Whether you’re single or have a significant other, it’s important to have a weekly budget meeting. These meetings allow you to “check in” and assess where you are with your goals and where you would like to be in the future. They also allow you to make budget adjustments as needed, since long-term budgets don’t always anticipate short-term changes. There are three important aspects to the meetings that will help to create a beneficial budget plan and to foster healthy spending and saving habits.
Reflect on how you did for the last week.
Analyze how much you spent and how much you saved. Ask the tough questions, such as “Am I eating out too often?” or “Am I buying too much online?” Maybe even take the time to rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. Write down what you can improve on and what you think your strengths and weaknesses are. In order to do better in the future, you must recognize where you are weak now. Likewise, it is important to point out where your successes are so that you can continue those habits in the future.
Set the plan for the upcoming week.
After you have reflected on how the week was, put a plan in place to make the upcoming week even better. What habits can you form that will help you reach your goals? Write down your plan for the next seven days so that you can hold yourself accountable. Maybe even scribble down some guidelines, such as “This week I will only eat out once” or “This week I will not buy anything off of Etsy.” The only way to progress is by creating a master plan for how you want to achieve that improvement. Now that you know what you want, you can develop how to go after it! Become the type of spender and saver that you want to be by following your plan for the week.
Compare your progress with your goals.
Each meeting you should take some time to compare your progress for the week to your goals that you previously set. If you haven’t seen as much progress as you would have liked, develop a new plan. If Plan B isn’t working, move on to Plan C! If your progress is surpassing your goals, congratulations! You are right on track to becoming a master of your budget. Challenge yourself by creating new goals that are more difficult to reach, or reward yourself with a special treat.
The weekly budget meetings are not designed to be a time of despair or discouragement. They are meant to be enlightening and for assessment. If you stick to them weekly, you will begin to see improvement. Your goals will suddenly become reachable and you will hopefully be much more pleased with your budgeting. If you are in a relationship or married, use this time for both accountability and communication. Discuss what your goals are as a couple and how you want your money to be spent as you move forward. Allow the meetings to give you an opportunity to communicate about how together you can budget your money and have responsible finances.