I will be changing my budget set up for 2023. This new budget will take care of a few things like better automation, better tracking, and goal alignment.
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I change up the budget set up frequently because my financial situation is not the same on a yearly basis. One thing I haven’t kept up with for some reason is automation. I created a zero based budget in Excel and would manually transfers the savings amounts to each account.
For the budget set up for 2023 I decided to set up automatic transfers to savings. I know exactly how much needs to go from my checking to savings so this is not a problem. This is because I have a running budget set up in Excel where I can manipulate the numbers as my situation changes.
I also keep a buffer in the checking account so going over budget is not a problem. I do not have any bills coming out on autopay from my checking account.
My housing cost is manually paid since it includes water and sewer which vary monthly. All other bills are paid via credit card on autopay so my actual cash is not affected directly by any bills. I then have payments going to each card as needed, but again this is a controlled amount set by me. What I will change with the credit cards is to pay the balance on my set dates, instead of pushing a fixed payment on those dates.
Another thing I am trying again is to use the rolling budget for the entire year. A rolling budget is simply one where any unused balance for the month gets rolled over to the next month. If you set up $100 monthly for food but only use $95 in January you have $105 to spend in February. This comes from rolling over the unused $5 from the prior month. I like the rolling budget because it helps to better spread costs like car insurance. This is something I pay every 6 months, but which inflates my expenses in the month that I do pay it.
I’ve tried using this in some years prior but always ended up stopping some rolls for various reasons. This year I’m committing to roll over unused balances in Mint to see how things stack up.