How often should I update my budget, and what intervals should I budget for? Every month? Every week? Every year?

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Posted by Evan L (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 0)
Asked on May 3, 2016 2:19 pm
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Hi, Evan! So glad you wrote in! My answer is not an “absolute” – just my idea of what seems to make most sense to me. Everyone is different, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear the statistic that only about 30% of Americans create and follow a budget. So in asking this question and revealing that you have a budget puts you way ahead of the game!

My budget is based on a monthly schedule because our income arrives monthly and the majority of our bills are due once a month. We have a number of bills due every three months like Sirius and pest control, and those always through a wrench into my planning because I go back and forth between accounting for them monthly or just accounting for them in the month they are paid. Our property taxes, flood insurance, and home repair warranty are yearly, so that’s even more an accounting hassle!

I am older and settled, and my bills are, for the most part, unchanging, so I only update my budget once a year. In your case, if you are younger and are changing jobs, getting married, having a family, buying a home, etc, you may need to update more often.

Assuming that most of your bills are monthly, that’s probably the best interval to choose. You can find lots of budgeting sheets free online. Here are two of my favorites:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet.pdf
https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/manage/creating-a-budget.go

I’m so glad you wrote! Good luck to you and please write back if we can help you with other questions.

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Posted by Kathryn Hauer (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 18)
Answered: May 3, 2016 5:55 pm