Being proactive with your finances can take you from financial newbie to savvy money-saving professional. We have compiled a quick list of tips from other financial experts for you to read, learn and implement in your own life. This list specifically tackles certain things that you should consider doing at the beginning of the month to help improve your budget. As it turns out, the first day of the month is a mini-holiday or milestone of sorts for many of these experts. Maybe you can adopt some of these tips and start your own monthly financial traditions, too.
David Waldrop from the Astute Advisor speaks from experience when he suggests that you take time at the beginning of each month to examine your expenses. He then reallocates the money from whatever expenses he can afford to cut or defer to other places. This money could go towards college savings, paying off debt, creating an emergency fund or saving for retirement.
Publish Your Numbers
Crystal Stemberger from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff advises us to take time at the beginning of each month to examine our accounts and records and to post about the previous month’s income and net worth. She finds it motivating to publish her numbers each month, and finds it to be a successful way of holding herself accountable.
Update Your Budget and Debt Snowball Worksheet
Monica Louie from Our Debt Free Family shares with readers that she finds it beneficial to update her budget at the beginning of each month. She makes edits to the previous month’s budget, adding in final income or extra unforeseen expenses, and then calculates how much her family can afford to put away into savings or debt payoff.
Then Monica updates her debt worksheet and checks out how her debt snowball has grown. She finds it motivating to start off the new month on a positive note by seeing her progress from the last four weeks. After looking over all of this, Monica feels ready to create a new and improved budget for the current month.
Make A Plan
Notorious Debt enjoys making a plan for extra money at the beginning of each month. He sends out his freelance writing invoices at the end of each month, and receives the extra money in the first few days of the new month. Currently his extra money is going towards debtpayoff and building savings.
Pay off Student Loans
Red Two Green gets giddy with excitement each month when they make their big student loan payments on the first of the month. The day is dedicated each month for this task, and they find it satisfying to continue successfully chipping away the debt.
Add up Income
My Work from Home Money dedicates the first of every month to adding up their different income sources. It allows them to evaluate growth and motivates them for the upcoming month.
Check Out Savings
Alaya Linton from Hope and Cents is currently working on her emergency savings. She treats it as another debt and enjoys using the first of each month to check out how much less money she “owes” her emergency fund. One step closer to financial security!
Sarah Li Cain from High Fiving Dollars is working hard to retire by the age 40. She uses the beginning of each month to evaluate how much she can invest in stocks in order to reach her financial and retirement goals.
As you can see, there are many ways to plan ahead for a new month and look back on the successes and shortcomings of a previous month. The most important thing is that you stay organized and intentional, coming closer to your financial goals each day. Maybe you’re ready to start your own monthly tradition. If you’d like more help getting your finances in order, you might consider starting with a free budget and credit counseling session.