I can’t believe I’m ready to budget recap for April already – where has the time gone and what I have I learned. Answer is loads…
Just a thought
It’s definitely true to say that no matter what anyone says, your budget is something so personal. It’s different from person to person, as we all have different lives and different things that we are aiming for.
But why have a budget? It’s really, really boring!
I know, I know…but wait…keep with me..
You might want to create a budget for the following reasons:
- to pay off debt
- to manage your household spending
- to save for a family holiday
- to build wealth
- to retire early
For me, my budget is essential because together me and Mr Budget find it easy to spend too much money every month. Other reasons include: we want to pay off all our debt and also pay the mortgage early. This is particularly important, as we have an age gap and want to enjoy each others company when we retire (for me hopefully early)
But why do you show your budget recaps Elly?
Seriously, you might be wondering this. I guess it’s because it’s great that people have budget ideas out there, but they just don’t provide real numbers on a real income. I only found a couple of people willing to do this and it helped me a lot, understanding the fundamentals of budgeting. Hopefully, me doing this, will help you shape your budget, and not be afraid to see it as a living document. It’s always changing and developing for me, as our priorities shift and as our financial goals adjust too. Hey, I bet you’ll spot things within my budget, that I could improve on, or when things change – my budget is very much a working document, that changes all the time!
I hope it will help you become able to see where you are spending money and what influences your financial decisions. For me, a lot of my money spending happens early morning, when I am just waking up. I know that if I take my time and make myself eat breakfast, I will not go out then and spend £4 at yes, you guessed it – Mc Donald’s or Greggs. For me, this is the spend that mounts up and this month, I have taken time to sit back and analyse the thought process I go through when I buy this breakfast, when I know I didn’t need to.
Progress to far to date
When I started budgeting with my budget binder, we originally had £15k debt and a house deposit of £12k to fund,s o £27k in debt.
Plus £7000 in student loans.
Now, with regular budgeting, and deciding to sell one of our rental houses, we have taken the debt total down to £600 and £3000 is left on my student loan. I’m so excited to make my final payment on the credit card next month!It’s not been an easy process,but I love my binder and it makes me feel accountable for where the money goes.
You will also spot, that I have a sofa loan, but it is £43 a month, and interest free, so at the minute, I am happy letting it tick away in the background.
My spending tracker has been super valuable this month, as there have been a few annual payments to take into account, for example car breakdown cover and Mr. Budget’s car insurance. I have made myself a note of what the new payment is this year, and I will save this amount into my saving pot for each thing.
The coloured over parts are private pieces of information, but ALL the figures are accurate, so you can see exactly how I budget.
Next month, I will print a few copies of my spending trackers, so I can split up the spending into budget areas. I could follow this month’s but only just! Aghh!
Budget Categories where actual is different to budgeted
Budgeted Amount Actual Spend
Groceries £200 £139
Eating out £250 £125.75
Market £40 £31.94
Toiletries £20 £16.69
Total spend £152.75 £149.44
Fuel £50 £44.29
Total spend £137.06 £131.35
My cash envelopes are really helping my cut my personal spending as you can see. Omg, the last day of the month was so difficult without my coffee, but hey, I had spent most of the money,so I resisted and I am so proud of myself now.
I have decided to roll the amounts left in the cash envelopes into the cash envelopes for next month, and then bank extra cash maybe at the end of May. Any extra cash at that point will end up as a payment to my student loan again.
Here are my budget sheets filled in.
There were two of these this month – I took this money from savings, but as said previously, on my next budget sheet, I will save a monthly amount, so I am ready for these things next year, without using our emergency fund.
Mr. B’s car insurance £350 (ouch!)
Car breakdown cover £159
For both of these things, I ensured I got cashback on both. This was through either Quidco or Topcashback – whichever was offering more!
Top Cash Back is brilliant too! I earned £66 on the breakdown cover alone.
I split my £250 savings into pots I had created with my new Starling bank account. Then I bossed exactly where each part of my savings amounts were going. Seriously, you need to get this online bank account! It allows you to have multiple savings pots all in one account.
So instead of just having a big savings account, with some idea of what portion was going where, I can see every amount. Also I can set how much I need to save into it each month. For example, for car maintenance, I save £50 a month into my car maintenance pot. Starling call them goals.
Extra Debt Payment
With the money I made in the Easter holiday with Prolific and with money I had left over from my cash envelopes, I was able to send £60 to my student loan.
Pin me for later!
As you can see, I stayed within my budget and had cash spare – this I have directed back to my savings account (emergency fund) in my Starling account.
Going Forward – May 2019
These are the goals I am setting myself for next month:
- Carry on using the cash envelopes – they are really working and stopping me spending a fortune on coffee!
- Put in place monthly payment amounts for breakdown cover and car insurance,so that it is already saved for.
- Attack the student loan with an extra payment wherever possible!
I love my cash envelopes. Read more about how I use them here and check out the cute designs here!
For a guide to monthly budgeting, and for finding out more about the binder I use, read: The 2019 Budget Binder