Ask the Readers: How Often Do You Evaluate Your Budget?

By Ashley Jacobs on 31 January 2012 118 comments
Photo: Bigstock

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Katie, Earn Save Live, and Jesse for winning this week's contest!

Having a budget is one of the key ways to keep your finances in check. Budgets help you create a clear picture of how to live within your means. It's important to evalute your budget from time to time to make adjustments as income sources change and expenses fluctuate. Some people evaluate their budgets on a weekly or monthly basis while others do a budget check up once a year.

How often do you evaluate your budget? Once a week? Once a month? Once a year? When was the last time you evaluated your budget?

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When there's a change in employment situation, or new goals to save for, we reevaluate our family budget.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I try to evaluate our budget about every other month. My husband isn't as into stuff like that, like I am, or else it would probably be every month.

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I check my budget on at least once a week, if not every other day. I like knowing where I stand and reminding myself what money I've spent recently. It helps me keep my goals in mind - I would usually rather see the $100 for shoes/electronics/dining out going toward a savings goal instead of out the window in one day.

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Facebook Liked

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I use my budget to also balance my checkbook. So I check my budget every night as I enter the day's purchases. Once it got into my daily routine it wasn't that hard to keep up. On the last Friday of every month I sit down and make up the budget for the next month. Its usually a copy of the current month but if there's a birthday or holiday expense coming up its gives me a chance to plan for it.

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Review to make changes probably around 6 months unless something is changing and it is needed before then.

update and manage, weekly at least.

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At least once a week, but sometimes more often. Particularly when emergency situations come up (usually car-related)>

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I evaluate my budget and tweak as necessary every month.

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I only just started budgeting to get my spending under control (on and find I check it everyday.

I also "liked" your Facebook page.

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I try and do a mini-review of our budget every couple of months with a bigger review at the beginning of a new year.

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I liked your Facebook page

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Each time our salaries change or if a budgeted amount for a bill falls really short.

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Every 4-8 weeks.

I normally review my budget when I download my last month's statements into my budget software, and check the numbers and assign categories to payments. Sometimes though I miss a month so it spills over to the next month. However, I feel like this review is more just admin and doesn't lead me to question my spending habits or think about change. I probably do this a couple of times a year, where the result is either: hmm things are OK; or oh dear, I should spend less. I'd be interested in any tips for making the most of budget reviews.

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My fiance/roommate and I have separate budgets but of course we work together to pay the bills. We review our own budgets after each paycheck. And we evaluate our budgets together monthly to set goals and reallocate funds. We talk openly though when issues come up like what to do with our tax return, or how we are going to pay for a flat tire. We have found that we do best with our money when we check our bank accounts every day and talk often to keep each other accountable.

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We review our budget at least once a week. We keep ours in the form of cashflow for personal and business finances.

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About twice a year. Once at the beginning (January), and once in the late summer.

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I evaluate it quarterly although changes are made monthly.