Mar 31 2009

What do you do with unspent budgeted money?


On Monday evening, we got back from a quick visit to see family in Indiana. It was our baby’s first time out of the county, so I was a bit stressed about how the trip would go. It took us 10 hours to get to our final destination, and he screamed for a bit and was completely inconsolable toward the end. However, he slept most of the return trip and it went much better! So that’s why I haven’t been posting — I’ve been visiting family and friends.

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Since Shane gets paid monthly, we do our budget month to month. We usually spend most of it on paper and have $50 to $100 left over to use as wiggle room. It’s fun when we get to the end of the month and have a little more left than we had initially planned.

So what to do with it?

Sometimes we roll it into the next month’s budget and use it for a little more wiggle room. I like this option when we have some things planned — like travel or visitors or an irregular expense.

Other times, we take the balance and pop it into savings or toward debt. 

Once in awhile, the money just gets absorbed and spent somewhere.

I prefer for us to have a purpose for the money, whether it’s a purchase or intended for savings.

What do you do with money that makes it to the next payday?

Posted under Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “What do you do with unspent budgeted money?”

  1. I was just pondering this same subject as I balanced my checkbook this morning. I would say that up until now we have just rolled this amount (usually between $50 to $150) over to the next month. But now that we have our emergency fund initial goal accomplished (yay!), we have started our aggressive debt payoff, so I am going to apply whatever is left over at the end of the month toward debt from this month forward.

  2. We roll our extra money at the end of the month into whatever the big saving-goal-of-the-moment. Right now, that’s a 6-month emergency fund. It’s the same concept as the Snowball debt-repayment method, but I’m paying myself instead of the loan company.

    I agree about not liking it when the extra just gets “absorbed”- it seems like a waste, when the money could be earmarked for something specific.

  3. Ideally, the money would get put onto whatever debt I’m focusing on, but a lot of times it just gets absorbed into the budget… or it gets used to buy things that stress out my normal budget. Like the huge bag of cat food I buy every few months, or a pair of shoes, a baby shower gift. That’s where the surviving money (if there is any) has been going lately.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Spending Money

  4. Now that we are debt free extra $$ usually goes into savings. Prior to that, it got rolled into the debt snowball.

  5. Its funny you blogged about this topic– we are in the same boat this month. I just spent our bills on paper and we have a $75 surplus. Since our baby is coming in July, we’ve decided to put it in our savings to beef it up a bit. I’d like to see if I could make it an even $100 through making some extra money or using less for food than we planned. We’ll see!

    Just out of curiosity, how much do you budget for diapers? I know you built a stockpile before your baby came, which I’m working on. What do you budget for on a regular basis? Or did you decide to go cloth?

    Rachel’s last blog post..Keep it Simple

  6. I throw mine into savings. Like you, I’ve recently gone into super savings stealth mode. ;) I figure it can’t hurt to have it in there!

    I will admit, sometimes I do spend it on an extra little treat though. :)

    Mrs. Money’s last blog post..Monday Link Love & Giveaway Winner!

  7. Use unspent money to create a buffer for things where prices aren’t stable. If gas is $2 today and you budgeted x amount and it’s $3 in 6 months you’re going to have a hard time getting by on your original budget for gas.

    hejustlaughs’s last blog post..The 2 dollar bill experiment.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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