I’m convinced that 99% of people cannot accurately guess how much they spend in a given month. When you’re starting to budget, I would recommend just tracking a month’s worth of spending before setting goals and limits.
Every month I give myself $175 to spend on groceries. Every month I usually overspend. This month, I spent close to $300 on food. More than $100 over my budget.
I couldn’t believe that number when I saw it. I rechecked my transactions, but the number was right.
Here’s how I tried to account for that number:
I spent $25 on brunch one Saturday, $10 on Chinese food one week and more than $20 on ice cream.
This month I am determined to stick to my $175 goal. I bought some canned soup to keep in my desk for those days when I forget to pack a lunch and I bought canned chicken so I can make a quick chicken salad in case I have no leftovers to bring.
That’s the key in budgeting- identifying your problem areas and finding solutions. Wish me luck - I’ll report back in a month to let you know how December went.