Should you ever change budgeting strategies or debt pay off strategies? These are things I’ve asked myself at different times over the past 2.5 years since I started this blog.
My main focus when I started this blog was to get a handle on my money so I could finally sleep through the night again, and that meant starting a budget.
There are lots of different budget strategies out there because there’s no “one size fits all” option.
During the time I’ve been budgeting and paying off debt, I’ve had to change strategies at different times because of life changes.
Your income may increase (or decrease). You might take a new job with a different pay schedule, like once a month instead of every two weeks. Or you might even decide to become self employed, in which case you have to decide how you are going to get paid, how to budget for yourself and your business, and maybe even how you will pay off your debt now that your financial situation has changed.
Budgeting strategies aren’t set in stone, and that’s a good thing. You never know what life may throw at you, which is why I’m changing budgeting strategies once again.
My Past Budgeting Strategies
In the past, I used a zero-based budget. My income was steady and I knew exactly how much I was going to be paid from my full-time job and when. I had a part-time job and started freelancing, but I used that as “extra” income instead of putting it into my budget plan.
I’ve gone back and forth with using more and less cash in my budget too. At times I’ve used cash for all spending outside of my bills (mortgage, credit cards, utilities), and other times I’ve gone back to using my debit card more.
One thing that I’ve always done since I started my blog is sharing my budget plan and my budget results each month. But I’m about to change that.
My New Budgeting Strategy
As I said, budgeting strategies are meant to be changed as life changes. Budgets aren’t meant to be rigid or binding. A good budget should be freeing because it will allow you to know how much you have to spend each month while still staying on track with your financial goals.
My new budgeting strategy is going to be a little less time-intensive too. Instead of sharing a budget plan and results each month, I’m only going to share my results at the end of the month.
This should result in better content on my blog as I’ll be able to devote more time to creating useful content instead of a bland budget post. And I’ll still be able to update all of you on my progress.
The other reason I’m changing budgeting strategies is because I’ve realized that I don’t always know with 100% certainty what the month will bring. I’ll still be budgeting and creating a plan for the month, but I will only be sharing how things turned out at the end. I’ve found myself getting frustrated lately by having to report that I’ve forgotten to plan for things like doctor visits, etc. when I made my budget. Changing budgeting strategies should help prevent some of that.
I don’t think changing budgeting strategies is a bad thing. Your budget has to work for you. That means making changes as necessary to accommodate your life and financial situation.
When’s the last time you changed budgeting strategies?