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Budgeting can be one of the hardest things to do and stick with. Many people like the idea and the concept especially when they know they can save money, but often can’t resist the urge not to spend money that is outside of the budget. I’m going to share with you the quickest ways to sabotage your budget. Here are the things you have to be mindful of once you have created a budget and intend to maintain it.

Your Own Weakness

Battling with yourself is going to be a constant challenge for you especially when it comes to eating out, shopping, buying coffee every morning, etc. The temptations will definitely be there, but you have to work hard NOT to give in. I believe this is the primary struggle with maintaining a budget. Stay strong! You will be growing, changing and saving throughout your budgeting process, so don’t be tempted to sabotage your own budget by rationalizing with yourself!

Holidays

I personally struggle with this one, especially at Christmas. I always buy Christmas gifts for all of the kids in my family and didn’t do it one year because I was saving to buy a house and it hurt me. I had a budget that I had to work with, and I chose to stick with it instead of buying presents. When you spend money on decorations, food, drinks, entertainment, and gifts you will quickly exceed your budget, and then you will have one of those moments where you’re looking at your account wondering where all of your money went. I also don’t like buying gifts that I wouldn’t personally love myself, and I have expensive taste sometimes. It’s important to know when you should opt out to stay within your budgeting boundaries.

Children

If you have kids, this is probably your biggest expense! Kids never need just a little bit, they always need a lot. I can’t even list everything that kids will need but just to name a few they need food, clothes, money for school lunch, money for school field trips, money for school projects, diapers, wipes, daycare, medications, etc. Children are far from cheap, and if they have allergies, that will make things even harder. Children will always require something that wasn’t a part of the budget, so take that into consideration when you create your budget.

Family & Friends Major Life Events

For me it seems like all of my friends are getting married, engaged, or having children. There is no way I’m going to let any of this happen and not be a part of it, but to participate means to buy gifts, clothes, shoes, prepare for bridal and baby showers, etc. If you know you have an event like this coming up try to plan ahead. It doesn’t always work out, but the minute you know you have a friend getting married, or having a baby, start putting into your plans how much cash you intend to spend. These types of events will quickly sabotage your budget, but you can do your best to try to prepare for them.

Regular Traditions With Friends

None of us want to be left out, so we always want to be in attendance for those regular traditions with our friends. It can be as simple as a First-Friday event, girls night or happy hour. These types of events can kill your budget, so if you don’t want to miss out or completely ruin your budget, make sure you plan ahead or simply opt-out of going every single time and maybe cut back a little.

Medical Bills

It always feels like medical bills come up at the worst times. Medical bills can quickly sabotage your budget because you don’t see them coming. They are the hardest to prepare for because you never know when they might come up, especially if you have children because they often get sick or hurt. Even with a flex-spending account or health savings, these expenses can still cut into your budget.

Home Repairs

Buy a home they said, it’ll be great they said, it’s so much better than renting they said. Well, while buying a home is great, as a homeowner you are responsible for all expenses that involve the property. The nice thing about renting is you have a landlord that has to handle all those expenses. Home repairs can destroy a budget because we never know when to expect them, but this is when it is great to have money set aside. There is nothing worse than needing a home repair but not being able to afford it. Homeownership does come with a lot of rewards, but we can’t be blind to the possibilities that the home won’t always be perfect.

Subscription Increases

How many of us sign up for a free trial and then forget that we did until that subscription cost comes through our bank account? This one can get you every single time. One thing that can help with this is to cancel the subscription as soon as you activate it. When you do this, you will usually still have access for the time period they were providing, but don’t have to worry about being charged if you go beyond it because it stops automatically.

Pets, Pets, Pets

I know firsthand how expensive pets can be and when they become ill, and it can be super expensive. We love our pets and they bring us joy, but they can definitely be expensive especially if you start with them as ‘babies.’ The last puppy I had cost me a lot of money and threw me a ton of curveballs at the wrong times. Wrong times equals anytime I don’t want to spend that kind of money, ha!

Home Projects

Home renovations can be fun and exciting but they can be costly. When it comes to renovations, you usually end up spending more money than what you originally budgeted for. I recently remodeled the kitchen in my house and it exceeded the original budget because we ended up having to change not only the kitchen, but the bathroom, the ceiling fans, flooring and replace the kitchen windows. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what everything is going to cost you until the process has already began.

Have you tried putting together a budget and had something sabotage it? What unexpected expense was it that came up for you?

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