Over time, even the most fastidious money managers run up against the budget thieves. You know how it happens — your beautifully devised budgets seem to be missing a few dollars here and there — and that can add up to significant losses.
To bring your budget thieves to light, you have to become a financial detective. Track your expenses for a month, entering each expense under its respective budget category.
Categories can include:
- Debt Service
You can also use our budget tracking spreadsheet. Be careful to avoid catch-all categories such as “Miscellaneous.” That’s where budget thieves really like to hide!
Now, compare your actual expenses to what you planned to spend. Your budget thieves are any expenses that are more than 10% over the budgeted amount. To eliminate them, work on reducing this percentage over time.
A powerful free tool that will help you quickly evaluate your income and expenses to help you your income, expenses and cash flow.