Monday, July 2, 2018

4 Questions To Ask Yourself At The End Of Each Month To Stay On Budget by Aisha Taylor

The idea of a “budget,” can be intimidating. However, budgets are designed to help give you a framework of what you can do. Just like an architect would never build a structure without a blueprint, you should not manage your finances without a plan.

The end of each month is a great time to review your budget and how well you followed it. This will allow you to track and monitor your progress, respond to financial challenges within a reasonable time, and increase the likelihood that you will adhere to your budget.

To help guide you in reviewing your budget, ask yourself the 4 questions below at the end of each month.

Question 1: Did I follow my budget?

Creating a budget can be challenging, but following it is no joke! Therefore, kudos to you if you were able to follow it or even kind of follow it. If you found that you had challenges following your budget and that you did overspend, then congratulate yourself for trying, forgive yourself for overspending, and commit yourself to start over next month. Then, calculate any overdraft fees charged by totaling the amount spent on fees and evaluate the transactions that caused the overspending.

Question 2: Did I pay all of my bills on time and in full?

At the conclusion of each month, review all of your monthly expenses and evaluate whether or not you paid them on time and in full. If you paid any bills late, then indicate which bills were late, by how many days, and why. If you didn’t pay your bills in full and on time, then don’t avoid the late payments. Make payment arrangements to pay it off over time and then adjust your budget going forward by adding the incremental amount to the budgets in the subsequent months.

Question 3: Is there anything that I want to adjust for the next month?

Take the time to assess your progress towards your financial goals and monthly budgeting. After doing this exercise, you may decide that you need to make some changes to your plan and that is okay. If something in the budget isn’t working then feel free to change it and re-adjust the spending categories as you need to until you find something that works for you and your family. 

Question 4: How much closer am I to achieving my goals?

If you don’t pay attention to and monitor your progress towards your goals, then you can easily forget about them as you focus on day-to-day living. As you assess the progress towards your goals you want to understand how much you contributed towards your financial goals this month and whether it was this more than, less than, or on track with what you planned. 


This may seem like a lot of work at the end of each month, but going through this process will help you to fine-tune your spending and put you in a better financial position going forward.

Learn more about Aisha at, Twitter: @FNPhenomenal

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