Even when you’re young and seemingly carefree, you need a budget. A budget will help you identify any weaknesses in your financial health, as well as help you keep track of all of your expenses. If you’re a young person, you might be overwhelmed by the idea of making a budget. Your lifestyle does not need to change. In fact, a budget can help improve it. Here are some mistakes young people should avoid when creating a budget.
1. Missing Medical Appointments
Make sure that you budget for medical appointments. You should be visiting your doctor, dentist, and other specialists regularly. It can be tempting to skip those appointments and save the co-pay. However, these appointments are when you can stop minor problems from becoming major issues. For instance, your dentist might want to send you to an orthodontist. An estimated 50% to 75% of people could benefit from orthodontic treatment. If you start those early, you might not need as much. Then you won’t have to change your lifestyle to support your medical needs.
2. Ignoring Bills
If you think your lifestyle might be too indulgent, it can be stressful to see the bills arrive. However, you should never ignore bills. Not only can you easily lose track of them, but you might end up getting charged late fees. For instance, more than 35.7 million people in the US stayed in a hospital in 2016. Those bills can be expensive, but you should never ignore them. Instead, either pay them off or work with the hospital to figure out your payment options. If you ignore bills when creating your budget, you’ll just end up going over budget eventually.
3. Losing Track of Expenses
The point of a budget is to keep track of your income and your expenses. Don’t lose track of your expenses as you create your budget. This could lead to you underestimating how much money you have to spend. Take your time creating your budget and make sure that you have any monthly expenses included. You’ll also need to consider the occasional expenses and set money aside for emergency expenses. This can get complicated, so you don’t need to worry about doing it all at once. Instead, take some time to figure out what your expenses are. Then, once you’re sure that you have a consistent lifestyle and that the expenses reflect that, use this information to build your budget.
4. Impulse Shopping
Your budget should have money set aside for all of your needs. You should plan for things like groceries, but you should also put some money aside for fun. However, you want to avoid impulse shopping. Impulse shopping could be as small as a coffee or as large as a property. If you decide that a timeshare is a good option for you, it could wreck your budget. Then, you might not be able to get your money back. Resale timeshares often sell for only 50% of the original price. Sometimes it’s even closer to 30%. So make sure that you aren’t shopping impulsively. Note down what it is that you wanted to buy, then make a plan to get it. This will help you maintain your budget while living the lifestyle you want. The occasional impulse buy won’t wreck you, but if it becomes a habit, the consequences can be severe.
When young people create a budget, there are so many things to consider that it can become overwhelming. However, it is an essential part of staying financially healthy. If you’re planning your first budget, keep these tips in mind. Apply them as you create your budget and it will be a much smoother process.