Budgeting Weekly | Why You Need It + How to Do It
Budgeting weekly is where it’s at, ya’ll!
Do you know where the battle is won when it comes to budgeting? It’s the little things. It’s not about saying no to $1000 entertainment center. It’s saying no to the consistent little purchases that may seem like a little, but accumulate over the month to be quite the sum of money.
Budgeting Weekly — Why Do I Need It?
If you are looking for ways to really get a handle on your spending, you need to find out your weekly spending limit.
If you are like most people you have (or at least should) know what your monthly spending looks like.
If you don’t have a budget, you’ll want to check out my budget beginner post!
You have a monthly budget of $500 for groceries. You are halfway through the month and decide to check in with where you are for the next two weeks. Turns out you spent two-thirds of your grocery money already.
You know what that means for the next two weeks? Its gonna be a tight grocery budget. You look around in your budget and notice you have money “available” in your service/maintenance account so you ‘borrow’ an extra $50 to make up the difference.
A week goes by and your tire goes flat. That $50 you borrowed from service/maintenance– well now you really need it. So you look around for money in your budget and decide to yet again ‘borrow’ from the money you have had earmarked for savings.
You see where this goes and why monthly budgets are not hard to make, but they’re hard to stick to?
If you are not super diligent and are not constantly checking in on your progress, you will find yourself off track before you realize it. It’s really hard to get ahead, save, pay down debt when you are always wondering where your money went.
If you break up your money into chunks of weeks it’s harder for you to go astray. When you only give yourself a weekly budget of $100 for groceries and you get to the store and your total is $110– well it’s pretty obvious when you’ve blown it.
You better put back the Milano cookies, potato chips and the tray of cut up fruit.
When your only reference is looking at the big picture of monthly spending, you rationalize that $10 away, because it seems small and insignificant. But when it’s $10 here and $20 there, you are robbing yourself of money you need for your end of the month.
You need to know where your money goes and keeping track of it in small chunks makes that pretty simple and easy.
How Do I Budget Weekly?
If I am budgeting weekly, do I still need a monthly budget?
I would argue yes because most bills will be due monthly as opposed to weekly. However, with that being said, if you are having a hard time staying on budget, budgeting weekly will allow you to stay accountable and give great clarity to where your money is going quickly enough to course correct.
Starting my weekly budget.
Pull out your monthly budget. Once you’ve scheduled out your fixed expenses and you’ve moved on into flexible and discretionary, this is where I break out my weekly budget.
Gas, food, fun money, etc. Take the total of those expenses and divide it by the number of weeks. If you have a week that splits a month I use money from the previous month, it’ll all even out eventually.
Create a tracking system for your expenses.
I like using cash because it limits the amount I’m able to overspend. When it’s gone it’s gone.
Either way, I keep an envelope with my cash inside it and I make a note of what my money for that week is supposed to cover.
As I spend the cash I make sure to write down how much and what I spent it on. At the end of my week (Sunday for me), I check the envelope, I check if I have any cash left over and add that to my monthly budget tracker.
Rinse and repeat until you are at the end of the month.
What to do at the end of the month?
Spoiler alert! By the time you get to this point, you will have already done 75% of the work. You will have your envelopes or piece of paper if you don’t use cash.
Your fixed expenses will just need reconciling (did they clear your account). Then when you add in your weekly expenses it gives you a great snapshot of how your month went and make adjustments as needed.
And there you go– All the reasons a weekly budget is made of win and why you need one and you need it today!
If you decide to give incorporating weekly budgeting into your overall finances, I would love to hear about it. Or if you have other budgeting tips, I’m always looking for ways to up my money game. Please comment below!