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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.
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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!
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!