Do budget amounts matter after actual amounts are available?


I can’t imagine this topic hasn’t been discussed before, but I couldn’t find anything in my quick search.

Taking any roll-over of remaining amounts out of the discussion (envelope budgeting), is there any value in knowing past budget amounts once the actual amounts are available? Other than knowing how well or accurately I budgeted in the past or how well I stuck to that past budget? After the month is over and I know I spent $100 on, say, dining out, does it matter after the fact that I had planned on spending only $50? I can’t change the past and it is the actual amounts spent that are one of the main inputs to budgeting/forecasting future spending.

I use and love the Budget Plan template and have a lot of rows from past time periods that no longer impact my budget going forward. That got me thinking about the value of knowing past budget/planned amounts. I know many people keep past budget info so no doubt there’s value in doing so that I am probably missing. Thoughts?


I think it can be useful when planning your next budget to know that you were under or over a certain amount in certain months. Could help you better plan for the next budget. After that, I’m guessing probably not so useful for most people.

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