Around here we find it easier to manage our spending and savings on a weekly basis versus monthly. The monthly budget is conventional and more widely used but let’s be honest–a LOT can happen in 30 days. To my delight, we have more success using a weekly plan and will try to stick with it as long as possible.
For overall planning purposes, we begin with a monthly budget making it easier to outline all of the expected income and expenses. But to ensure that we stay the course and that we don’t end up on a slippery slope of overspending, a weekly budget is a must.
As of today, we are exactly 7 days into the month of February and this is how we approach our weekly spending plan. Checks and income went on deposit last Friday, February the 1st. Using the calendar on my iPad, I pulled due dates and payments for bills that were due the 1st week of February–the mortgage, cable, insurance, etc.
Once I totaled the sum of those bills, the hubby and I began to make estimates for our “other” spending over the next 7 days–grocery, household spending, eating out, parking, gas, etc. Ironically you spend from these categories on a weekly basis AND they are the easiest to OVERSPEND. If you get a good grasp on these categories, you can quickly identify ways to save more of your hard-earned dineros!
Another key component of a weekly budget is to pay the bill during the week that it’s due. This will prevent you from using money from a new week to pay bills from last week. Hope that was clear.
This is IMPORTANT. As the week begins to close out, say day 5 or 6, look at your bank transactions. Were all of the bills that you intended to pay paid? Did you spend in any categories that were not in your budget? Take a total of all of your spending–if your actual spending exceeds your budgeted amounts, quickly identify what derailed your plans. Don’t go into week 2 with the same plan if it didn’t work in week 1. Be gracious to yourself and make changes that will help you have success. Avoid sanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results.
So here is our recap of week 1, February!
Grocery – Goal: Budgeted $100 in cash. Result: Spent $100 but decided to withdraw an extra $20 to cover additional fruit and veggies to support my fascination (addiction) with juicing. It’s so worth it! Going forward I will add $20 to this category.
Household – Goal: Budgeted $40 in cash. Result: Used cash and came in under budget. The hubby handled this one. Being quite honest with myself, I cannot go to Target and stay focused. I. Cannot.
Eating out – Goal: Budgeted $35. Result: Passed. If not careful this one can get out of control. We know that it’s healthier and cheaper to eat at home. We’re not Legalistic so we threw in this small amount just to cover if we needed to quickly grab something to eat.
Gas (automobile) – Goal: Budgeted $86. Result: Failed. I did not allot enough to cover the hubby’s gas guzzler. Going forward this amount will be $100/week.
Final RESULT…we saved $356 in the 1st week of the month! I have to be honest, this is normally lost in the woes of mismanagement. Not anymore!
Do you think a weekly analysis could work for you? Why or why not?