Hello everyone! Today’s Blogmas post is also a Self Care Sunday post! This one is all about how budgeting does and doesn’t work for me.
If you’re new here, I think a few explanations are in order! One, I’m doing Blogmas, which for me means I’m putting up a new blog post every day in December until Christmas. Two, I do two events like this a year, and I try to do themed “self care” posts on Sundays each time. Three, this year’s theme for Self Care during Blogmas is finances! I’ve been working hard to get my finances under control, so here’s how I’ve been doing it!
One of the first things every video, article, and resources on finances will typically say is to create a budget. In the past I’ve never bothered with a budget since I always live below what I can afford, so it wasn’t something I really “needed”. This year, I finally did create a budget but here’s what has and hasn’t worked for me.
How Budgeting Works (or Doesn’t Work) for Me
So in last week’s post I shared that I review my budget weekly and create one monthly. I do really love that I track my income and expenses weekly because it makes me really understand where my money is going often. When I first started this I did it monthly and it was so frustrating that I wasn’t able to make changes if I noticed I spent a lot at the start of the month but didn’t check until the end. I also didn’t like the monthly review because it felt like the start of the month was so far removed by then so it didn’t feel as impactful. It also took so long! Eventually, I switched to weekly and that was a lot better.
What I have noticed is that my biggest annoyances now are those expenses that come up every so often like my car insurance every six months, or license renewal fees that are annual fees. Or even more annoying, renewal fees for things like my drivers license which is every 4 years or something like that or passport renewal fees which is every 10 years. Typically I forget about most of these until it’s time to renew, and that throws my monthly average way off. It just annoys me that I could have a few hundred dollars worth of renewal expenses and make it look like I was having spending sprees or something out of nowhere.
Another thing I struggle with is that I think my knowledge on business accounting also makes me want to make my budget more confusing than it needs to be. Typically those larger costs would be broken down as depreciation costs but that’s way too much to do for a monthly personal budget. Anyway, the point is that I do make my budget so complicated, even if I did stop myself from actually trying to use a depreciation like system for those larger costs or trying to implement a debits and credits system.
At the end of the day, or week I suppose, it is super helpful for me to think of my budget more like a tracker, so I can get a good overall picture of what’s going on with my spending. I do try to make guesses of how my spending categories will go based on prior months and what I have coming up, and for the most part I do stay under those limits, which I love!
If you struggle with budgeting too, let me know! Also, does anyone else treat their budget more like a tracker as I do? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!
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