Examining Your Budget (Again)
Each day of the series offers new tips, ideas and a challenge to start the year with a solid financial plan.
Whew—we made it! After trudging through the budget through the last month, we have made some adjustments, eliminated a few things and come up with a few ideas for increasing income to payoff debt. Now, it’s time to do it again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
A good budget is constantly evolving—what sounds like a need now, may not seem so important next month once you get the hang of some money saving ideas. And, the things you cut out now may be worked back in one day, after you’ve paid down your debt or eliminated another payment.
Now that you have a working budget, the process will be a little easier. You are starting from scratch, learning how to budget all over again. You just need to take a look at each line item on a regular basis. Ideally, we go over our budget each month. In reality, it happens every few months—I try to sit down with things at least once per quarter, since needs & payments can often change seasonally.
If there’s one thing this process has taught me, it’s that I need to be more purposeful about managing our finances. We have a weekly budget meeting on the calendar, but it’s too much & often doesn’t happen. We’re officially cutting it down to once per month—setting aside an hour each payday to go over last month’s expenses, consider next month’s needs and revise our budget accordingly.
Pick a time, put it on your calendar and customize your budget each month.
I’m not a financial planner or a budget expert. I’ll just be walking you through the steps I take each time my budget needs an adjustment. In fact, I’ll be participating myself!