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Spending: It’s not in the Budget

When you think about it, a budget is only as good as what you recognize you’re going to be buying. Unfortunately, a lot of people leave these items out of their budget.

  • Pets. There are regular vet visits, food, treats, and kennel stays. Americans spent about $55 billion on their pets last year.
  • Travel. Trips by auto or plane to see family, go to class reunions, go on vacations, or go see friends.
  • Home Maintenance. There are all kinds of “sneaky expenses” – leaky gutters, painting, replacing the water heater, and repairing a leaky roof –the list goes on and on.
  • Non-monthly bills, such as, property taxes, and homeowners and auto insurance.
  • Gifts. Gifts for birthdays, holidays, office parties, graduations, weddings . . . well you get the idea. Budget what you can afford for gifts and stick to it.
  • Fun Money. My mom used to call it Mad Money. It’s a good idea for husbands and wives to have a monthly allowance that can be spent any way they want until the allowance is used up.

Remember, that a budget – I prefer to call it a spending plan – can be your friend. It’s the financial tool that will help you get out of debt, become more generous, and save and invest for the future. To learn more log on to www.compass1.org.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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