Nate and Danielle answer a listener question about the frequency of their budgeting discussions and how to find the time with a young family.
How often do you guys meet to review your budget? How often do you update your budgeting sheet? Every purchase? Every day? Weekly? We have an 18 month old and used to LOVE budgeting – individually and as a couple – but have gotten very out of practice so would love to hear how you guys track and meet as a couple.
We review our budget at least once a month. At the end of each month, when we pay our bills, we review how we did and any changes to our expenses for the upcoming month. For example, we have to see how much daycare is going to cost each month. As we pay on a weekly basis, some months are 5 weeks and some are 4.
As we spend various parts of our budget (going out and miscellaneous) we discuss how much we have left and what we need to do. For instance, it’s the 17th of the month and our miscellaneous budget is at -44. So we know that we cannot spend anymore on things for the house, car, etc. At the same time, we will try to eat out less or go to less costly places in order to make up that $44 on the going out budget.
Individually, we update our expenses out of our personal budgets each day (minus Nate who usually takes a few days).
Big, giant scary things usually pull us back to it as well – $2K missing, daycare fiasco, fridge not working
Once you get into a rhythm it’s typically not as crucial to constantly be checking, rearranging, and analyzing your budget, but we do still constantly look at it – and that’s to keep track of our spending. We know our limits, we have to make sure we’re sticking to them though. For instance, we don’t write down every time we go to the grocery store because we know roughly how much we spend every Sunday, so we have a monthly total. But our personal budgets just have a limit and we have to write down each expense so we know we’re not going over it.
But long answer short, we talk about our budget at least three times a week and review our entire budget at the end of every month. As our family has grown, it has gotten more difficult to find time to discuss our budget and to plan for all possible expenses, but we make time when we need to. We have made being on the same page with a budget a priority and thus we make time for it.