Staying On Top Of Your Balance: Adhering To A Budget

8 November 2014


Do you check it? I'm referring to your bank account... when you've put in your time at work and you get your pay stub, cheque, or pre-authorized payment, do you log in to your bank account online (or do you check it out on an ATM machine sponsored by the financial institution that you're with)?

It's always important to ensure that the money you're working so hard to earn is actually going into your bank account - there may be instances where you may not be getting the allotted amount of earnings that you're expecting, especially when you're factoring in overtime, extra shifts, and holidays. No matter where you work, it can happen, so it's crucial that you stay on top of this so that you get exactly what you worked for.

It doesn't mean that it was a deliberate mistake from your employer - we're all human, and accidents can happen. However, it's important to ensure that you keep an eye on your account balance, or it can lead to problems.

For example, let's look at credit card spending. This can be very dangerous when you don't check your account balance on a regular basis. If you can't pay off your credit card bill's minimum payment in time, it can have a detrimental effect on your credit card rating. You may not think that's too hard to do, but this can typically happen if you forget to pay your bill on time. Let's face it - when the bills are coming in each month, there are many occasions when we'll tell ourselves that we'll take a look at it "later". Well, in life we usually deal with a large amount of distractions that can keep us busy, and as the days go by, we may forget to make these payments. That's when the problems can really begin.

Also, if you're just making a minimum payment on your credit card bill, it will ultimately lead to you owing much more. After all, credit card fees are pretty astronomical! When you're paying 20% of fees on an outstanding amount of $10,000, that's $2,000 extra dollars that you owe. This is why you need to keep track of what you can actually afford.

Adhering to a budget doesn't have to be difficult, but you will need to take some time to adjust to it, especially if you're used to spending your money freely. When you start to have bills to pay, you usually end up being a little more careful with your spending. I look back on the time when I was in high school and didn't have any bills to worry about - whenever I got my bi-weekly paycheque from work, I would usually spend my earnings on an expensive cocktail of electronics from retailers like Future Shop and EB Games, restaurants, and unnecessary junk food (I really didn't need to buy a $20 box of 120 frozen croissants, but I did - I guess that's what happens when you work in a grocery store).

Nowadays, I'm much more careful about spending my money on unnecessary things. We all need to have some fun in our lives, and I still make some fringe purchases, but I always ensure that I can afford them without any issues. I look ahead to the next few months, and I set a goal for how much money I want to save. If I can still save the amount of money that I planned to put aside in my savings account, then I'll justify my purchase. If not, then I remind myself that I don't really need to waste my money.

It's also comforting to know the exact amount of money that you have in your bank account, since it can help you make some more responsible decisions regarding fringe purchases. You can always refer to this great site, My Money Coach for some effective and helpful money-saving tips.

What are some of the ways that you save your money? How do you handle your budget, and are you comfortable with your "system"? Feel free to leave your comments below! Thank you, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!

Photo credit: Duncan Allan

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