When it comes to money, it can be hard to manage spending. Between unexpected expenses, holidays, and the occasional desire to splurge, it can be hard to keep money in the bank. This is even harder when it’s a struggle to make ends meet. Many people set up a budget to control spending and make sure their bank accounts don’t run dry. However, there are common mistakes that you might be making that make budgeting even harder. First, many people don’t keep track of spending. You might have an outline for monthly bills, but do you keep track of your daily cup of coffee? What about that day you forgot to pack lunch, so you stopped by a fast food restaurant? Or that time you had to run to the dollar store for shampoo? No matter how small the purchase is, making a note of it will help to keep you on track. Everyone has random expenses, but making sure you know what you’re spending will make a big difference in making it to next payday. There are several free programs and apps that you can use to help, including Mint (https://www.mint.com/) and Buxfer (https://www.buxfer.com/). The next common mistake is making your budget too tight. Every month, you’ll have unexpected expenses, and leaving some room for these is very important in managing your money. If you make your budget to closely match your regular expenses, you’ll likely find yourself struggling to afford sudden issues. What if you need to see the doctor? Or maybe your child needs supplies for a school project? These kinds of things will hurt your budget if you don’t prepare for them. And if you don’t have any of these unexpected costs? Well, you’ll have more money by payday that can go into savings! Third, and on that note, keep in mind that you’ll need something to go into savings. Having money saved helps to cover emergencies, and you’ll need it as you get older. When you make your budget, decide what you can afford to put into your savings, and do your best to leave it there. It can be tempting to use some of our savings to buy things we want, but it’s better in the long run to just let it build up.Finally, try to learn to avoid impulse spending. When you see something you want, take a minute to think about a couple things. First, do you need it? Many people buy things that just take up space, or that are never used. Second, think about your budget. Will buying that new movie wreck your budget for the month? If the answer is “yes,” it’s probably best to wait until you have room in your budget for it.