Budgeting is not a perfect science. Life happens. This month, we had a few budget issues.
Remember, we use a 28-day budget so our month ends tomorrow. I usually review our budget every few days, entering transactions that have occurred since my last review. This month we had two categories that were over budget: medical and groceries. Both categories were over because my husband and I got sick this month. My husband also had some dental work done and the cost was higher than the dentist estimated.
There are two options when you go over budget. You can dip into your emergency fund or adjust other categories. Now, I was not expecting the dental work to cost as much as it did so I guess I could have dipped into my $1,000 emergency fund. I hate touching my emergency fund. When the transmission went on one of the cars, I didn’t touch the emergency fund. I just like having the $1,000 there. There has to be something pretty catastrophic for me to touch it. I was not touching it this month.
On to option two: adjusting other categories. Now, because we were sick, we didn’t do much in the way of date nights. I also had some blow money left and some money in the gas account. I moved some things around to cover the shortage. Life didn’t end because we overspent two categories. I even have some money left to put down on the snowball.
Whenever we bust a category, I always go back to see why. I know why we went over on the medical: bad estimate and we were both sick (copay, medicine, etc). We overspent on groceries because when I am sick, my husband buys “guy food.” Guy food includes white bread, block cheese, bologna, chips, mac and cheese and cereal. I had planned a bunch of meals but because I was sick, I didn’t get to make any of those things. Luckily, I will be making those things this month so there is really no money lost. Hopefully, my grocery budget will be under budget next month because of the food we didn’t use this month. There is little I can do about going over the grocery budget if I am sick.
Sometimes, things go over budget. Life happens. Do not panic. Do not throw your budget out the window. Make adjustments and keep at it.