I’m addicted to overbudgeting

I’ve noticed a common theme in my personal finance journey… I frequently OVERbudget for things. Take for example my recent fuel estimation for my road trip to Seattle. I budgeted $760 for gas, but ended up only spending $560. Or look at my blog income. Last year, I budgeted $200/month for PDITF related earnings. When, in reality, I brought home almost $450/month from this here grammatically challenged website. Which reminds me, why the heck would anyone ever pay to advertise on this piece of garbage? I’m still trying to figure that out, but don’t get me wrong… I will gladly take your money 🙂

I don’t mean to, plan to, or even want to overbudget (granted, it is a much better problem to have than underbudgeting , or not budgeting at all). I’ve always heard the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem…here goes nothing…

oops..wrong confession…

Ah, it feels so good to say it out loud (or at least through a stick figure drawing). I’d like to think that I will be more realistic when making future financial assumptions, but let’s be honest…I’m gonna overbudget things for the rest of my life. It’s part of my financial DNA. This is one addiction I wont be breaking.

Do you tend to overbudget, underbudget, not budget, or accurately budget upcoming expenses? What expense gives you the biggest budgeting headache? (Mine is food, I like it…a lot… so I’m almost never close with my dining out estimations).

11 thoughts on “I’m addicted to overbudgeting”

  1. I always under-estimate what Hubby’s paycheck will be (he’s paid hourly and works lots of O/T), and I purposely budget with his pay prior to O/T. I don’t want him to feel obligated to work O/T all the time, and the extra money is gravy we set aside in our savings acct. to pay for a newer car and our U.S. acct. (spending money for a trip to the U.S. we plan to take sometime this year); hopefully we’ll save enough to get the newer car before our old car dies. We have a very generous grocery budget (we have a take-out meal once a week); we’re generally pretty close to the food budget every week.

  2. I underbudget my pay for the year (I don’t include overtime or bonus money). I also don’t budget my tax refund or tax due each year which is funny because I’m a tax guy (I like to surprise myself every year!). I tend to underbudget daily things like food, so I use a historical average method to keep myself on track.

  3. I like to overbudget because it makes me feel less stressed about overshooting several categories. We typically never spend $40 a month on “household” items (TP, cleaning stuff, etc.) or our budget on Personal Care. My wife and I spend some decent money on haircuts, but the extra money each month for person hygiene items only gets used every couple of months. We tend to over-budget EVERYTHING and there’s not any particular categories that we always struggle to stay under… Now that gas is going back up, we may have our first “headache!”


  4. I consciously over-budget. It makes me happy when I see more money in the bank than I expected. This might make me sound crazy, but it’s the little things that make me happy, so I enjoy the feeling of spending less than I planned.

  5. I tend to under-budget or cut it really close. My situation is such that my budget ends up being bare bones. Don’t feel sorry for me at all though! I do it because I’d rather spend money on plane tickets! There are days I dream of being able to over-budget, but today just isn’t that day! Only 9.5 more months of grad school!

  6. I think it’s good to overbudget, as least you either way, it’s a win/win solution. I can’t say the same for me, I’m only starting out and so don’t have anything to back me up but imo, it looks like it could be a good thing, that way you won’t be out of pocket in either situations, you’ll always have more than you expected! ^^

    Also, on a sidenote, one of your stick figures doesn’t seem to be sitting on the chair at all and seems to be 2D while the others are just right, 3D like they are actuallly sitting on chairs.. when they’re prob not? 😉

  7. It’s WAY better to overbudget than underbudget! The difference turns into savings … and then you can really watch your savings and your investments accelerate at rapid pace!

    Of course, it’s only savings if you save it … you could also blow it on a trip to Maui, which isn’t a bad idea, either. 🙂

  8. Due to many years of budgeting, I am pretty accurate with everything but food and gas right now. I did not consider how volatile the markets would be! I think gas will work itself out by year end, but food appears to be on an upward trend. I guess it is time to change the menus again!

  9. Over-budgeting doesn’t hurt, I do it sometimes especially when I travel. It will be better to estimate more rather than being short on cash when you are already taking the plan into action. 🙂

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