(This post marks the halfway point of the A to Z Challenge! How exciting, just 13 more posts after this one and I will have made it through the challenge alive!)
What better word for “M” than money? Money consumes many of our thoughts and our daily lives. We work so we can make money to pay bills or buy whatever it is that we want to buy. With money though, comes a budget. That is why I thought I would share with you a little about my budget.
Now, you can go throughout life without a budget and without keeping track of your expenses, but I have found that when I keep track of my expenses I can save more.
This year I started using a bullet journal for the first time. With a bullet journal you can customize it for your needs and what you want and need. One of the sections I decided to include was a monthly income and expenses. This isn’t even a budget because every time I make a budget something happens (I need a new furnace, someone gets sick, or something else) that I can’t stick to the budget. This monthly income and expense section is just a place where I can keep track of where all the money is going, then I can determine where I can cut down on expenses to save money.
I know what bills I have to pay every month, and I write them all down before the month starts. As I pay the bills, I write the amount I paid down. As my husband or I get paid, I write down that amount in the income section.
Sounds simple, right? It is, very simple. There are a few other things that I do though.
First, I pay myself first every payday. My husband and I both get paid weekly, which is nice, and I make sure at least $50 every week goes to savings. Then I pay the bills that need to be paid that week. Once I am finished paying bills, I work out what I can put into savings. My goal is to put all the money I make into savings so we can save for a down payment on the house we want to build.
I try to make sure at least $350 stays in my savings account after paying bills. I pay bills on Friday and go grocery shopping on Tuesdays so this ensures that I have enough money to get through the weekend and still have enough for grocery shopping.
At the end of the month, I add up all the income, how much we spent in bills, groceries, and other expenses and how much we saved for the month. This helps me see exactly where all my money is going and how much I am saving every month. If we make more money, then the thought is that we should be able to save the extra income.
Having this recorded helps me know how fast we can save and how soon we can achieve our goals. I have also been able to see that when we eat out more we spend more money which helps me to see that cooking at home is really beneficial.
If you want another great way to help save money, check out how I use iBotta and have earned over $160 in the past year!
How do you keep track of your expenses? Do you actually write them down every month?
Check out my “A” post if you want to see what else I have talked about during this A to Z Challenge.