A monthly budget can be a tremendous financial tool, especially when trying to eliminate debt or save for a down payment on a house. Setting a budget takes more than just a one time calculation. A mid-month budget review can be vital to reaching financial goals.
Using a Mid-Month Budget Review
Do I really need a mid-month budget check-in? Yes. Money can’t direct itself. Stay in control of your finances by keeping an eye on things as well as taking action in response to change. While many expenses don’t change month to month, there are plenty of factors that can change. For example, rent won’t necessarily change but utilities or other home needs might shift. Winter months can cost more in heating and appliances may break from time to time. No matter what the line item, verify each one at the start of the month and rechecked mid-month.
A mid-month budget check-in takes an active approach. Since unexpected budget hits do come up, addressing them sooner than later can make a huge difference. Rather than losing all the money towards debt relief for a month, the budget can be adjusted to stay on track. Here are a few steps that might be needed if the budget goes off track mid-month:
- Make sure spending is on track.
- Stop overspending where needed.
- Freeze spending on entertainment categories to correct overages.
- Keep getting out of debt as a priority and a non-negotiable line item.
- Wait until the next month to make a bigger, non-essential purchase.
- Work a few extra hours to make up for the overages. (Don’t rely on this every month!)
Budgeting apps can be very useful when it comes to forecasting for the rest of the month. Categories are easily be observed and verified. By mid-month, it’s plain to see too much has been spent on groceries or too many Target visits. The mid-month budget review doesn’t take long with a solid budget. You may even find a weekly check-in to be more helpful. Take some time and put in the work now so you can save or get out of debt.
For more information about budgeting or managing your finances, contact the certified credit counselors at American Consumer Credit Counseling by calling 800-769-3571.