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:
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.