Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Budgeting is nothing more than measured spending…and if you measure incorrectly you’ll end up falling short. I’m Kristin Arnold with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Budgeting goes beyond monthly obligations like housing and car payments, groceries and utilities….

When you draw up a budget there are some critical points to consider that many people forget. In fact, consumers typically underestimate by between $350 and $1200 per month. Those extras you don’t think about come in the form of lunches and dinners out, car repairs, unexpected fixes to your home, even unexpected trips to visit family and friends.

Another often missed budget priority is to stockpile six months worth of living expenses…once you’ve reached your amass target amount, you can take it off your budget.

Tapping into your living expenses at the holidays and other special occasions? That’s probably because you forgot to add in extra money for gifts.

A working budget isn’t something you set and forget. Your budget’s like your desk calendar: If it’s going to do you any good, it has to be current.

To get a better grip on your budget, visit Bankrate.com….I’m Kristin Arnold.