I need a budget

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In the run up to 2016, I have realised that I need a budget. Also my dad gave me this article from a Canadian Newspaper the National Post about Personal Finance. I have always believed ‘oh I’m not good with money’. Somehow this universal ‘truth’ means that I sheepishly don’t look at my bank account balance or credit card bill until I absolutely have too. I’m tired of feeling money shame. Like I’m not a ‘grown up’ or that ‘I’m always behind’. Like I mentioned in the goal setting post, I like systems. I’m good at systems. Why can’t I apply the same approach?! Again, I thought you might be interested in what I’m doing to get myself organised and saving for 2016. Some of these thing may seem obvious – but I figure I can’t be the only one who needs help in the financial literacy area.

2016 – I am good with money, have savings and am financially literate.

1. I let go of my personal money shame. I am open and honest with people who love me and ask for support from those who I perceive as ‘good with money’. I have a  few gurus in my midst who already have offered their support and personalised spreadsheets. I need their sage advice and I need to listen.
2. I buy myself a fancy coffee (we are talking soya latte here) if I’m in a meeting or it’s the weekend.
3. I cook myself a meal three times a week. I love cooking. I often say it’s the way I measure how well I’m taking care of myself. Whether it’s two dinners and a Sunday brunch – it all adds up. And sometimes it is actually cheaper to eat prepared stuff then what you make…but I always feel more nourished by my own cooking.
4. I save money for travel before I spend it. I have definitely ‘found’ ways and means to make big trips happen in the past and I’m over the worry and creative approach it takes to afford it off the cuff. I travel to teach/perform/work etc., but not for leisure until May 2016). May is my 30th Birthday and I would love to do a bit of travelling but that means I have to have everything saved up.
5. I track everything. Like everything. Without judgement, without shame. I just input all my receipts into my google spreadsheet and keep an eye on my available savings. I need to make this a habit and that will take several months and some discipline.

What do you do? How do you save and stay on top of your finances? I would love to know. I often think we don’t share enough best practices in this area. It’s like mental health – we are all hush hush. Would anyone like to have a monthly meet up to review how we’re doing? I’d actually love that. Happy New Year and happy savings!

3 thoughts on “I need a budget

  1. Susan Weiss

    Make a budget.

    Buy a small case with enough separated sections for all budget categories.

    Put cash amounts in each budget section in case.

    When the money is spent in each category it’s spent and no robbing between categories!

    Revise at end of month what is not spent, and put these amounts back in savings.

    After three months, budget is pretty much set.

    Don’t carry credit card debt, big, NO! NO!

    PS: (Use one credit card for business. Use a different credit card for personal items.)

  2. I am not perfect myself, but I have aquired few good practices. I have an app instead of a spreadsheet, it’s called Wallet by budget backers (there a lot of them but I have tried most and I like this one the best, I guess this would be individual you should test and see for yourself).
    Whenever I earn money, no matter salary, side deal, rent, intrest – I take 10% and put them away in saving/investment fund.

    Also I have few bad habits which tend to be costly when I indulge too much in them. What I do to conquer and not go bankrupt because of them is this. My bad habits would be smoking weed, drinking and eating sweets, For each of them I assigned a tax, and every time I spend money for them I also put away money in a small letter envelope. Let’s say I spent 40 euros on weed and my current tax on weed is 200% which means I have to put 80 euros in the envelope. This prevents me from spending money on things I don’t necessarily need to or want to, but I have created a sense for. I started doing this in October and so far I have 250 euro in that envelope which I intend to use for something more purposeful and valuable.

  3. Have you ever heard of the software You Need A Budget (YNAB)? I recently discovered it a few months ago as I was teetering on the edge of breakdown because of our crappy finances. And it really did help a lot. They have a free trial and it’s really worth reading through their method. I’ve only been using it a few months but it’s definitely changed the way how I view my finances.

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