We have all heard the saying, you can’t track what you don’t measure, so how do we know how well we are doing on our budgeting goals if we aren’t tracking it well?? Here are 4 tips to level up your budget!

It’s not enough to just set a budget at the beginning of the month and hope you stick to it. You will be left wondering where all the money went at the end of the month and why you seem to be always going over budget!

In order to level up your budget, you need to track, measure and adjust to ensure the plan is working.

Follow these easy steps to level up your budgeting.

Level up your budget

Create a budget

I think if you are following me, by now you know how to create a basic budget which I spoke about in this post – Budgeting for Beginners. But just creating the budget is not enough. You actually have to take a few more steps in the process to ensure you are actually sticking to the plan you made.

Taking the first step to making a budget is a great start! You may also want to write our your financial goals before you create the budget.

Let’s talk about what comes next!

Track your spending

Unfortunately, to ensure you are following the budget well, you actually need to track everything you spend at least for a couple months at a minimum to ensure you are actually spending what you planned and not going over.  So keep all receipts, or take a notebook and write it all down, or use an app that tracks your accounts. Whatever you do, record every penny and also give it a category.

Assigning a category to your spending will help you identify the bigger-picture trends in your spending habits. This is a game changer that will level up your budget.

Balance Your Budget

At the end of the month, tally up all your spending by category. You will then compare the results against your budget estimate from the beginning of the month. Did you overspend, underspend or are you just on track?

Does your bank account and credit card statements match what you wrote down in your budget and expenses? Reconciling is an important step in the process.

This activity definitely helps you level up your budget. It’s a step most people stop before getting to, losing out on valuable insights. 

What insights can you gain from reviewing your spending habits vs your budget? If you do a budget but never go back to compare if you met your goals or not, how can you improve or grow? 

Adjust your budget categories for the next month.

By reviewing your spending and seeing how you did – you can know whether you need to adjust your next month’s budget. A budget should be changeable and be able to suit your needs as they change. It should also be realistic. You don’t want it to be aspirational and totally out of whack with reality. That’s a recipe for disaster. 

Level Up Your Budget

With these steps, you have now gone above and beyond what most people fall short of doing. It’s with these extra bits of focus and determination that a budget can really help change your life!

By following these steps, you will level up your budget, improve your money management skills and really ensure you are living up to the goals you set for yourself. 

Happy Budgeting!!

About The Author

Jess Morgan - by fountain

Jessica Morgan is the founder of canadianbudget.ca and a Millennial mom of one who has a burning obsession with all things personal finance.  Jessica has a BA in East Asian Studies from York University and a Masters in Business Administration from Toronto Metropolitan University. She is a career public sector employee with a Hybrid Pension, as well as an advocate for Canadian women to improve their personal finance knowledge.

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