We’ve all had months were costs have gotten a bit out of control. Sometimes it’s a missed item that you forgot to budget or sometimes you do budget for something but it ends up costing way more than expected. Busting your budget is bound to happen.
If I’m being honest we can be bad for busting our budget. Rarely do we hit our numbers perfectly. I do my best to estimate our variable expenses but I’m often off the mark. Sometimes it’s a few dollars which doesn’t make much difference but sometimes I can be off by a few hundred. This is why I’m glad we have a loose budgeting system in place- I often don’t have a hard time attempting to fix our ways come next pay. Here are a few ways you can ‘’make up’’ a budget-busting month:
Make More Money
This can be the easiest way for some people. If you don’t want your future weeks or months effected than simply earn more to make up the short fall.
Both my husband and I have a side hustle which earns us a little extra money we can use if necessary. We also both have a cash-accumulated vacation-time bank through work which I can withdraw from if needed and finally we can also work more at our day-jobs. For us, it’s often easiest to just earn more if we need to make up the shortfall. Then we don’t have to worry about messing anything in the future up.
Move Money Around
I don’t like doing this but sometimes we need to shift funds around a bit. For instance, even though our water bill is only due every three months I usually make a payment on it, every month. If needed, I could skip one or two of these payments and still be able to make it up before the bill is actually due. This is my least favorite way of making up a busted budget but is still an option. I also have a small buffer in our account after bills are paid that I don’t like touching but know it’s there if needed.
Give Something Up
Maybe there’s something in your budget you need to cut down (or cut out entirely) to make up your shortage. If you have something like an ‘’eating out, or entertainment’’ category, maybe consider skipping out on it for a month to make up your shortage. Most people have categories in their budget they can play with like how much they spend on groceries. Got through each category and see if there is any room to play with.
This is an absolute last case option but it has to be suggested anyway. Really, ER funds should not be used to make up a budget shortfalls but sometimes if it means taking from ER fund versus take on debt, the choice is easy. Just be careful not to make a habit out of it!
Everyone will experience months where their budget isn’t perfect. The goal is to avoid taking on debt and making up the shortfall as fast as possible.
How do you mange months where your budget gets busted?