Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
-Henry Ford.

As your paycheck cycle nears its end or you find yourself in the middle, it's crucial to conduct a financial check-in.  Ask yourself: How am I doing? Is my spending aligned with my goals? What remains for the rest of the month? Am I on target?

Enter the transformative practice of a payday check-in—an evaluation of your spending within specific categories for the month.

Begin by utilizing your paycheck planner (in our Budget Planner,), setting budgets for variable categories such as food, gas, kids, spending, pets, household, etc.  Tracking every transaction within these categories is essential for an effective weekly or payday check-in.  Our expense tracker, also available in our Budget Planner, simplifies this process.

Once you've completed these initial steps, it's time for the check-in.  Calculate all expenses for your variable categories, recording them in the actual column under your payday check-in.  Ensure the budgeted amount is also documented in the designated column.

Manage any surplus funds by rolling them over to your next weekly check-in or leaving them in your bank account for added cushion.  Alternatively, consider withdrawing the surplus for savings challenges or other financial goals.

If overspending has occurred, take corrective action.  Deduct it from the following week, reallocate funds from another category, or make necessary adjustments.  Frequent overspending may signal a need for a budget adjustment or a reassessment of spending habits.

For those averse to tracking expenses on traditional expense trackers, color-code your categories on your weekly spread for easy monitoring.  Reserve your check-in for variable expenses and bills, excluding fixed bills and auto payments.

The primary challenge I encounter during a payday check-in is becoming overly focused on achieving numerical perfection, which often leads to expending energy on insignificant details.  Don't get lost in finding $3.00 

Our weekly budget check-in tracker, featuring 5 paycheck check-ins on one page, streamlines the process.  Total these for insights to be incorporated into your monthly budget or reflections page at the back of your monthly tab.

Congratulations, you've completed a payday check-in! Stay tuned for more insights on mastering the art of budget closing.


Next time... 

Master the art of budget closing


Q: What is the most common issue in completing a payday check-in? Have you ever completed one?

November 10, 2023 — Jessica Roman

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