How do I trim the fat out of a bulky budget?
In boxing, every boxer has an ideal combat weight, the weight that provides the best balance between speed and power. If a boxer is too heavy, he will lose his speed. If they are too light, they lose power. Finding this ideal weight and maintaining it is the main challenge for most boxers and their handlers. It turns out that investors must achieve this same kind of balance in their finances, especially when it comes to budgeting.
For example, if you find that you are not meeting your financial goals as quickly as you planned, you may need to cut back on your expenses. On the other hand, if you set a budget too tight, you will probably lose the motivation to stick with it.
- An inflated budget can mean that you are spending too much, even on necessary items.
- By keeping your household debt low, you should be able to save a little money each month.
- It may not be a good idea to spend your budget at zero, especially if you don’t have savings for emergencies.
- Cutting down on a bloated budget can help you keep a balanced budget.
- There may be ways to deflate your budget, such as doing the house and yard work yourself and opting to keep luxuries to a minimum.
Understand a bulky budget
A bloated budget means you are not managing your money or meeting your short and long-term financial goals. You want to make sure your budget is balanced to stay within your framework while paying your bills, saving money, and not overspending. It’s important to keep your household needs to a minimum and assess how much you spend on unnecessary items.
Necessary expenditure: good and bad calories
When you are budgeting, expenses are necessary. You need to be careful about the quality of the costs you incur; This can make a big difference in terms of the amount of disposable income and savings you make in the end.
The problem with necessary expenses is that people feel like they can do their best to buy something they need. Your need a house. Home needs piece of furniture. Car needs a wax. But these “necessary” expenses quickly become unnecessarily expensive. You need a place to live, it is true, but if you have a mortgage that is consuming 50% of your monthly income, it is definitely a problem and can lead to an inflated budget.
The same goes for new cars. You may need something to transport you from one place to another, but buying a new car with all the options is a sure way to reduce your disposable income and your ability to save.
If you buy the largest home, you can afford it, lease a new car, and adjust your budget to the point where your monthly expenses leave you with a zero balance each month, and you may just need something small like a water heater. faulty to break the bank. And then the credit cards come out and the slope gets slippery.
7 ways to cut fat from your spending
Unnecessary spending: empty calories
Necessary and unnecessary expenses are sometimes difficult to separate. As we saw earlier, within each necessary expense, there is a range of reasonable costs that you may be exceeding. However, there are many common expenses that are more luxuries than necessities.
Whether we know it or not, we live in a golden age of luxury, which is nothing bad, but can add up and cost you. One area where luxuries often creep in and hit your monthly budget is through the services you receive.
If someone else is mowing your lawn and cleaning your house, they may be living outside of your ideal budget. While it’s nice to have someone else mow the lawn and wash the dishes from time to time, using these services regularly is a sure way to reduce your disposable income. Ultimately, the money you have left over from expenses is money you can invest.
The money you take home to pay for these luxuries has already been earned and taxed. When you spend it on frivolous luxuries, you increase the amount of time you have to keep working to finance your retirement. Is the time you spend working overtime on your 65th birthday worth vacuuming the carpet? Spending your money on unnecessary items that you could live without is a surefire way to put your savings plan in the bank.
You may find that saving up-front for a luxury item motivates you to budget more efficiently and prevents you from overspending.
Careful spending: the best defense is a good offense
It is human nature to want certain luxuries. The goal is not to let those luxuries get out of hand. This doesn’t just mean high maintenance money holes like second homes, vintage motorcycles, and rarely used boats. Still, it also includes smaller items like advanced cable packages or expensive internet connections.
For example, suppose you want the Internet to send emails and keep track of stock prices. You can get different internet connections with different speeds and costs depending on the bandwidth you pay for each month. For people who want email and some browsing, the cheapest connection often provides more than enough bandwidth. These same people end up trying one of the faster connections and then signing up, perhaps even spending more time on the internet than they planned or wanted to justify the purchase.
Cable packages work the same way: People are looking to get the golf channel and go out on the platinum plan. The same goes for most cell phones, cameras, computers, and other electronic purchases.
If you want to come out on top, be proactive when buying luxury is absolutely necessary. Set limits on what you will buy before you even walk into the store. Establish what you need and then decide how much you can afford and still stick to your budget. If possible, set your budget so that saving for a luxury item is a part of it, rather than charging luxuries to a credit card and having to adjust your budget to pay off debt later.
When you are thinking about buying a home or car, always leave room in your budget for emergencies, or you could find yourself in debt, or worse, you could lose them to the bank.
Better budgeting: blood and sweat in the gym save you in the ring
The road work, training, and effort a boxer goes through in the months leading up to a fight decides how successful he will be in the ring. Similarly, the more you work on your budget, the easier it will be to manage your finances. There are sacrifices. Some of them are as small as getting a few bytes slower connection or making your morning coffee instead of buying it from a store on the way to work. Some are great, like bypassing the mountain cabin or a new car in favor of a used one.
In boxing, you have the option of breaking a sweat and sacrificing yourself in the gym or getting knocked out in front of everyone when necessary. No one is controlling your training with your finances, but you can pass out if you are too lax with your spending. Better to do the hard work of budgeting and reducing your expenses on your terms rather than when a creditor is twisting your arm.
Inflated Budgets FAQ
What should I cut from my budget?
The first thing to cut back on a hefty budget are the luxuries you don’t need to have in your life, like online and magazine subscriptions, do-it-yourself home services, dining out, and other entertainment. You can find different ways to have fun without breaking the bank.
What are some common mistakes people make when creating a budget?
Many common mistakes occur when people first budget. Being overly ambitious with an unrealistic budget is one of them, not being motivated to keep track of a budget and not keeping track of all expenses. It is important to review and adjust your budget on a monthly basis to find ways to improve it. A budget, in many ways, is a living document.
What does it mean to trim the fat?
In financial terms, cutting the fat means cutting out superfluous items on a budget.
What are some of the possible side effects of budgeting failures?
If you don’t stay within budget, you may use your credit cards more often and end up in debt. Not staying within your budget can also mean that you don’t have enough money to pay important bills like your mortgage or car payment, and it can affect your ability to save money for an emergency.
What are some unnecessary expenses?
Unnecessary expenses can be different for each individual. Some overhead and often unnecessary expenses could be eating out or ordering take out instead of cooking at home, buying designer or luxury clothing, jewelry or accessories. Hiring a cleaner or someone to cut the lawn may not be a necessary expense either. Buying expensive electronics, like the latest smartphone or computer, can also be an unnecessary expense.