Mistake _ Not Planning for Upcoming Expenses _ When you are creating a monthly budget it is always helpful to save a certain amount of money for a given category even if you don't have that expense for the given month. For example, let's say you pay your car insurance every six month. It is important to take your payment and divide it by six. Then, each month you will want to save that amount so you have the insurance payment when it comes due instead of trying to come up with the whole amount in one given month. If you can do this for as many periodic expenses as possible, it will be easier to have a balanced budget each month.
Virtual Envelope Advantage : It's Easy to Get Started _ To get started, ask your bank if they can set up your Virtual Envelope budget categories as sub_accounts underneath your savings account. There should be no charge for doing this. If your bank will not provide this service for free, check around for other financial institutions in your area, including your local credit union. I've done virtual enveloping for about 30 years through a couple different credit unions. I've also had a couple colleagues using this approach. So don't take "sorry, we can't do that" as an answer from your existing financial institution.