When creating or updating your monthly budget, it’s important to be thorough and complete. That means not only including the good things, like health club memberships and emergency savings, but also including our guilty pleasures, such as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and lottery costs.
It can be easy to exclude these budgeting habits, especially if we’ve been lectured for splurging on such items either by a spouse, family member, friend or co-worker. If you’re spending on these items and not allocating for them in your spending plan, that plan can quickly become unraveled. Think about it – if you smoke a pack a week and go out for a few drinks, that can easily cost an estimated $25, and in a month’s time, that turns into $100! If you’re not allocating money towards this expense and carefully planning your spending, this could cause your budget to turn from a surplus into a deficit and other higher priority bills may begin to suffer.
The point here is that it’s important to be realistic – include all spending, even if it’s something you’d like to pretend doesn’t exist. If you need help getting your budget on track, you can access lots of budgeting tools here.