Flexible budgeting doesn’t mean go out and spend what you want…be “flexible” any and every time you want to buy something. Nor does it mean you should feel free to take out an auto title loan just because you need extra cash or want to make a big ticket purchase. Flexible spending means having a budget and sticking to it, but giving yourself some leeway so you don’t feel trapped or stifled by your monthly financial blue print.
For those of us who know how to run our finances, we are well aware of how much money comes in and goes out every pay cycle. Stretching a dollar may be routine for many while borrowing on an auto title loan may be the only answer for others. It never fails that once we feel comfortable with the budget we have set forth and have confidence that the bills will be paid (and on time), a car breaks down, we have to take a trip to the dentist, or we see something we “have to have” for our house or backyard.
It’s frustrating if you have to tell yourself “no” all the time but with every penny accounted for in your budget, there never seems to be room for what may come unexpectedly. If you don’t have some sort of money cushion, not only will you feel frustrated but you may find yourself forced to take out an auto title loan because you have nothing left in your budget for expenses you haven’t planned for. Bringing some flexibility to your spending routine may help you feel better about your money and give you some security for the future. Here are a few ways to incorporate “flexible budgeting” into your life without feeling like you have lost control of your finances:
*Loosen your purse strings- The most common form of budgeting is one that accounts for every single dollar that you make and spend. Although it has been known to work, you may find yourself feeling trapped and claustrophobic when it comes to money. Find ways to let your budget breath a little bit. Take a close look at your frivolous spending habits as well as ways you can cut back on overall spending. Giving yourself more wiggle room financially (even as little as 10% of your spending) can help you breath easier when it comes to finances. You won’t feel the strain of having to have every single penny accounted for.
*Budgeting for a splurge- Almost of all of us can admit that we like to splurge on a purchase from time to time but most often those “treat myself” moments aren’t a part of our budget. Going overboard on splurges , or the opposite, squeezing our wallet so tight that there is no extra room for random spending, we aren’t able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. If you make splurging a part of your budget (the amount you set aside needs to be reasonable!) you will give yourself peace of mind knowing that whatever it is you happen to buy; it’s accounted for in your finances.
*Stay levelheaded- Every aspect of your budget needs to be in reason. If you find yourself being to flexible, you may end up digging a financial hole for yourself and finding yourself forced to take out an auto title loan or use a credit card to pay your bills. Perhaps an auto title loan is part of your budget already and you are trying to pay it off. Making purchases that are not within reason put’s you at risk for defaulting on your loan and possible having your car repossessed. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your “wants” versus “needs”.