Personal Budgeting: Why Regular Reviews Are Essential to Reaching Your Goals

by Jason on July 6, 2010

I talked with someone recently who mentioned they decided to sit down and have a look at their finances.

It seemed they were just not getting ahead, but didn’t know why.  They asked themselves the question that we’ve all asked plenty of times:

“Where is all my money going?”

After sitting down and taking a look at their financial statements, they realized something.  There, right before their eyes, black and white and plain as could be – they found the culprit.

They realized they were spending a ton of money on going out to eat!

It didn’t seem like it throughout the month.  A dinner here – out with friends for a bite there, but it all added up.

We all do this with our money management don’t we?  We do really well with our financial budgeting for a while and then all of  a sudden we realize we aren’t doing quite as well as we should be.

Let’s take a look at why regular reviews are essential to reaching our goals:

We Often Go Astray

It’s in our nature to slack on anything that takes hard work and discipline.

Whether it’s diet and exercise, spending less than you make, saving more money or personal budgeting – it really doesn’t matter what it is – the truth is that it’s difficult to maintain consistent discipline.

We go astray.  We make dumb mistakes.  We splurge here, spend a little more than we should there.  It’s natural.

Every so often, we need to do a check-up.

We need to recalibrate back to what we should be doing.

Take your personal budget and sit down to see how far off you are when it comes to your money management.

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We Think We Know, But We Don’t Know

This is easy to do as well.  Life is busy.  So we just continue doing what we are doing and in our minds we think we’ve got a good handle on where our money is going and what we need to watch out for with our personal budgeting.

But do we really know?  If we were honest we’d admit that there are times when we think we know what’s going on with our finances, but we really don’t know.

That’s why some of us are so surprised when we sit down and perform a money management check-up.  We see the numbers staring us in the face.  There is no denying the truth of those numbers.

After a while of being on cruise control, we think we know how much we are spending and how we are doing, but we really don’t know.

The One Constant

Lastly, the one thing we can always count on in our money management and personal budgeting is change.

This is the one constant right?  Things are constantly changing.

Maybe you are making less money – or hopefully more.  Maybe you had a change to your situation, like having a baby or getting a promotion.

And don’t forget, expenses are always changing – usually they are going up – and that always affects the budget.

That means regular check-ups are not only a good idea, they are essential to getting ahead and staying ahead financially.

Don’t set it and forget it.  Don’t put your personal budgeting on cruise control.

Instead, be proactive.  Be on top of the game.  Be ready for changes and be ready to adapt.

What Are Your Thoughts?

It’s easy to go astray.  It’s also much easier to assume we know where our money is going than taking the time and energy to sit down and take a realistic look at our personal budgeting.

It’s also easy not to change the budget even though things around us are changing constantly.

So, perform regular reviews of your personal budget and keep your money management in good shape!

How often do you do personal budgeting reviews or check-ups? 

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