Now that the usual hustle and bustle of back-to-school and returning to work has died down a bit, we’re settling back into our fall routines. You know what that means… It’s the perfect time to sit down and refresh your budget! Well, maybe that wasn’t what you were thinking, but I promise now is a great time to revisit your budgeting goals and habits. 

With a nice fall refresh in mind, here are some budgeting tips to try out. 

Review Your Budgeting Split 

How do you split your income each month? Whether you’re considering your business’s finances or your own, there are plenty of reasons a budget split may not be working. Maybe you’re allocating too much to the ‘wants’ category or not enough to savings. People’s expenses and goals change over time, so reevaluating how that money gets split up each month is worth your time. If you’re having trouble sticking to your budget, it’s probably time to change your dividing system. 

Some swear by the 50-30-20 method, which allocates 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings or paying off debt. Depending on your financial situation, this exact split may not be for you. But, with some adjustments, you’ll find something that works.

Take a Look at Your Spending Habits 

You can’t achieve your budgeting and saving goals if you’re consistently spending your money before it can hit your savings account. Taking an honest inventory of your spending tendencies can save you a lot in the long run. 

The kind of spending that can keep you from achieving your budgeting goals comes in many forms. Maybe you like to order takeout after a long day, but this has turned into a habit. Or, maybe your business is guilty of pouring money into the newest softwares and programs. 

Budgeting doesn’t mean you always have to live off of leftovers or be stuck with technology that isn’t serving you. It just means you need to plan for your tendencies. If you’re aware of your spending habits, you can set realistic goals for saving and still budget for indulgences and upgrades. 

Revisit Old Budgeting Goals or Create New Ones 

Creating detailed long-term and short-term goals for savings gives you something to work towards. Write your goals down, then outline step-by-step actions you can take to achieve them. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Now you can start allocating money each month towards that new car, bathroom remodel, or rainy day fund. 

Businesses—this is especially important for you. What are your goals for the next month? Six months? Year? Are you trying to land more clients or grow your team? Defining your goals creates a mindset that will benefit your ability to save. When you have a direction in mind for your business, you run it as such, keeping the ship tight and shifting your behaviour to reach your goals.  

Whatever the goal, stay on top of it and reevaluate as needed. And if your goals change, that’s totally okay! 

Use the Budgeting System That’s Best for You 

Whether it’s an online system, a system of file folders, or a finely tuned collection of envelopes, everyone has a budgeting system. As long as you’re keeping track of everything, keep on keeping on. 

However, if it’s starting to feel a little hard to keep track of, it could be time for an upgrade. This can be a total transformation, File Folders 2.0, or an app like Mint or YNAB. Whatever it is, do what works for you. 

At the very least, if you don’t already have automatic transfers set up, this is your sign to do it. This way, the onus doesn’t fall on you to do it. As soon as money comes into your account on payday, everything gets distributed to where it’s budgeted to go. This is a helpful tool for those who have trouble remembering to deposit money into their savings account, struggle to stay accountable, or forget to pay themselves (hello, Profit First Method 😉). Automatic transfers could be the puzzle piece you need to hit all of your budgeting goals. 

Make Budgeting a Group Activity 

Individuals—whether you’re budgeting with your partner, your family, or even your roommates—make it a team effort. If you’ve got joint financial responsibilities, it makes sense to communicate about budgeting. Sit down, work through it, and spread the workload. 

Business owners—this applies less to you. My piece of advice for you is to hire someone to manage the finances. It may feel like you’re saving money by doing it yourself, but when you add up the many hours it takes, you’ll likely find it’s not worth your time. A professional will get the task done efficiently and correctly. 

Examine Your Ongoing Bills

Some household payments are non-negotiable, like rent or mortgage payments, but some can be negotiated or even CUT. Shop around for more reasonable prices and deals when it comes to internet plans, phone plans, home insurance, etc. You can even try renegotiating the price of some of these bills. Being a loyal customer sometimes comes with perks too!

Hot tip for individuals: review your subscriptions. How many streaming services do you pay for? Are you actually using all of them—be honest! Monthly expenses like this are pretty easy to cut, so give it a try. 

Businesses: you’ve got tons of expenses that are non-negotiable, same as households. However, there are many you can get by without. As a Profit First professional, I can tell you that businesses often spend much of their hard-earned income on expenses that are unnecessary. When I work with a business, I have them take an inventory of their expenses and trim them down to only what’s necessary. 

Get Started on Your Budget at the Right Time 

I don’t mean that you should put off revisiting your budget because it’s raining or because your cat has the sniffles. There are simply certain times that are too chaotic, like when you’re planning to be away on vacation. 

I especially wouldn’t recommend reviewing your budget right around Christmas when you’re about to be shopping for gifts. It can be discouraging to set a budget and not be able to stick to it in the first month. That’s why fall is perfect. Things are settling into a routine, AND you can start to plan early for Christmas spending if you so choose! 

Fall is generally a season of consistency. It gives you a chance to take an inventory of your current budgeting system (or your lack of budgeting system), and create one that’s attainable. Analyze your habits, system, and goals, and be brutally honest. 

Businesses, if you’re sitting down to revisit your budget this fall and are in need of some assistance, look no further. I can fulfill any bookkeeping needs you may have, and I can train you in the Profit First Method. We’ll work together to optimize your financial  behaviours and get your business levelled up and ready for the rest of 2022. Reach out, I’d love to connect.