24 September 2014

Spring Clean Your Finances Week 4 - Review and Refine

After four weeks of working faithfully on getting your Spending Plan tidied up you have a very good idea of where you stand.

You've tracked your spending and found the leaks.
You've made the commitment to a weekly review (with your spouse/partner if applicable).
You've become aware of the triggers that cause you to spend when you shouldn't and don't really want to.

And now it's time to take all that information and use it to review what you've learned to evaluate just how you did at sticking to your spending plan.  Keep the information to use next month, you may well see trends in your spending habits that will help you plan for the future.

If you find you've been over-spending (oops!) look at what you overspent on and why. Was it an emergency? Work on building up your Emergency Fund. Was it just an impulse? Try applying the $100/24 Hour Rule. Is your spending plan unrealistic? Work on getting it to honestly reflect your income and then trim the flexible expenses to fit and adjust categories to fit.

If you find you've underspent, congratulations! Now what are you going to do with that money? I recommend boosting your Emergency Fund if it isn't fully funded (with at least six months, preferably twelve, living expenses) or putting it aside in a savings account in case you've missed paying for something (it can happened, we're all busy!). Generally if you are under-budget at the end of the month it indicates you've missed something and you'll most likely need that money next month. Your spending plan should balance at the end of each month with incomings being equal to outgoings.

If you don't have a working Spending Plan I really recommend starting one. Try it for three months and see if it doesn't make a difference to your finances and the way you view your money, your saving and your spending. If nothing else you will be more aware of where you stand financially and just what you need to do to reach your financial goals.

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  1. I really need the over $100 wait 24hr. Restraint on my spending habits thanks ,I will use this tip. Promise to review my spending too!

    1. It really works! Try it for a month and see not only how much you don't spend, but how much less clutter you have in your home.


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