As January is almost over, I’m sure many of you have already forgotten what your New Year’s resolution was for 2021. Or perhaps, like me, you decided not to have one, as you never keep them. Maybe your resolution was to save more money or to get better at budgeting this year. Even after budgeting every month for over a decade, I still make a new budget each month for our family.
Here are 5 signs your Budget needs a fresh start:
#1: You use the same exact budget every month. While you can use the autofill option for your budget to get it started, you want to make sure you look at the expenses for the month and see which ones you don’t need any longer and which ones you need to add money to for the month. Think through your month as you create your budget.
#2: You aren’t tracking purchases. Your budget does you no good if you just create it and then forget about it. Every time you make a purchase you need to log it into your budget. Most budget programs have Apps for your phone, which make this very easy. Budgeting is the plan. Tracking is how you keep with the plan.
#3: You overspend in one category...a lot. I call these budget buster categories… groceries, dining out, miscellaneous. You need to look at these categories and see if you need to increase the budget for them or if you need to cut back on your spending in that area of your life. Sometimes simple life changes, like making your own coffee, can make a huge difference in these budget categories.
#4: You need a new budget category. When new long-term expenses come into your life, they should be added into your budget. So if you recently subscribed to a new monthly service or subscription, make sure that you give it a category in your budget.
#5: You aren’t budgeting to zero. If there is money left to be budgeted at the end of the month, then you aren’t doing it right. Look at which Baby Step you are on and put the money towards that step.