So another month is over now....amazing isn't it? Before you know it, it will be 2013. The beginning of November is a great time to look at your monthly expenses in preparation for next year's budget.
Now, you might be thinking, wait a minute, November and December are not "normal" months. There is the extra addition of gift expenses and maybe even travel expenses. Well, realistically any month can have unexpected expenses. For example, in the last month we had medical expenses, a car repair bill and travel expenses (it was a blog conference and so worth it).
If you already track most of your expenses, now is a good time to review the expenses you are incurring so that you can adjust your budget for 2013. It is a lot easier to start now, than to wait until January to put a budget together. It is as simple as getting a small notebook or using a budget app on your phone. Start tracking what is going out by category.
List out everything you spend.
I know that a $3 latte does not seem too relevant, but multiply that by the approximate 21 working days in a month, and that is $63. If you add weekends, it is even more.
If you commit to doing this just a couple of minutes a day, at the end of the month, you will have a picture of what you are spending. Track all the money your are spending on groceries, eating out, sport/club fees, coffee fixes etc.... This is the only way to get a clear vision of where your money is going.
When you pay your bills, list out what each bill cost or print out the bill payment page if you bank on-line. We will do this together. It will not be painful, it will feel better to know for sure where your money goes. If you skip a day I won't tell, just take the first step.
In a near - future post I will share the method that I use to track expenses.
Do you keep a budget? If so, how often do you review it?