Why Dedicating 1 Day a Month to Your Finances Is So Rock N’ Roll

Personal finance is not your favorite thing in the world, I know. You have a ton of other hobbies, loves, and likes that better define your personality. I know this because even though I actually do consider personal finance one of my favorite things in the world, I probably wouldn’t announce it during the awkward icebreakers on my first day of university either.

But I also know that the reason I love personal finance is what makes it so much more lovable than you’d ever even realize.

Personal finance is rock n’ roll because it is not constant.

Personal finance is rock n’ roll because it provides you with a new challenge every 30 days.

Having something in your life that is always changing, and always causing you to grow is extremely important as you start to grow up. It’s scary, of course. But it’s also really invigorating.

(If you think I’m a total lunatic, I’m “sorry” – most people do)

I have learned which parts of budgeting, and tracking spend (plus all those other financial terms you don’t want to read about) work for me over the course of one year.

And what it all boils down to is ONE DAY.

One day a month (always the last or first day), I spend time reviewing my finances. I write out (yes, by hand, in my cave from the ice-ages) every single dollar that I spent. I choose my categories based on my spending, and I total everything up.

It looks very sexy, like this:

cash, finances

That’s a grand total of $3439.93 for those of you trying to math in your head right now.

From there, I weigh my monthly income versus my spend, and 99.99% of the time I give myself a pat on the back for living within my means. For the months where I have a surplus, I give myself 3 pats on the back, and also allow myself to take one selfie (just kidding, but not kidding at all).

After doing this, I calculate what my next month’s income will be, and categorize what I should be spending based on what I will be doing. Because that’s just it, every single month will be different.

In April I may have spent $150 on gas, but in May I might be travelling double the amount and spend $300 on gas.

To restrict yourself to one “make or break” budget is crazy.

Because you will inevitably fail.

While I spend roughly the same amount of money every single month, the categories within my budget are always adjusting.

To say I will be spending $200 on groceries every month is unfair. Some months I will need more, and others I will need less. Finding a financially savvy way to spend the extra money, or make up for the lack of money, is what makes this one day so important.

My adorable photo above is a prime example of this. I had 4 birthdays, a baby shower, a bridal shower, and a gender reveal party all within one month (please send help). My “entertainment” and “other” categories were much higher than normal. But I was prepared, increased my income for the month, and kept myself within my means (actually maintaining a $500 surplus)!

If I hadn’t taken my one day and gone through my finances, I might have ended the month in the red. Estimating, although sometimes difficult, is much better than winging it. Especially when it comes to your money.

Do you spend one day a month on your finances? Let me know in the comments.

6 Responses to “Why Dedicating 1 Day a Month to Your Finances Is So Rock N’ Roll

  • Why do you write it out by hand?

    Also my wife and I started doing our financed bi-monthly(pretty much the same concept you have here) and finally started saving money. And at the time we where not making very much at all. Between the two of us we where making less than 40k but still saving over 800 a month. (no kids). but with out dedicating that time to our finances we would not have saved a dime and even today while things are much better financially if we don’t take the time out to do our finances we don’t save anything that month guaranteed.

    • Writing it down on paper hurts more than entering a number into a spreadsheet. That’s awesome to hear that you guys are starting to roll with savings. It can be super draining, but if you take the time to map out a plan it can be a breeze!

  • I generally log on to our checking account every day to review activity. Once a month I let my hubby know how things are going. He likes that I take care of it all!

    • I also login to my online banking every day! But merely just out of habit. I try not to on the weekends, because I think I start to over analyze my money otherwise!

      That’s awesome that you manage all of your finances for your relationship. Props to you 🙂

  • I’ve been more freewheeling than I care to admit, but am getting better. I just noticed a feature on my online pay stub where I can look at trends. So I just printed out four months of pay. A big problem for me has been that my income changes every week. I know. No excuse. So I realize that I have been making that an excuse to not budget. I figure that I can at least average my pay to try and forecast a budget for the next month. Next I have to track all my expenses for the month and match it up. I know it’s not going to be pretty, but it’s a start.

    • Been there! Rollercoaster incomes can make it so hard to budget. But, on the other hand, those are the times you need to budget more. You’ve got this, girl!

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