Gathering Data-Driven Insights to Optimize Your Spending

It’s 2017. Everyone LOVES “data”. So what about data for your spending habits?

Yup, that’s a budget, people.

You gather the data for your budget either from it’s source (receipts, bank and card records) or by doing ongoing research (eg take notes when you spend money). Then, you analyze the data: what did I spend on which category, and was it more or less than I thought? What does a change trend tell me?

But, you don’t stop there just sitting around looking at your own financial reports. You look at a change trend (my grocery spending is going up and it’s cutting into my savings, for example) and make a plan to change your spending habits or your budget accordingly.

Budgets aren’t something you make just because it’s an adulting chore, you make a budget to guide your actions.

An old friend of mine once said, you’re never too busy for your priorities, because you are always busy WITH your priorities.

Mic drop.

Knowing that – what already guides your actions? What gets you to do things? If your budget was to describe your priorities right now, what are they, and do you like them?

Budgets are just moving math you can totally do. Here’s your strategy:

One way to think about a budget, is that you have two things happening:

  • what I think will happen/what I think I will spend → what I did actually spend
  • what I think I’ll get in income → what I actually got

Since there’s both a predictive AND an actual here, budgets can seem unruly–But this is all they are.

Your task

  1. Making a best-guess plan for what you think will happen
  2. Then reviewing what actually happened and revising either your budget or your actions <-*this is crucial*

Need Some Budgeting Resources?

I have a free simplify your budgeting template I share here, but I also want you to check out the gold mine of budget templates at BudgetsAreSexy.com – If budgeting, is your pain point, check it out!

2 thoughts on “Gathering Data-Driven Insights to Optimize Your Spending

    1. Thanks for creating that list and sharing them! People need lots of options to figure out budgeting and I appreciate your work.

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