Having a budget is one of the most important parts of overall financial health. It shows you where your money is going every month, helps you build up your savings, and achieve your debt payoff goals. However, simply having a budget isn’t enough. You need to revisit your budget every so often to make sure it still works for you. ACCC explains when to revise your budget:
If you start a new job, revise your budget as soon as possible based on your new salary. Your income will be different, and you may have different expenses as well. Maybe you get a job closer to where you live, and you can walk or bike to work instead of driving. You would be saving money on gas, so you can adjust the transportation part of your budget. Alternatively, if you get a job that’s farther away, you’ll have to put more money towards gas every month.
Starting to Pay Off Debt
We always recommend paying more than the minimum payments on your credit card bills every month. Maybe you’ve been only paying the minimum, and you realize it’s time to make a serious effort to pay off your debt. In that case, it’s also time to revise your budget. Check to see where you can reduce spending. Some areas to reduce spending could be entertainment, groceries, or clothes shopping. Put the money you save in these areas towards debt repayment. It’s a crucial piece of debt advice to follow.
Moving to a New House/Apartment
Moving to a new place is also an occasion to revise your budget. If your rent has increased or decreased, take this into account when you revise your budget. You also may have to revise your budget before you move to put aside some extra money in savings for moving expenses. This could include moving supplies, hiring a moving company, and then buying any new things for your new place.
If you’ve recently welcomed a new family member, it’s definitely time to revise your budget! You’ll have to take new expenses into consideration, like baby supplies, doctor’s appointments, and if you plan on starting a college fund for your child, such as a 529 plan, you should factor that into your budget as well.
Final Tips on When to Revise Your Budget
Any time you go through a major life change or have a change to your income or expenses, it’s time to revise your budget. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same throughout the course of your career or through different life stages. Continue to update it, and look at your budget every month too just to make sure you’re on track. By staying up to date with your budget, you’ll be able to reach your financial goals!
If you struggle to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session today!