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Budgeting can weigh on tight income and protect large assets. It’s one of the smartest financial moves you can make.
One type of budget that works well is the weekly budget. Read on to learn how to make one and why it’s useful.
- Analyze your income and expenses
- Look for ways to cut costs
- Choose a budget planner
- Maintain discipline
- Check your progress
Weekly Budgeting 101
Here are 5 easy steps to get started with your weekly budget.
1. Analyze your income and expenses
The first step is to analyze your cash flow and regular expenses to see what you are making and spending. Be sure to include mortgage and other bill payments, utilities, food, transportation, and entertainment. You can do this with an editable calendar template in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
2. Look for ways to cut costs
The next step is to cut your expenses. Highlight some areas in your budget where you can save costs. Maybe you are spending too much money on Amazon or paying too much for streaming services.
You could probably cut at least $ 15-20 off your budget by just changing a small habit. That’s enough to buy a new share every week or to deposit regularly into a savings account.
3. Choose a budget planner
There are a few different systems you can use for weekly budgeting.
Printable budget worksheet
One of the easiest methods is to create a budget in Excel that you can print out and clip on your fridge or hang over your desk.
There are also many great budget templates for tracking income and expenses. These templates can be used on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, making it easy for you to plan your salary.
There are a variety of different budgeting apps out there. For example, You Need a Budget (YNAB) combines powerful budgeting tools with training to help users pursue their goals.
Personal Capital is another leading budget app. It helps you manage all of your financial accounts in one place.
Explore the different mobile budgeting solutions available and choose one that suits your needs.
The envelope system
Your parents and grandparents may have used the old school envelope system. This strategy involves putting cash in envelopes that are labeled for specific household needs.
If you plan carefully, you should have enough cash by the end of the week to either contribute to the next round of budgeting or to distribute it to savings, investment and retirement accounts.
The nice thing about this system is that if you toss it overboard, you can draw from another envelope. So if you burn up your grocery expenses before the week is up, you’ll have to move from a different category to make ends meet.
But these days you rarely have that much cash on hand. If you’d rather use an app, Goodbudget and Mvelopes are the new school’s digital budget trackers based on the envelope system.
4. Maintain discipline
Just because there is money in your bank account doesn’t mean you should be free to spend it. Even if you have significant cash flow, this is a quick way to go broke.
To build and maintain financial discipline, start small. Before buying an item, decide whether you really need it or whether you are buying it out of habit or boredom.
5. Check your progress
Why do you need to review your progress? Quite simply: because life throws curveballs at you every day. For example, you may have to save up to replace a broken car. On the other hand, you could get promoted at work and make more money. Lifestyles change and budgets also need to be flexible.
Tips for reaching your financial goals
Use a weekly budget planner
People often avoid using budgeting tools because they think they can keep an ongoing balance sheet in their minds. This may work for some, but we do not recommend it. Part of the process is making budgeting an active part of your routine.
Be realistic about the weekly expenses
One of the most common mistakes people make when budgeting is being too aggressive at first. Sometimes people cut out things like groceries and household products and choose to stretch what they have to save money.
This is an easy way to get miserable. Avoid this by making a list of things you cannot do without and sticking to them within your budget.
Watch out for lifestyle creeps
Lifestyle creep occurs when a person’s expenses increase as their income increases. The secret to building and maintaining wealth is to make more money each year while maintaining a similar lifestyle. This way, you can increase your savings while keeping your expenses the same.
frequently asked Questions
How can I optimize my monthly budget?
Everyone has to pay monthly bills. However, with some basic budget planning, it is much easier to make room for them.
Optimize your monthly budget by analyzing your expenses from top to bottom and allocating money to areas of need. Remember to avoid unnecessary expenses. Services like Trim or Truebill can also automatically identify areas where you should do this.
How can I limit weekly expenses?
Use a weekly budget template to keep track of weekly spending and avoid credit card debt. At the beginning of the week, set a budget and be careful not to spend more than you have allotted. If you go over budget, pull away from other areas before taking out credit.
Should I use a weekly budget planner?
The short answer is yes, using a weekly budget planner is a good idea. You can also use a bi-weekly budget planner, a monthly budget planner, or an annual budgeting tool.
What is a budget table?
Using a budget spreadsheet is an easy way to keep track of expenses. A budget table manages weekly expenses, monthly expenses, and annual expenses. A budget planning template usually contains several specific category and number fields.
The bottom line
One of the keys to getting ahead in life and becoming financially independent is creating a weekly budget plan.
If you are serious about money management and improving your financial situation, you need to budget and use spend trackers. It’s the first step in laying a solid foundation on which to build a financially free future.