Friday Finance: Let’s Talk Budgeting

Last week in “Do you want $5500” I shared
Some ways to cut back spending to save quite a bit of money each year.

Today we are going to talk about the budget. The actual written budget. I believe the reasons for putting off writing a budget is because it can be depressing. It is a realistic look at where you are financial. Once a budget is complete, you see what remains after paying your bills. I know most of us just say OUCH!

In our office, we would joke that payday is the richest and poorest of days each month. With direct deposit, you wake to a nice sum of money in your bank account, but then you pay your bills. By the time you go to bed a good part of that money is gone. So, you start your day in a good mood, but by the end of the day, you’re not feeling so happy.

Writing out your budget is crucial. If you don’t, it is very easy to overspend accidentally. It is easy to think everything’s paid when you are relying on memory to find out you missed something. Now you are over your head. The charges may come out automatically and how are you going to make it till next pay period?

The budget helps prevent this scenario because you have everything listed in front of you before you start paying the bills.

Photo by bruce mars on

Creating a budget is easy. You have two columns, income and expenses. The important thing is you have to be very honest about your expenses. Everything needs to be listed. Each hair appointment, food, gas, workday lunches, and subscriptions.

I know the budget, when written out, may, not look pretty at first. This is the tool you have, not just to pay your bills, but to start making smart money decisions. I don’t just make one monthly master budget. If I get paid twice a month, I have a budget for each pay period. I split my bills between those two pay periods by the due date or by the ability to pay. Obviously, on the first of the month, I pay my largest bill, the mortgage. I’m not going to lump other large bills at the same time. I break up my smaller bills around the larger ones.

What if the large bills are due at the same time? You can talk to your lender about adjusting the due date. You can also have a second bank account and put the money aside until it is due. This is what I do.

Once you have your budgets written out, you may notice a money crunch. Here are a couple of suggestions.

  1. Look for subscriptions you are not actually using or don’t need. Do you need HBO now that Game of Thrones is over? Do you need the NFL Network off season?
  2. What can you cut back on? Do you need On Demand movies for $5.99 each when you can get them from Redbox for $2.20? Do you see what I am saying?

I’m not just preaching here. Last week we talked about saving by cutting things out of the budget. One tip was getting your nails done every 2-weeks costing $40 each time. I had my nails removed so now within 1-year I will have $1020 saved up from that one thing alone. That can pay for Christmas or a weekend vacation for my family.

We are also seriously talking about ditching cable TV. The bill is so high, and there are so many other choices for good entertainment. That alone can put another $2400 in my savings a year. Did I say I want a new Fridge?

I am providing a printable budget work sheet below to help you get started. I hope you enjoy and get good use of it. It can be exciting to see how many ways money has been slipping through your fingers and all the ways you can reverse that loss and treat yourself and your family.

If you have serious financial difficulties and debt, I would suggest getting the advice of a professional. If you are feeling overwhelm just thinking about the topic of finances and budgeting, I offer financial coaching to help you map out your way to successful saving. Let’s start the journey of finding money in your budget and ease this stress in your life. Contact me for a free consultation.

Love & Blessings
Ashley J Spurgeon

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