Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Money Tasks for Successful Budget Management

by Kevin on January 22, 2010

In my previous article on how my wife and I manage money I mentioned I would share some money and budgeting tasks. These are tasks that apply to our situation. Your situation will be different, but I hope what I’ve got here will help you manage your money better.

Our Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Money and Budget Tasks

Here is a breakdown of budgeting tasks and when we do them:

Daily Money and Budget Tasks

  • First part of month:
    • Use debit card for smaller transactions for rewards checking account requirements
  • Entire month, including first part of month’s larger purchases (gas, groceries, etc.):
    • Use cash back credit card
  • Deposit any cash or checks as they are received

Weekly Money and Budget Tasks

  • Check balances of checking and savings accounts, update  budget spreadsheet
  • Distribute category money to credit card category
    • Again we put a large majority of our regular purchases on a credit card. We use the credit card like a debit card by moving money from one budget category (example: groceries) to the credit card category
      • I like to look at our budget like a massive virtual envelope system. Instead of putting a couple thousand dollars of cash into envelopes that can be stolen or lost we just do it electronically on a spreadsheet.
    • Doing this essentially treats our credit card like a debit card, but with more purchase protection and cash back!
  • Discuss various “envelope” balances:
    • How much do we have left for groceries, dog food, car gas, etc.

Monthly Money and Budget Tasks

  • Monthly Budget Meeting and Discussion:
    • Make sure nothing major is coming up that we need to start budgeting for
    • Review our performance during the previous month
    • Check investment and retirement account balances
      • Update net worth spreadsheet
  • Once per month tasks:
    • Schedule mortgage payment(s) including additional principal on second mortgage
    • Schedule credit card bill payoff
      • Yes, we could set this up to be automatic, but not having it automatic forces me to review everything for any errors.

* * *

These are just a handful of ways to get better at managing money. This is how I do it. Now let’s get a discussion going. Everyone is different. How do you handle your finances? What tasks would you recommend for other readers? Leave a comment below to start the conversation.

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gn January 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

I like your “virtual envelope” scheme. Takes self-discipline to honor such soft limits, but avoids a lot of “sending cash” weirdness.

The only real envelope we use is for entertainment money – when it’s gone, we stay home.

Golfing Girl January 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm

We use the “electronic envelope system” as well. I earmark everything on a spreadsheet. I also allot certain dollar amounts for big annual expenses (car insurance, home owner’s fees, fantasy football entry fees, vacations, etc.) but then we try to pay them out of the cash we have instead of dipping into it. Sometimes it works and we’re ahead by the amount we had set aside. Call it laziness or whatever you want, but it motivates me to cover the item (like an insurance installment payment) so I don’t have to move the money out of savings.

But most importantly, the money for those expenses are accounted for in case we can’t cover them so there is no false sense of what money we really have “access” to in the case of an emergency.

finance February 3, 2010 at 4:20 am

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Budget management is such a great post, Because usually we take the monthly budget as i do :-)… Thanks for the post I’ll take your advice

finance February 4, 2010 at 12:07 am

Daily budgeting really gives me a good projection and it keeps me on the budget. thanks for the post.

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