Budgeting Step 7 - Assess How Things Went, Make Changes, and Do It Again

Part Eight in Our Series on Budgeting to Reflect Your Values

Start this series from the beginning. 

Have I mentioned that you’re not going to be perfect at this the first time you try it?  That’s okay; the important thing is that you keep trying.  You might spend more on groceries than you thought you would or find yourself magically drawn to your favorite lunch spot, even though you finally managed to pack your lunch.  Give yourself a break.  Be honest about how things went.  Change things that simply aren’t realistic, and give it another go. The goal isnt to be perfect in your first month.  The goal is to get good at this for the long haul.  Dont give up.  Youll get there.                                                                                                       

Once the month is done, take a look at your budget - how did you do?  What goals did you accomplish?  What categories were under-funded?  What do you need to change?  Make the necessary modifications, and then give it another go.  You’re learning and getting better at this!  Remember, your budget isn’t a stagnant document; it’s meant to be modified and changed.

As you go through this process, I encourage you to consider the way you think about money.  Budgets don’t have to be horrible and constricting - they’re a tool that allows us to use our money to reflect our values.  It’s your money.  Use it to accomplish your goals. 

I’m going to guess that if you stick with this process and commit to budgeting for three months, an interesting thing will happen.  It might not happen all at once, but one day it will creep up on you - you’ll actually enjoy this! There is something about being in control of your money, knowing what happens to it, and having the discipline to use it in the ways you intend to that’s empowering.

We covered a lot in this series, and yet there’s so much we didn’t even touch on.  These posts are meant to be broad guidelines, but your situation is unique and will likely involve some adjustments.  That’s what we do.  If you have questions please give us a call or email us.  We think this is so important.  We know you can do it, and we’re here to help. 

Stephanie Vail

About the Author

Stephanie Vail is a member of the Custer Financial Advisors team.  She specializes in helping millennials with financial literacy and planning.  To learn more about Stephanie and Custer Financial Advisors, visit www.CusterFinancialAdvisors.Com or email Stephanie at SVail@lpl.com.