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The Dreaded Budget

Me and My Munchkin: The Dreaded Budget

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Dreaded Budget

On a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you hate to budget? 9, maybe 10? I know that I'm going to totally regret sharing this little bit of information with you all, but I love budgets. I love sitting down with my calculator and working out all of my income, and all of my expenses.

Weird, right?

There is just something about numbers that I find so soothing. Following, or sticking to the budget, is so much harder. But, I do okay most of the time. I thought that I would share with you all how I do my family budget. As it's only me and Munchkin, it tends to be a lot simpler, however I am currently in the process of getting my financial situation back out of the red so I have to budget as to what bills my money goes on.

Please note: I will not be showing my budget, with current figures and bills. This post is showing you the process I use and how I do it. 

I budget once every two weeks. I am paid fortnightly, so only have the need to do it at this frequency. I have two plain exercise books. One is where I write down all of my fortnightly budgets, assessments of my financial situations and updates of my current over all budget. The other book is where I record all payments that I make.

When I start an overall budget I do four things.

1. Assess my current financial situation

Make a list of any debts that you have. Credit cards, loans, mortgages, money borrowed from family, anything. Come up with a total. I call this my Total Debt (yes I know, obvious). I reassess my financial situation monthly. You may not need to do it as often, but I find it changes so much from month to month and it gives me motivation to see it continue to go down regularly.

2. Come up with a budget

List your income, and list your expenses. It really is that simple. Calculate how much all of your expenses work out to be on a fortnightly basis. This means you can put money away for all of your bills to ensure they are covered when they come in. Include everything that you pay throughout the year. Things like electricity and water, do an average and work out a fortnightly figure from that.

3. Come up with your financial goals

And be specific. If you want to have $15,000 paid off of your car loan by the end of the year, write it down and work out how much you need to pay on the loan fortnightly to achieve this. Make sure your goals are achievable, but also set them high, so that you are motivated to follow them. For example, if you do your calculations and discover you can easily pay off $15,000 by the end of the year, make it your goal to pay off $17,000. 

4. Maintain your budget fortnightly

Once the previous fortnights bills have been paid, I then set out on the next fortnights budget. I have a set amount for expenses (which includes bills, groceries, fuel, etc) and the rest I allocate to different areas. I also state which bills will be due within that fortnight, before the next pay comes through.

Recording Payments

I do all of my banking online. When I pay a bill, I record all of the information and receipt number into my book. 

This means that I can easily find a payment made, without having to pull out all of the filing and find that particular bill.

Just a few tips
  • Remember that this is simply how I do my own budget. I am not a financial adviser, and your budget is possibly a lot more complicated than mine. But I just wanted to share with you an easy way to track your finances.
  • I keep all bills to be paid in a red manilla folder on my desk. This means that they are all in the one place, I always check it when I am doing my budget and it means that I don't have my bills out on show on the fridge for all visitors to see.
  • Reassess your budget every six months. Things will most certainly have changed. Your income or your expenses. Even if they haven't changed, you need to see whether you are on track with your financial goals, and assess whether they are still important to you.

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At 5 June 2012 at 10:12 , Blogger BossyMummy said...

I hate budgeting and I am so bad at it and my bank balance shows it! I love these tips though, I really need to get my bum into gear and use them! Great post :o)

At 5 June 2012 at 10:17 , Blogger Yvette Bowyer said...

what great advice!! Definitely worth doing!!

#teamIBOT was here to say hello!

At 5 June 2012 at 10:58 , Anonymous Lyndal said...

i am a fellow budgeting lover! its almost permanently open on both my home and work computer!

You have shared some absolutely gold tips in a great straightforward, non judgemental way, it was awesome to read through this :)

At 5 June 2012 at 12:20 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

This is a really simple system that I use. And it works well, only once have I ever lost a bill and forgotten to pay it. Good luck with it and if you would like any help feel free to email me!
Chrissie xx

At 5 June 2012 at 12:22 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

Thanks Yvette, a budget really is necessary if you are paying off debt or trying to save. It can be so easy to set up, and I really don't need to do a lot of maintenance. Thanks for dropping by!
Chrissie xx

At 5 June 2012 at 12:23 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

Thanks Lyndal. I love budgets and numbers so much I am applying to uni next year to study accounting! I have tried doing it all on the computer or iPad, but like my diary, I prefer to have a hard copy on paper.
Thanks for your comment!
Chrissie xx

At 5 June 2012 at 13:35 , Blogger Lisa H said...

I used to be very meticulous with my budget, especially when I was a single mum with two kids. I'm still a single mum, but the kids earn their own money (and give me some in exchange for a roof over their heads) because they are responsible grown-ups. Mostly. Having the kids contribute to the household income, not just the expenses, takes the load off considerably. So I'm not as strict with my budget as I used to be. Which is a shame because I probably could save more, if I tried! You've give me something to think about. :-)

At 5 June 2012 at 16:12 , Blogger carmen said...

Budgeting is my little spell... I can find money in places the other half didn't know existed. That's my job. Now if only I could find someone to PAY me to do that...
Thanks for posting your methods! :)

At 5 June 2012 at 18:08 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

Hi Lisa, I've found that no matter what income you are getting in, a budget is helpful. You could always save for a little holiday!
Chrissie xx

At 5 June 2012 at 18:10 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

Haha I would so do that for a job too, and have considered it more than once. Now I've just settled for studying accounting at tafe and then uni. That should give me my fix!
Chrissie xx

At 5 June 2012 at 21:15 , Blogger Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

I loved doing my budget when I was a single mum with one, but now that there are six of us, I'm so glad that it is my husband doing it!
Haing said that, it is a team effort, and I try to not spend money without approval first, because I know things are often tight, and we are trying to save.

Thanks so much for linking today!

At 5 June 2012 at 22:06 , Blogger Tubbah @ Organising: My Crazy Life said...

Nope, not weird at all... I love budgets :) I love figures and calculating and all that stuff!! I'd love a job in pay roll. My nearest and dearest all tell me to become a finacial planner or adviser. Can't wait to get back on track now that our income is fixed up :) Thanks for the reminder :)

At 6 June 2012 at 07:38 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

Thanks for coming to visit Jess! Spending money is never approved in my budget :( But I still do it anyway, I'm kinda terrible like that!
I can imagine it would get a lot more complicated with more kids and a hubby!
Chrissie xx

At 6 June 2012 at 07:40 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

You are more than welcome! I would love to be a financial planner. I'll finish my study and see where I end up I think!
Chrissie xx

At 11 June 2012 at 12:42 , Blogger Julie said...

Brilliant advice! I am pretty good at the making of the budget, but the keeping of the budget is where I fall down! Really need to work on point 4!

At 12 June 2012 at 08:36 , Blogger Chrissie Me and My Munchkin said...

Don't worry Julie, I still struggle with sticking to my budget at times. What I find helps, is when I do my fortnightly budget, I set up the money to come out of my account automatically on the day of my payment for that fortnight. I can always change or cancel an extra payment that I've set up to go onto my car loan or credit card, should anything come up through the week. That way I don't have the chance to spend the money before I get a chance to get online and pay the left over money to where ever I want it to go.
Chrissie xx


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