Monthly Budget Routine
October 03, 2023
A budget is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing in your life. It also doesn't need to be a huge time commitment. When you first start out, it may take more diligence and time until you are comfortable with the budgeting process. Once you get your budgeting routine down, it should take no more than a few minutes each day. It could take even less, depending on your spending habits and lifestyle. Remember, we are making a plan for our money, so we need to engage with our budget throughout the month to make sure we are following our plan.
Daily Budget Checklist
These are the items that you should be doing daily or whenever you are spending money. Now I know that sounds intimidating or overwhelming to have to do something every day, but the longer you start to budget, the quicker the process becomes. With Ploutos Budget, checking category balances takes seconds. If you use the widgets on your phone, you don't even need to open the app.
- Check the budget category before spending money.
- Categorize any new transactions.
- Cover any overspending in budget categories.
Weekly or Payday Budget Checklist
These are the items that we should be doing once a week, or at the very least every time we get paid. Again, this process should not take you long at all, especially if you are performing the daily budget checklist. If we are not engaging with our budget, then we cannot trust that it is accurate. Reconciling your accounts means comparing what Ploutos Budget says our bank balance is versus what our actual bank says it is and making sure they match. If they don't, then we need to find the missing or duplicated transaction and fix it.
- Allocate new dollars towards your categories based on your goals.
- Reconcile all of your accounts.
Monthly Budget Checklist
Yup, you guessed it—these are the items we do at least once a month. One of our goals when budgeting is to get to the point where we are a month ahead. That means we want to budget the money we make this month for next month's use. If you are keeping up with your budget, this is where it really pays off. Having to do your monthly checklist should only take a few minutes if you have been diligent with your budget throughout the month. If you haven't been keeping up with your budget, that's ok. This is where we can get everything back on track and reconcile our accounts again. Here is a list of items to complete before closing out a month and moving on to the next.
- Zero out non-sinking fund balances.
- Review and adjust monthly goals if necessary.
- Start budgeting available dollars for the next month.
Following these checklists will help you engage more with your budget and, in turn, make it more accurate and easier to follow. If you are new to budgeting or have struggled sticking to your budget in the past, try implementing these budget routines into your day-to-day life.
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