Easy Fixes for 10 Common Budget Problems
14 Feb, 2017 / By Jennifer Hamilton
In every household, regardless of the income, budget problems arise from time to time. In some cases it is merely a matter of forgetfulness and in others, the funds just aren’t there. Some of the most common budget problems can be avoided with reminders and careful scheduling of bill payments. When funds are lacking it seems impossible to make it through the rough patch but there are easy fixes to any budget problem.
Fluctuating Bill Totals
Fluctuating bill totals occur with utilities such as natural gas, electric and water. There’s no way to know what your bills are going to be each month until they come. During the winter months, natural gas and electric are generally more costly. The same goes for the electric in the summer months to run air conditioning. The easiest way to avoid this budget problem is to set $10.00 aside each week for a utility fund to help during the higher months’ bills.
Emergency Expenses and Vehicle Repairs
Emergencies happen. This can be anything from a broken appliance to a major system outage in your home. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover everything. It is important to put money aside each month in a savings account, even if it is just $20.00 to build up over time for these emergencies. It is rather easy to set aside $20.00 per month if you refrain from ordering pizza or going out to have beers with your friends.
In the event of a medical emergency, ask the doctor to prescribe common medications. Walmart and several other pharmacies have discount programs where medications can be as little as $2.00 to $4.00. Call to check pricing before leaving the emergency room, doctor’s office or urgent care facility. If the prices are not in the budget, ask the physician to prescribe something else.
If you have to miss time from work for any reason, it cuts into your household finances. Missing work due to illness brings on even more expenses such as a doctor visit, tests and medication. It doesn’t include how many days you have to miss of work to reset and recover either. In the event of an auto accident, it can take months to heal a broken body, which means lots of missed work and lost wages.
This can cause budget problems but you need to factor in what luxuries or entertainment items you can cut out for a week or two. It will help to put money back where it needs to go for household expenses only. Whether you make enough money or not, lost wages put a big damper on a family. There are ways to make money online doing simple tasks, writing articles and even answering questions or completing simple research that can help to bring in the missing income.
Holiday Expenses Properly
Short pay periods occur when holidays come into play. Not all companies pay for holidays that are not worked. This means that you have to plan and budget several months ahead of time for the extra holiday expenses and lesser income. To help remedy this situation, cut down on holiday spending.
When you don’t plan for holiday expenses properly, you might feel like someone is getting left out. What you have to remember is that you can’t buy for everyone. The holiday season is not about buying presents and spending ridiculous amounts of money. The holidays are about spending time with family, catching up on the year’s events and taking a break from your normal day-to-day life.
Forgetting Bill Due Dates
It is very common to forget when every bill in a household is due. What you can do is setup reminders on your home computer and smart phone. Sure, writing them down on a calendar is a great idea, but calendars are often neglected. Most consumers nowadays are technologically inclined and do most things using their phones, tablets and Smartphone’s.
Forgetting about Property Tax Payments
Homeowners often forget about the property tax. Most have it setup to pay yearly or semi-annually. Few homeowners actually have their property tax setup to be bi-monthly or even have a portion of it added to the mortgage payment each month.
The best idea here is to figure up what one-year of property tax is for your home if you don’t remember or don’t have the paperwork handy. From there, divide the amount by 12 and this is how much you need to put aside each month. Don’t plan on using tax return money to pay the property tax because it may not end up being as much as you expect it to be. This is planning ahead to plan ahead.
Not Factoring in School Fees for Kids
When you have children their expenses for school can be a nightmare. There are fees for photos, for specific classes, book fees, field trips, uniforms, additional clothes, supplies and the list just continue. The best thing to do here is just pick up a few things each month that they’ll need throughout the year like socks, shoelaces, pencils, paper and small items. You’ll may have to forget the family takeout night to help pay for the fees.
Properly Planning for a Vacation
It is beyond difficult for some families to budget in a vacation. Even if it is just a couple of hours away from home or a simple camping trip, there has to be a budget. Consider purchasing travel insurance for the trip. It helps to cover lost personal items, cash and a variety of other possessions. It also helps to recover the cost of accommodations and flights if a major event prevents the trip from taking place.