are back to setting an intention of mindfulness for 2017. If we can’t kill our impulse buys completely surely we can reduce them by having more awareness of our actions.
So, notice any of these in your own family budget leaks? Let us know on our Facebook page!