Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ask the Watercooler .. What is wrong with my monthly budget?

We have been getting interest from a variety of people to offer content to the Watercooler, but not on a regular basis. So we decided to open up the forum to our readers to see if we can bring together people who have questions with people who have answers. Some of the answer people want to remain anonymous, which is fine with us because we just want the content. 

So we invite anyone who has a question about anything to send us an email at NiagarasWatercooler@gmail.com and we will see if we can get someone to answer you. Let us know in your email if you want us to withhold your name or not. We do not promise answers to everything, but we will certainly try.

Q: I try to maintain a monthly budget, but it never seems to work out. What am I doing wrong? (name withheld)

A: Your question leaves out some specifics, but I can give you a couple of answers to common mistakes people make each month.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

In order for your budget to work, you have to include all of your money coming in and going out each month. What a lot of people do is just put their monthly utility and credit card bills on their budget, and then wonder why they are behind at the end of the month.

When you make up a budget, you need to include everything from your grocery bills to the money you spend going out each week. If you find that you are still overspending, then it is time to analyze your expenses and start making cuts.

Another problem people have with budgets is they do not update their budgets each month. If your budget is made for a four-week month, then you will fall behind on those occasional five-week months where you have an extra week of expenses. If you get paid bi-weekly, then you will have some months where you get paid twice and others where you get paid three times. Your budget needs to reflect each month individually if it is going to be successful.

Hope that helps!