It’s always a good idea to take what you’ve learned and periodically take it back to square one. That building block is often the foundation for reaching your goals. With your personal finance, square one is budgeting.
At least once every six months, you should:
- Review your budget for any big changes. Did your income change? Do you have a new expense you hadn’t already planned for? Take the time to reassess your budget and make sure you’ve accounted for these items.
- Sit down and review your spending habits. Are you limiting your trips out for food like you had planned? Are you overspending on your budget? Make sure you’re tracking whether or not your non-essential expenses align with your plan. A little difference here and there is fine, but it should match your plans more often than not.
- Measure your goals. When setting a budget, you should always have goals. Is it saving more money? Paying down more debt? Make sure that you’re still on track to meet the goals you’ve set.
Remember, your budget will almost never be perfect. The budget serves as a plan to help you better manage your money. You need to use that plan and check in on it periodically to make sure the plan works. If it doesn’t, take some time and adjust to something that better suits you.