Keep On Track With a Budget Review

A regular budget review keeps your spending on track and helps you adjust and fine-tune your spending plan to meet the needs of your family.

You have a record of your spending history, You used that spending history to create a workable spending plan Then, once you created a spending plan, you followed that as you made your purchases for the month, recording everything you bought in your spending record Now is the time for you to go back over all your documents, especially your spending record and review just how well you did. Did you spend too much on food this month and end up without any money to set aside for your health savings? Did the children come home with notes from school asking you for money for a field trip that you weren't counting on?

Did you manage to cut down on your driving enough by running all your errands in one day each week that you have a surplus in your automobile account?

Which areas of your budget need to be adjusted? Be careful when you find that you have a surplus in one category that reflects a big change from your six-month spending history. This may be a one-month savings and you might need the surplus to be able to pay a larger bill in that category next moth.

As you review last month's budget and start to plan for the coming month, be aware of seasonal or occasional charges. Are there a lot of birthdays coming up? Do you tend to overspend on gifts for these occasions? What about the end-of-the year holidays? Do you have money set aside to meet these extra expenses?

A budget or spending plan is not something you create once and then just leave the same. Your budget review at the end of each month lets you know how you are doing and what you need to change.

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