Don’t try to be perfect when budgeting

The final tip on budgeting this week is this: don’t get caught up in perfection.

Yes, it’s important to keep track of every penny, but if you are setting up a budget for you and your family, leave a little “wiggle room”. I suggest that each spouse be given some amount of money that they can spend each month that they don’t have to keep track of or account for. It will be a relatively small number, based on what you can afford.

For example, perhaps we each get $20 per week to spend on whatever we want. I can spend it on coffee, or magazines, or candy. It doesn’t matter; it’s my money to spend on anything I want. We agree that most of our money goes towards rent, food, and the other important expenses, but it’s wise to set aside a small amount of money to spend on whatever you want. If you each have some “spending money” you can buy what you want, and not worry about your spouse “looking over your shoulder”. Eliminating arguments makes budgeting easier.

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