My budget recap of July 2019 has come around so quickly! Now I am excited to share with you my budgeting successes and challenges from
the month of July.
So in order to move forward I will be giving you my 5 budget takeaways. These are the key things I have learned this month. Maybe this will help you make a start on monthly budgeting, or just see an example of one person learning as she goes along.
Why do a monthly budget?
I get asked this question all the time – it can have a major impact on your life though, to start a monthly budget. Here are some of the reasons you might want to start a monthly budget.
- to save for a family holiday
- to manage your household spending
- to build wealth
- to pay off debt
- to retire early
Budgeting is so individual
When you read my July 2019 budget recap, remember that my figures will be completely different to yours, since nobody’s life is quite the same. We work with our own individual figures and amounts of income coming in. It is only now that I am truly realising that there is nothing wrong with spending a bit on what you fancy, as long as you budget for it. So for me, that is my coffee! For you it could be a handbag, or some luxury makeup. All that is fine – what we need to remember is that if our budgets balance, we are still achieving our financial goals.
Over time, I have found that if I treat myself, I am far more likely to stick to my set budgets and then feel brilliant for doing this!
Spending Totals July 2019
How does my spending compare to June?
Every month, I like to review my spending compared to the previous month. It helps me answer the question, “Did I make progress or decrease my spending in certain categories?”
I am constantly working for us to be more efficient and spend less. As our income is pretty regular right now, I know exactly what is coming in. The only that will make this fluctuate, is if one of our rental houses needs repairing, so therefore, we will have less rental profit coming through, as part of our overall income.
During July, on the rental house side of things, it has been pretty uneventful (fingers and toes crossed!)
As part of my review this month, I need to review how we managed our ‘eating out’ budget and the ‘grocery budget’, particularly for this month. By doing a big shop at the beginning of the month, I have successfully kept us with enough non-essential month long supplies for longer. We are more careful not to use as much of these supplies.
- washing powder
- washing up liquid
- tinned fruit, beans, vegetables.
- cleaning products
- coffee, tea and sugar
- wine box instead of bottles.
It’s nearly vacation time, and in the lead up to this, Mr. Budget can get quite impatient to go on his holidays, which is fair enough. But what I have had to do, is to budget us some extra money for going out and keeping ourselves busy, while we wait for our holidays. Mostly I have achieved this by making extra money on a survey site called Prolific.
Here is a link to: June 2019 budget recap.
This month,to offset the overspend on eating out, I have made:
- £50 cushion used towards this
- £12 on Prolific
- £39 getting cash for an old cell phone.
- £18 selling a pair of cycling trainers on ebay
- At this moment in time potentially more money from ebay yet.
The only thing that I have realised over the course of this month, is that I really need to start a sinking fund for next year (for July and August), as making extra money, along with everything else I am doing, isn’t quite working as a solution. A sinking fund is basically a savings pot that is ready to go when I need it.
As my full time job is an educator, I get to spend more time with Mr. Budget in July and August. So inevitably this involves more time out, enjoying each other’s company. Some of this comes with a price tag.
To sum up, we have had:
- an overspend of £113.31 on eating out. – most of this has been offset as described above
- an overspend of £25.50 on groceries
- an overspend of £73.72 on petrol
Overall, due to realising our potential overspends in other areas, we curbed our main spending from our account.
So our overspend worked out at £80.47 overall.
Budget Planner July 2019
On my budget planner, where things have stayed the same, I haven’t filled in the second column, or I have ticked them when I have checked, they cost the same as I budgeted for. The ideas behind a budget sheet is that it should be workable for you. So you might see me work in different ways every month.
I find writing notes all over my budget planner useful, to vent my frustrations or to remind my to do things. Here for example, I have reminded myself to use the cushion as part of our extra ‘eat out’ budget.
Because I now have my spreadsheet spending tracker, I now show you my actual total of spending via that above.
Everything on this page worked out the same as budgeted, so I feel I don’t need to fill in the planner for the sake of it.
I aim to review and record my spending once a week, by using my bank app. From that I total up, and then write down how much of my budget is left. My eat out budget was an epic fail this month!!
T = Toiletries. One transaction is when Mr. B went and shopped, but didn’t have the toiletries cash envelopes. One is from me, when I forgot to take the envelope out 🙂
I used some savings to pay for our suitcase, and lowered the overpayment on the house, to afford our curtains for the front bedroom from Ikea.
Review of actions for July
- Have a cushion for extra spending – The cushion worked extremely well this month.I will be carrying on with this into the coming months! I finally decided on £50. I didn’t spend this, so I have used this to offset £50 overspend on eating out, taking me up to £100 offset out of our £113 overspend.
- Towards the last half of the month, plan my spending rigidly – Mr Budget has really got on board with eating at home less rather than eating out every day I am on vacation. One year, in the past for example, we ran up a bill of £1000 eating out a month, during my summer break. He has been creative with ideas for eating at home, and we have compromised a lot, to enable us to reduce our eat out bill.
- Next steps – I need to save every month, in what is called a sinking fund, so we can enjoy eating out at this time, and it is fully budgeted for next year.
- Tax bill – One major win I have had, is that I paid my tax bill without ANY pain. To do this, I set up a sinking fund and it enabled me just to pay it without any stress. Because I have paid a year in advance, I will keep my sink fund payment for tax, but adjust it down to £80 approx, and use the remaining £20 for a sink fund for summer eating out.
- Be creative when budgeting – Being creative with my coffee cash envelope has led to me having £7 left to carry over. I took advantage of loyalty scheme offers, and this saved me approx £12 on coffee this month.
- Set a target to get out of overdraft – One of my targets now we are credit card debt free is to get out of overdraft. I want to reduce the amount of OD we use every month by £100. By this time next year, I want to be in credit balance at the end of the month.
- Slash the home energy bill – Woop – the boiler has been set to ECO all month – we have not used the heating all month. As now we have control over the boiler, this is going to make a MASSIVE difference to our home energy bills going forward.
Progress this Month
The main achievement is being able to overpay the mortgage again by £289.92. Yay!
Actions for August
1. Set up sink funds for eating out in July/August 2020 and adjust my tax sink fund.
I have decided that because we are now a year in front with tax, I can ease back slightly with this sink fund. So £80 will go towards tax and £20 a month will go towards a sink fund for summer vacation fun.
2. Aim to shave off some overdraft
I need to keep up the momentum with this – I’m thinking of cutting our overdraft with the bank,every three months, so it forces us to pay what we use back. Any extra money made will go towards this. This can only be a win, because the lower our overdraft,the lower the fees charged.
3. Budget more for fuel
As I have shown from my spending tracker, July was an expensive month for fuel. We had an overspend of £75. So I need to budget approx £220 for fuel, and find this money by cutting from other budget areas. I will still budget for this amount over August, even though we are going away for a vacation, because we will have a rental car.
4. Keep up the momentum of overpaying mortgage
Last month , you will have noticed this amount was lower. This was because we spent £85 at Ikea, for a curtain set for the front bedroom. This month my aim is to sink £350+ into overpaying the mortgage. When I sit down to write the budget I will have to consider though, the extra money I realise I need to save/ put to one side for different budgets. This figure could be lower.
5. Develop more ways of making money but balancing time
August, I have decided, is my month to get serious on making extra money again. My goal ideally is to pay £500 extra off my mortgage, while rates are so cheap.
Admin and Creativity
1. Develop new, more resilient cash envelopes that fit inside my new cute filofax!
One of the things I shared with you on my IG video, was that my cash envelopes got completely trashed this month, so I am trying out some new thicker paper. To make the cash envelopes fit inside my new filofax, I will be making them bigger too! They will be deisgned on US letter paper size, so anyone who prints them, UK or US will be able to use them! Yay! Look out for these – I will be sending them out to subscribers on Friday 2nd August 2019 for free. If you aren’t a subscriber yet, subscribe here.
2. Develop a colourful set of sink fund envelopes.
To keep my motivation for monthly budgeting high, I love to create and use colourful cash envelopes. Yah it’s geeky, but hey it’s whatever works. Maybe it could work for you.
3. Use a set of highlighters to help me separate out my spending tracker
I’m finding it difficult to pick out spending from different budget areas within my miscellaneous budget sheet. I’ve seen lots of people using highlighters to help them, so thanks guys for the idea.
So tell me…
What are your budgeting wins this month?
How has your spending compared to last month?
Let me know in the comments section.
In the meantime, read these posts on specific ways of saving money:
- How to Save More Money Each Month By Cutting Personal Spending
I earned £50 just for booking my hire car through Quidco first.