- by C.C.
Not sticking to a budget
To stick to a budget, first, you have to make one. Then, you have to be diligent about where your money goes. Not sure where to draw the line? Use the 50/30/20 guideline, where:
- 50 percent of your income should go to your fixed expenses, like rent or a mortgage, transportation, and utilities
- 30 percent should go to flexible spending, like groceries, eating out, entertainment, and gifts
- 20 percent goes to financial priorities, in this order: debt, emergency savings, and retirement
How to avoid it: Sites like Tiller can help you track your spending automatically, but they still require some management and fine-tuning from you.
They try to break things into categories like Food and Dining, Travel, and Miscellaneous so you can literally see where your money is going, but may not get everything right — and if they don’t, you can’t be sure which categories are going over budget. But it beats pen and paper by a long shot.