Breaking the Budget: When to Spend More Than You Normally Might

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

We all want to stick to our goals, but the reality is life doesn't always go according to plan. By now you've made a budget, you've been trying to stick to it, but sometimes it's ok to spend a little more than you originally planned on.

Paying Down Your Debt

It is good to have a little wiggle room in your bank account, but it might be worth ponying up a little more every month to pay down your debt. It might make things tight for a while, but your future self will thank you. Here's an idea: try the "Debt Snowball" method. You list your debts in order of least to greatest, then you pay a little more on the smaller ones every month in order to pay them off first. The idea is seeing your small debts paid will give you the momentum to keep going on those larger debts.

Another option is the "Debt Avalanche" method. In this one you will pay off those debts based on which one has the highest interest rate. You might not get to see debts being paid off as quickly as the "Debt Snowball" method, but it could save you thousands of dollars in interest.

Having Fun

If you're trying to be really aggressive about saving money, you might be hesitant to give yourself an allowance for fun activities. It turns out that might actually backfire. Saving money and sticking to a budget can be hard, so splurging here or there for a fun activity can do you a lot of good. That's something you may have forgot to include in your budget, so you may want to add a line in there to keep it as a regular thing. Experts recommend setting aside 10 percent of your paycheck for that.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
3% cash back means cheaper bar tabs
Show more
Everyday Rewards
1%
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Level
720850
Excellent Credit
Highlights
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 2% at grocery stores
  • 1% on everything else

Unexpected Expenses

Sometimes life may throw you a curveball, and your neatly figured out budget just gets tossed into the fire. If your car unexpectedly needs replaced or your refrigerator decides to stop working, you can't exactly just go without it. Hopefully you've had some time to grow that emergency fund (you remembered to put that in the budget, right?). If not, it's always ok to pull from elsewhere in your funding to make sure those necessities are provided. You can't exactly stick to that budget if you no longer have a way to get to work.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa
Lengthy intro period with 0% APR
Show more
Intro Period Months
18
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Credit Level
690
850
Excellent and Good Credit
Highlights
  • Up to $600 of protection for your cell phone which covers damage and theft when you pay your cell phone bill with this card. 
  • Gain free access to your FICO credit score.
Advertiser Disclosure
The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which CardGuru.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including the order in which they may appear within listing categories. CardGuru.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.
Editorial Note
Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.