When’s the last time you scheduled a budget check-in? 📊
If you’ve been blindly copying your budget over month after month without assessing your spending and income - you’re definitely due a budget check-in!
Unless your spending is the same every month (which would be pretty impressive), your budget likely won’t be the same, either.
Get comfy, grab a notepad, and ask yourself these 5 questions in your next budget check-in:
1) How did my actual spending compare with my projected spending?
Load up your budget from last month and take a look at your bank statement for the last 30 days. Did you manage to stick within your budget? Is there anywhere you spent less money than expected? Or did you go slightly over/were there any unexpected costs that caught you off guard?
2) What was the underlying reason for any overspending?
Where did I overspend last month and what was the reason?
We can overspend for many reasons - emotional, hungry, happy, bored - getting to the root cause of why you spent more money than planned will help you take preventative measures against your money triggers next time.
3) How do I feel about the purchases I made?
Now that you've analysed what led you to overspend, have a think about the purchases you made in general.
Highlight every purchase as a 'need' or 'want', and then assess how you felt before, during and after that purchase - and how you feel about it now. Impulse spending can cause us to spend money on things we later regret, but if that takeaway coffee or a trip to the cinema brought you joy (and it was within the budget), you're on the right track!
4) Are there any areas I can cut back on spending to reach my goals?
If your goals have changed slightly since your last budget check-in, it's time to update these too! How is your progress towards your goals? Is there anything you need to change/are there any areas you can cut back on next month to reach your goals sooner?
5) What can I do better next month?
Finally, ask yourself in what ways you could do better with your budget next month. For example, is there anything you can do to increase your income e.g. with a side hustle*? Are there any bills you can negotiate to get a lower price and save more?
Most of all, don't beat yourself up over any spending mistakes - it takes time to perfect a budget!
Check out MoneyTalkNews for more questions to keep your spending in check
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