Archives For budget

Huddle up at the end of the month

How did you do? By this point you should have completed your pre-budgeting activities and completed your first monthly budget. What now?

At the end of the month or 1st day of the new month it’s time to huddle up with your money buddy (spouse or accountability parter if you’re single) and review how things went. This activity should only take 5-10 minutes once you get in the groove.

Huddle Around Your Budget in 4 Steps

1. Gather your budget, bank statements (online or paper), envelope system, open up your personal finance software, and sit down with your spouse or money buddy. (Reconcile your accounts if you haven’t done so yet.)

2. Celebrate any financial victories. If you never celebrate the small victories in life, chances are you won’t do much celebrating. Do a dance!

3. Did you go over budget?

  • Stayed in budget? Great! I knew you could do it!
  • Got money left over? Cool! What are you going to do with it? Roll it over to the next month? Put it towards debt or savings? Transfer it now.
  • Overbudget? That’s o.k. we all do sometimes. It will take several months to get a budget running smoothly. Now try to figure out what went wrong. Review some common budgeting mistakes you might have mande
4. Readjust your budget with what you learned for the coming month. If you’re able to pay off more debt or save a greater amount, then make it a priority.

Photo by joncandy

Action: Plan a post budget huddle. Go ahead and set a reminder for the rest of  year on the day you’ll  have your post budget huddle.

I like cheap birthday cake. You know what I’m talking about, you like it too. It’s the large sheet of cake from a place like Costco or  your big box store of choice. The frosting is 1″ thick with shapes of puppy dogs and even thicker icing balloons. It’s served a children’s birthday parties throughout the country. I can’t get enough of the stuff.

I know it’s not healthy, but that cake is one of my joys. Don’t get me wrong I won’t turn down a gourmet red velvet cupcake from a place like Sprinkles. It’s easy and comforting to have a little slice of that cake.

The cheap birthday cake is a bit like having a budget. It’s easy and cheap and gives you a bit of lasting joy. What? Yes, a budget is very simple to do. See how my wife and I have a budget party each month.

Having a budget will give you peace throughout the month as you know where your money is going. Also, knowing that you and your spouse are on the same page is like icing on the cake! So go ahead and eat some cake and while you’re at it, plan that budget party.

Action: Plan a Budget Party (Bonus points for cupcakes)

(Photo by A30_Tsitika)

[This is part of my How to Budget Like a Pro blog Series]