Why do so many moms make basic blunders with their budgets?
We are used to being lectured on the importance of having a budget that it achieves a kind of magical financial status.
It’s almost as if creating a budget is an instant cure to all financial ills.
But in truth, most moms make some embarrassingly basic mistakes with their budgets.
Any one of those mistakes could seriously damage your ability to reach the financial freedom you desire and worse, your potential to save and invest more.
Make a few of them, and you might as well not have a budget at all.
So let’s call out these rookie mistakes, one by one. Because when you know them, you can avoid them a hell of a lot easier.
1. Not Having a Budget
Writing a budget is not as fun as filling the shopping basket. You are scared that your finances won’t match your needs.
However, budgeting is as crucial as grocery shopping or using a planner for moms. You buy what you need first and spend what you have, not what you wish you had.
So, write a budget and save yourself financial migraines.
2. You Guess the Expenses
Budget making is urgent, but a budget made out of guesswork won’t work. For example, asked how much you spend on groceries; you will say 300 dollars monthly.
However, on tracking the expenses, you would realize you spend 500 dollars.
Thus, as a starting point, track your spending for a month. Have a way of recording any penny you spend so you get factual figures for a great budget.
3. You Spend What You Don’t Have
Credit cards are fantastic, but if you are not careful, you will have a financial crisis.
You want to give your children the best life. That includes buying them stuff you even never had growing up.
Even so, you need to draw the line of when to and when not to use a credit card.
The alternative of not using the credit card carefully is running into financial problems in the future. So, don’t write a budget built on the use of credit cards.
4. You Think of Cutting Cost as The Only Way
You create a budget, so you spend within the limits of your finances. Often, money is tight. Sometimes, you have to cross out even what you need.
Considered earning more money, so you don’t feel guilty about getting yourself a new scarf for winter.
Which is better, cutting 200 dollars from the budget or earning an extra 200 dollars?
You can be a full-time mom and yet have a side hustle. You need to look at the list we have compiled to help you out.
5. You Still Buy Things at The Spur of the Moment
Creating a budget is a step to financial freedom. Sticking to the budget, however, counts more.
When writing a budget, you don’t include buying the new toy your child will cling on when you go to the store. There is an already full box of toys in the house.
Or, you notice the perfect flower pot for your patio.
During such times, remind yourself why you had to write a budget. Wait until you can budget for the flower pot.
6. You Don’t Have an Emergency Fund
Emergencies happen every day. For example, you or the children may fall sick; you may need to repair your car or even fix the ceiling.
You don’t anticipate that something unfortunate will happen. Even so, set aside finances for eventualities.
Budgeting guidelines state that your emergency finances should be around four months of your total monthly expenses.
Since you can’t save all that money all at once, have a monthly budget that includes the emergency category.
7. You Don’t Spend On Fun Activities
Budgeting means spending money on necessities and cutting on luxuries. Stepping out of the house once in a while is not a luxury, not a crime.
Here’s why. Being a mom can overwhelm you. A stay at home mom knows it only so well. You can’t lock yourself up and never see the sunlight until your children are grown. You cook, clean, wash but get to go out too. Be a happy mom.
Budget for getaways once in a while, take your children to the concert, attend festivals. Give yourself a break while the kids get lifetime memories.
8. You Don’t Budget to The Last Detail
When budgeting, it is easy to forget two categories of items. The first is expenses that you view as very tiny such as the parking fee or the coffee you have every Friday. You will be surprised at the total tally of the ‘small’ expenses over time.
The total is enough to harm your budget.
The second category is the expenses that happen quarterly or yearly. You can forget about Christmas expenses until late into the year.
You don’t have to resort to your savings to pay for holiday expenses. Have a budget that includes all spending.
9. You Spend Without Saving
Spending is easy. You can spend everything that you have earned. Besides, you can make more money, so you tell yourself.
Being a stay at home mom with a work schedule is challenging but possible. You want to have something remaining to show for your efforts.
Thus, your budget should have a savings category always!
You have long term financial goals to achieve, and savings will go a long way.
10. Revise Your Budget
Financial needs change from time to time. Therefore, your budget does not need to be the same for every single month.
Like seasons change, so does your expenditure. For example, groceries may get cheaper, depending on what is in season. Your child may have outgrown diapers; do you still have them on the budget?
Have the extra money in places such as expenses for birthdays and other events.
Are you ready to get smarter with your budget?
Control the finances and be a mom who is at the top of her game.
Have a budget that you won’t rule out as not working after the first month. Not budgeting will do as much damage as a budget on the wrong things.
Mom’s wear many hats, and financial organization is one.
By avoiding the rookie mistakes laid out in this post, you can get your budget working for you and start reaping the rewards you keep hearing about from other smart moms.
So choose a mistake to fix today. Fix another one tomorrow.
And before long, you’ll be the one raving on and on about the importance of budgeting.
Hi, I’m Andia.
An expert personal finance & investment writer and blogger. I help people like you turn your spare time into $1000 per month or more outside of your day job.
I’ll help you identify proven side hustle ideas you can take action right away and make six figures working from home or whenever your schedule allows.