I keep my family on a very detailed budget. We have a budget for savings, groceries, entertainment, and more. After the bills are paid each month, I tweak the budgets to match the amount we have remaining. Oftentimes, there is money left over from the various budgets at the end of the month, and this is how we reallocate it.
Roll it over to the next month
My family is what most people consider middle class. We aren't rich, but we definitely struggle a little less than others. Given everything we have to pay, our budgets aren't nearly as comfortable as we would like them to be. Our grocery budget is around $250 a month, which can be limiting at times. However, if I'm able to get a few good deals while shopping there is a chance we could have money left over. I usually hold on to any extra money and add it to the next month's grocery budget. Food is something we will always need, so upping our budget is a good thing.
Add it to our savings
Finding money to save can be difficult at the best of times. Sometimes when there is money left over at the end of the month I move it to savings. For example, our entertainment budget is around $150 a month, and the cost of entertainment varies depending on what we do each month, so there are times we have money left over. Recently, we managed to save $30 on entertainment, and that money went straight into our savings account.
There is rarely enough money left over for us to really splurge on anything, but it really comes down to what you consider a splurge. For me something as simple as buying a few crafting supplies is often a splurge. If there happens to be money left over at the end of the month, and there is something I really want, I have been known to use that extra money to purchase it. Admittedly, it's not the best use of our money, but no one is perfect.
Saying that money is "left over" sounds silly because most people do not have "extra" money. I know my husband I definitely aren't in the position to say we have money that isn't needed somewhere else. However, when there is budgeted money left over, we think long and hard before deciding what the best course of action is.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this contributor:
- Banking & Budgeting