The thought of accounting for every bit of money you touch can be intimidating, but the biggest budgeting flubs don’t require a math degree to fix. With some instruction and resolve, anyone can build a budget.
We talked with several financial planners to identify the most common and troublesome budgeting errors and help you avoid them. The pros agree: Skipping a budget entirely is the biggest mistake you can make. But once you’ve nailed one down, steer clear of these additional blunders.
1. Failing to track expenses
The accuracy of your budget and your ability to make progress toward financial goals depends on knowing what you’re spending. Being vague with these figures could set you up for failure.
“Quite frankly, most people have never stopped to think about how much money they actually spend on food or personal items,” says Justin Goodbread, a certified financial planner with Heritage Investors in Knoxville, Tennessee.