How Budgeting Your Money Weekly Can Change the Way You Spend Money

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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 a $40 dress. It’s saying no to the $1 or $5 little purchases that may seem like a little, but end up being a bigger chunk of change at the end of every month.

I never realized (until too late) just how much money I was really spending on drive-thru coffees and my daughter’s gas station Gatorade habit before practice until I started tracking my spending weekly. 

So how did changing to a weekly budgeting change my spending?

Let’s check it out!

Budgeting Weekly — Why Do I Need It?

If we are honest, it can be difficult to stay on top of our budget every month.  You’re busy with work or school and life is just happening at 100mph.

So when it’s time to work on the budget, it’s with a sense of dread because it’s tedious and time consuming and frankly it’s not a ton of fun.

What if I told you that with this small tweak to your existing budget, you will spend less time fussing with your budget at the end of the month and it could potentially help you save more money?

You’re excited, right?!

So, where do you start?

Creating a Monthly Budget

Each month’s spending tends to look a little different depending on what you have happening over the month. So starting with a monthly budget is a necessary first step. 

Go ahead and list out and or schedule your bills to be paid according to their due dates, schedule your savings to be transferred, and any other fixed expenses that need to be addressed.

Your weekly budget is going to focus primarily on your discretionary (flexible) spending. 

Sign up to get access to my Resource Library if you are interested in getting your own free Budgeting Spreadsheet template!

How to Set Up Your Weekly Budget

Once, you’ve got your monthly budget set up, you are going to split each discretionary/flexible spending category into weekly budgets.

So for things like: groceries, gas, eating out, entertainment, fun money, etc.  

I’ve created a great weekly expense tracker sheet in my resource library if you need something pre-made!

You can either adopt something like the Envelope Method, utilize an app like GoodBudget Budget Planner, or plain ole paper and pen.

Whatever you choose, you are going to make a note of what you get to spend for the week and then stick to that budgeting amount. 

I like to use the envelope method. So, as I spend money I make sure to write down how much and what I spent money on and at the end of my week (Sunday for me), I check the envelope, I check if I have any cash left over and I add the total from that week to budgeting categories in my monthly budget tracker. 

If I have cash left over, I decide to either roll it over to the next week, throw it into my fun money, or maybe throw a little extra into savings. 

Rinse and repeat until you are at the end of the month.

So why the extra step of budgeting weekly? 

Why Does Weekly Budgeting Help You Stay on Budget?

Let’s say 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 category 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.

Or you have a terrible drive thru coffee habit *cough* and you didn’t realize that all those $2 and $3 coffees were adding up to an extra $50/month…until the end of the month. 

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 off budget. 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. Saving you tons of time at the end of the month!

Wouldn’t you rather take a quick look at the end of every week than go through piles of receipts and transactions at the end of every month??

So what do you do at the end of the month?

What happens with My Budget 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. 

If you were following the system, you would have been adding your weekly expenses into your budget spreadsheet as you went along. So your flexible spending should be complete. 

Next, your savings and  fixed expenses will just need reconciling (did they clear your account). 

Once you’ve made sure you’ve accounted for all monies spent, how did you do? Did you stay on budget? If not, how come?

See?? Super simple!

The Final Word on Weekly Budgeting

It’s simple. It’s easy.

It can help you cut down time at the end of the month reconciling all your spending and it can help you save money by breaking your spending up into small chunks. Smaller chunks mean a more manageable amount of money and a greater chance of success! 

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!

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How Budgeting Weekly Can Change Your Spending

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2 thoughts on “How Budgeting Your Money Weekly Can Change the Way You Spend Money”

  1. Hi, I really like the budgeting tip and really need help in developing that for my weekly expenses please help!! I have problems spending my money and noticing I can save a lot more. Any help is appreciated even a template and explanations of the method, thanks and look forward to hearing back!
    Juan

    Reply
    • HI Juan,
      Staying on budget can definitely be a challenge without a system in place.

      One of the easiest ways to wrangle your spending is to move to cash.

      On payday, if you can take the cash you have budgeted for variable spending (food, gas, eating out, haircuts, etc) out and divvy it up in weekly/monthly envelopes (depending on the category and how you spend) it will make it infinitely easier for you to keep track of where you are with your budget.

      Typically, bills and fixed expenses (rent, utilities, cell phone) will be either exactly the same or pretty close to the same every month– those kinds of expense you can still have drafted from your account. Some people even set up a separate account JUST for bills. So you could transfer money for bills into that account and just know that you can’t touch ANY of that money because you need it to cover your expenses.
      If you want to learn more about cash budgeting and using envelopes, I wrote all about here: https://mommanagingchaos.com/the-cash-envelope-system-everything-you-need-to-know/

      If you are getting paid more often (say weekly) you could take a portion of that paycheck every week and put aside money for your higher priced expenses (like rent). $1000 for rent, divided by 4 weekly paychecks is often a much more manageable amount that paying rent with one whole paycheck.

      Having a weekly budget is awesome because if you know that you have 4 weeks this month that you have to buy groceries and you have a budget of $200/month for groceries, you stick $50 in an envelope for week 1 and then that’s all you get.

      I do have weekly budgeting templates in my resource library that are completely free as well as Google Sheet budgeting templates. If you scroll up to the big red subscriber box and subscribe you’ll get the link and password sent straight to your email.

      If you have any questions, let me know.

      Cheers,
      Kristen

      Reply

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