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Dave Says: Why the Need for a Fresh Monthly Budget?

Dear Dave,

I was wondering why you recommend doing a fresh budget every month. Once you’ve figured out your expenses and income, won’t the same budget work month to month?

Kara

Dear Kara,

I understand what you’re saying, but if you look closely at every month, you’ll see pretty quickly that they’re not all created equal in terms of expenses. On top of that, if you work a commission-based job, your monthly income will fluctuate throughout the year.

Now, there are some things that will remain pretty standard. A few things like your rent or mortgage payment will probably be the same month to month. But what about things like utilities and food? Chances are your electric or gas bills will be higher during certain months as you heat and cool your home depending on the weather. What about holidays and special occasions? It’s likely you’ll end up spending more on food, gifts and related items around Thanksgiving and Christmas or other months when family and friends have birthdays and other events.

These are just a few of the reasons it’s a good idea to customize your budget every month. A good, accurate monthly budget should always reflect your reality, Kara. Not only will this give you a more realistic idea of where your money is going, but the knowledge also helps you control your money instead of it controlling you!

—Dave

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