Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Good Time To Review Your Budget

I take time to review our budget and spending at the beginning of each year and again around July 1.

I'm a few days late this year, but I finally have it finished. I'm happy to say that we were fairly successful with sticking to our budget in 2008; there were only a few categories where we spent more than planned and the overage was minimal. Happily, there were a couple of categories that were significantly below budget (vehicle property taxes, for one). Only minor changes need to be made for the first half of 2009, such as our new lower house payment and subsequent increase to our van payment.

Reviewing our budget biannually helps us stay in line with our spending, savings and debt reduction goals. Other folks may need to review their budget more or less often, depending on their goals and needs.

When was the last time you reviewed your family's budget? How often do you make updates?


Janelle said...

I updated mine at the end of last year, but I am REALLLLLLY bad about going over in one area and borrowing from another and things like that. I need to remember that is NOT budgeting and actually stick to my numbers, and remind myself that it really is okay to pass up a good deal now and then. That's where I fall short on the budgeting game. :(

Annie Jones said...

We have that problem, too. For me, it's the grocery budget. We can easily eat on what I have budgeted, but it's hard for me to resist a good deal sometimes.

For Shane, it's tools. The speciality tools he needs for work are expensive. He doesn't need to buy them often, but if one breaks or get stolen (sadly, that happens all too often), we're almost sure to go over budget.

I think it's ok to borrow from another area once in a while. We try not to do it too often.

Joy and Phil said...

We are retired and living on a fixed income. The only variables are when SSA gives us a raise then raises our medicare costs to get it back before we even see it. Aren't they sweet?
Anyway, we do not have a budget per se. My darling watches our bank account online like a mother hen hovering over her chicks. He has a set amount he wants the balance to be and a set amount he wants to save each month and other than that, we pretty much spend where we like.
We travel and live in our motorhome fulltime so our expenses are much lower than living in a stick and brick house which works out nicely since that matches up nicely with our lower income ,,, almost like we planned it that way ... LOL!

Good luck with your budgeting. I remember how hard it was in my olden days!