3 Budgeting Steps to Follow At the Start of Every Month

Here we are at the start of a new month, and what better time than now to get your budget in order? In a perfect world, you're starting with somewhat of a clean state. Assuming last month's bills were paid and you're starting this month, at least somewhat, fresh — here are a few things you should do at the start of every month to make sure your budget is in the place it needs to be.

1. Make Your Spending Plan for the Month

This doesn't need to be fancy — do it in Excel, write it on a legal pad — but make sure you have a spending plan mapped out. Make sure that spending plan is realistic and includes fixed expenses as well as frivolities. Now make it easy to fill in so as you spend money throughout the month, you'll be able to keep track of it. There are millions of examples of how to create these sheets just a quick Google away.

2. Balance the money you have

Look at outstanding bills and payments, money you are owed and money you owe, and make sure you have a clear sense of what all those numbers are. Don't go into a new month without knowledge of how much money you have and where it is.

3. File your paperwork

Is your wallet filled with receipts? Your desk cluttered with paper? File that away. Throw away the things you can toss, and save anything you may need come tax time. All of this will only make your life easier.