Figuring out how much money you have available in a week is much more manageable than in a month. Here’s why a weekly budget works (and how to do it).

Budgeting is so important, but so hard to develop as a habit.

You can faithfully crunch numbers once a month, only to find out you’re consistently spending more than you planned. I know, because it happens to me. That’s why I find breaking your monthly budget into a weekly budget can be really helpful.

Why a weekly budget helps

For me, figuring out how much money I have available in a week is much more manageable than a whole 30 or 31 days.

While it’s true a lot of our expenses recur monthly; most of these expenses, like our rent, mortgage, or car payment, are fixed.

Unless you really have an income shortfall and don’t earn enough to cover your monthly bills, it’s not these fixed costs that blow our budget—it’s the variable, sometimes discretionary spending like groceries, clothing, gas, and entertainment.

For example, if you set a budget for the month of, say, $150 for dining, and blow more than half of that on a nice dinner the first week of the month, it can be really tough to keep track of how your lunches out the next couple of weeks are eating away at that budget.

But if you break that $150 into approximately $34.60 per week, you might see that your dinner the first week meant that you would have to go the next week spending only half of your budget, or $17.30, on any weekday lunches or takeout.