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When Budget Goes Boom Comments

  • By MP Dunleavey
  • June 14, 2010

dw_resolveOops, you did it again
The problem with spending plans—whether you have an official budget or not—is that they don't swing with real life demands.

You planned to spend $300 on groceries this month... but friends were visiting and you spent $400. You budgeted $100 for a wedding gift, but found the perfect present for $125.

How do you flex your budget without breaking the bank? Some rules:

  • Throw a curveball. Always save a little extra each month into a curveball account. Aim to save 5% to 10% of your income. If that's too steep, do a regular savings sweep.

  • Be a borrower. Think like the federal government: If you overspent on groceries by $100, postpone pampering or downsize the vice department to balance cashflow.

  • Unspend. No Spend Days are powerful budget-balancing tools. By simply not spending one day a week, you give yourself more wiggle room in other areas.

  • Cancel. You've heard it a mazillion times: cancel cable, cancel this, cancel that. Well?

Speak up
How do you flex your budget, but keep things on track? Or not? Add your two cents to the conversation.

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