This is going to be my budget theme for January 2022: Stick to the Script.
Oftentimes I find that I prepare a budget at the start of the month, then 10 days in, I’ve blown it and spend the rest of the month in the red. Those days are over. The point of having a budget is to use it to guide your spending. Yes your budget has to be flexible and bend with you as you roll with the punches that the month throws at you but still, if you want to arrive at a particular destination you have to follow a map and stick to it as closely as possible. If you get sidetracked from the map for whatever reason, you have to course-correct as soon as possible otherwise you may end up going in completely the wrong direction.
This is why from now on, I will endeavour to stick to my Daily Plan (sample below) as closely as possible. When I’m blown off-course by unforeseeable events, I will have to make a plan to course-correct as soon as possible.
This means I have to start consulting both YNAB and this Daily Plan before making spending decisions. Consulting YNAB is good but YNAB gives me a complete picture of the month. A month, in spending terms is a very long time; too long for me to make sensible decisions in the moment and see their impact. As result, consulting my Day Plan as well will help shorten the review and assess cycle to each week and each day. At the end of everyday, I can get immediate feedback about whether I’m on course to make budget. At the end of every week I can make game time adjustments and decide on the trade-offs I need to make to fix the budget where it might be going off track.
If I can successfully execute this and stick to the script, it should go a long way to helping me rein in my spending and come in under budget.