As the hours draw down to payday, expenses just keep popping up out of nowhere. I thought incorporating the last few expenses I will be done with the budget. Only to realize:
- Valentine will fall within this month’s cycle and love is in the air so clearly I am too naïve not to think of including that in my budget
- I am letting out a room to my friend who is coming to stay by temporarily while she is building and just remembered the light bulb in that room needed replacement. It was flickering when I last switched it on and hence need to get it replace.
- Then when my cousin moved just before the December holiday, we did not have a dstv dish nor a decoder and since I knew I was not going to be home for the first month and the half of the year, I was not planning to get it replaced. But now my sister had to come watch over the house and rest so I need to buy that as she will be bored without TV.
- I also realized that this year I strictly want to run my electricity and airtime business and hence need to budget for my own monthly AWEH. Last year, I just took as and when I want and never reconciled the numbers. This year, we are keeping business separately so I need to pay for it.
This is not my story alone, every day something will come and therefore you need to continuously update your numbers. The problem with this mushrooming expenses is that, instead of us re-evaluating other expenses and seeing if there is anything that we can do without maybe in that month, we just tend to cut saving and save whatever is left.
This approach however is dangerous because for as long as you have some money left, you expenses will always grow to match your income. Unless you are focused on your dream and goals, you can easily get derailed.
I urge you to re-evaluate the mushrooming expenses by asking yourself the following questions:
- Why is this coming up now? If it was that important it should have made it in the first place. But if it was a mere oversight, then possibly it is really necessary.
- Can I do without it this month and maybe consider it next time? This is where you need to assess whether it is a real emergency or just a “perceived emergency”
- Finally is the room in the budget? There should either have been money not allocated, or perhaps from “others” or perhaps give up something or cut on something to make room for it. If not, unless your life or someone else’s depends on it, forget about it.
In conclusion, have the cut off date of when new expenses can impact your budget. For me , my budget end on the 26th of each month. After that, a new costs will only be considered in the next budgeting cycle.