One of the significant reasons why you fail to have your budget work for you the way you want is being unable to manage your living expenses. It includes your daily costs related to food, travel, shopping, and the like. Knowing how much your daily expenses cost you every month is vital to ensure that you are within your budget.

Most people slag off budgeting for all time as it does not work the way they expected, but the fact is that it is your mismanagement that results in it. Creating a budget is one thing and ensuring your living cost within the budget is another.

You have divided your expenses into different categories, and you are all set to go, but this is just one step. You will have to track your expenses to avoid running out of money, especially when a financial emergency pops up.

Your living costs include expected and unforeseen expenses. With the help of a budget, you will be able to meet all of your costs and have fun too.

What is a living expenses budget?

You can say it is a regular budget because it is nothing but a budget created around your living expenses. Living expenses are those that you make every day that include but are not limited to grocery, rent, fuel charges, and the like.

You should have a living expense budget because it will let you know how many portions of your income are going toward your daily expenses and how you can cut back on them to allow for a bigger emergency cushion.

Sometimes you find it difficult to set up even a little amount of money by the end of the month as you are spending more than your income. You cannot get to know an accurate figure for your spending unless you create a budget.

Having a living expense budget can help you avoid falling into debt owing to overspending. Many people do not bother about their daily expenses and then end up taking out a personal loan to pay rent. The cost of living varies by individual.

Your lifestyle and your living area determine how much you will need every month to get by. If you are mulling over moving out, you are recommended to have an idea of the living cost of that area. You can use living calculators to find out the estimated cost.

What should you include in living expenses?

As you know that expenses that you make in your daily life are considered living expenses, you can include even those expenses that do not fall within this category, like personal care. If you are making a budget for living expenses, you should know what they are.

The main categories that fall under living expenses include food, housing, transportation, clothing and healthcare. All these are essential expenses you can live without. Understanding what comes under each category will help you create an effective budget. The following table includes costs that come under each of these categories:

Mortgage payments or rentMeals and beveragesDaily clothingInsurance premiumsAuto loan payments
UtilitiesPersonal care items like shampooFormal wearOver-the-counter drugsCar insurance
InsuranceCleaning suppliesBoots, shoes and socksCopaysFuel and gas bills
Property tax   Parking fees
General maintenance   Public transport tickets
    Taxi fares

Some other expenses do not fit in any of the categories. These include but are not limited to:

  • Cell phone bills
  • Broadband
  • Child necessities

What expenses are not considered living expenses?

Now you have got to know what kind of expenses you are to target while budgeting, but there are a lot of other costs that you cannot count as necessities. These expenses include discretionary expenses. You will also need to create a budget for your money on recreational activities.

These expenses are inessential in nature. They include cable subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, dine out, nights out, and so forth.

Other costs that cannot be treated like living cost includes pet cost, personal care like spa, holiday gifts, birthday celebrations, and donations.

To make a budget for living expenses successful, you will have to set the limit for discretionary expenses as well.

Tips for creating a budget for living expenses

You know what expenses are essential and what are inessential. Now is the time to take the plunge. To create a budget that works for your lifestyle, you must have the answer to the following questions:

  • How much of your income is to be spent on living expenses?

Your living cost depends on your monthly income and the cost of living in your city. for instance, the amount of rent depends on the location where you are living in. Likewise, your grocery budget depends on the size of your household and your consumption.

If you live in an expensive city, your monthly salary will also be higher than your counterparts living in cheaper cities or outskirts. Therefore, your lifestyle does not need to come in the way of successfully sticking to your budget.

You should focus on the main categories while deciding the spending limit for your living expenses. Experts suggest following a 50/30/20 rule, which states that you should spend 50% of your monthly income on your needs, 30% of your income on your discretionary expenses and 20% on your savings.

If you live in an expensive city, it is likely that you cannot meet all of your essential expenses within the 50% budget. In that case, you can make it to 60%. Of course, you will have only 20% of your salary on inessential expenses.

One of the benefits of following this budgeting rule is that you will have savings growing. If you come up with an emergency, for instance, your job, you can use savings to get by. If any unexpected expenses crop up, you can take out emergency same day loans for unemployed.

Whether you follow the 50/30/20 rule or the 60/20/20 rule, they are flexible. Based on your needs, you can whittle down your spending on discretionary expenses. Make sure you do not compromise your savings.

  • What if your current income cannot cover your living cost?

If it is just the starting of your career or you are living in a very expensive city, you will unlikely be able to cover the whole of your living cost. Here is what you should do to make your budget work for you:

Get a side gig

Though you will have to pare down your expenses, consider finding a side gig. You can get work from freelancing sites.

However, if your profile does not match available fields on those sites, you should try to earn money by becoming an Uber driver, babysitter, waitress, and walking a dog.

You can make a lot of money from these side hustles. You can use them to meet your daily expenses. If some money is left, transfer it to your savings.

Seek a higher pay

Some people manage to get by when financial emergencies pop up. For instance, you can have difficulty when you lose your job. Although you can take out payday loans for unemployed on benefits, you may not be in a situation to borrow money every time. Therefore, try to seek a job with higher pay.

The bottom line

Budgeting for living expenses can help you stop living paycheque to paycheque. You will be able to manage your daily expenses while leaving some room for your entertainment.

As budgeting prevents overspending, you will stay organised even when a financial emergency pops up. Track your budgeting, so you do not fall off the track.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.