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The beauty of a monthly budget

by Karen on September 23, 2009

budgetingWhen our no spend summer ended in August, I told myself we weren’t going to go overboard. I told myself we were going to keep our budget just as tight. I was wrong.

Just as I feared, we went a little overboard for the past month. So overboard that it’s only the 23rd and we’ve already spent all of our food budget. Oops.

But you know what I love about a monthly budget? I love that we only have to scrimp for the next 7 days, and then it’s a whole new month. I love having a clean slate at the beginning of every month. Last month’s mistakes don’t matter, because all that matters now is this month’s budget. I can start all over again.

Here’s how I get back on track:

Don’t wait until next month.

As soon as you realize you’re overspending, stop. We stopped a little too late this month, but we’re doing what we can now to control the damage and start fresh next month.

Make some changes to this month’s budget.

If you’ve overspent in one category, see if you can cut discretionary spending in another category to make up for it. I’m cutting down on entertainment and household expenses spending for the next week to make up for a little bit of our overspending in food.

Forgive yourself and move on.

Beating yourself up doesn’t change the fact that you overspent. It just makes you feel bad. Everyone makes mistakes. When you make a spending mistake, the important thing is to stop the bleeding, control the damage, and ride it out until next month when you can have a fresh start.

That’s what I love about monthly budgeting: you’re never more than a month away from a clean slate!

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