To carry out my budget review for the month, I use my budget sheet and spending tracker. The I input these figures into my spreadsheet. It shows me exactly what my actual spend was - like a double checker.
Download my free budget planner by filling in the form in below and get started on April's budget.
Here are my thoughts and takeaways from my budget recap, that I can apply to my next month's budget.
- My miscellaneous spending is covered by budgets already saved for.
- Overspending on groceries and eating out - like loads!
- Changing over to all card spending due to it being safer than cash (during the Coronavirus situation).
- Miscellaneous costs understandable for the current situation.
- We had to make the decision to send money into our financial cushion and savings, rather than to overpay our mortgage. We felt it was just best to have more savings behind us, just in case our tenants can't pay.
Budget Sheet Top Tips
Don't worry if you're sheet is scribbled all over by the end of the month.
- It is a working document that you can change and adjust as you go.
- Things might happen in the month, that you haven't expected, and you need to recalculate your budgets to suit.
March Budget Breakdown 2020
Actions for April's Budget
- Adjust the grocery budget up. We are in lockdown in UK and restaurants are shut.
- Small eat out budget for coffee and takeaways.
Keep the cushion in the account at £1000.
Contact my rental agents and see if any of our tenants will struggle to pay the rent.
Earn as much extra income as possible, to keep my plans on track for expanding my blog and becoming a freelance copywriter.
Adjust the Grocery Budget Up
One of the reasons we overspent this month was because we wanted to get basics in at home.
We resisted panic-buying, but did more shopping in more expensive shops. Social distancing has been way more important to us than money.
For some supplies, we paid more than we ever would have in the past. This impacted our budget.
However, I’m seeing this positively.
We can’t go out to eat now. Facto.
So we will save on our eat-out budget. Restaurants and most places are closed. Meal planning here, will really help us save. Mr. Budget hates meal planning. He is a creative in the kitchen. He starts to feel constrained. But he’s up for planning in this weird scenario Covid 19 is giving us.
Therefore, we have a grand total of £405 to spend on groceries.
Smaller eat out budget
Our eat out budget will now include treats such as coffee for both of us.
We really need a couple of treat things every week. Every day we are allowed to go out for exercise once. One bakery in town is open and we can get take out coffee.
I have budgeted for us to have one every day during the week.
We decided that we will have a take out every Saturday also.
Overall, I've estimated roughly £20 per takeaway and then the rest can go on small treats.
Keep a Cushion of £1000 in our Checking Account
I believe firmly in an account cushion in case of emergencies. So we keep a level of £1000 minimum.
This avoids us being charged.
It also functions a bit like an emergency fund, although we have saved £1000 in a savings account for emergencies anyway.
In the UK this month (April 2020) overdraft fees are going to rise a lot, it's a great idea to try and keep checking accounts in credit, to avoid a shock at the end of the month.
Check in with our Tenants
One of our principles in our rental business, is that the welfare of our tenants is so important.
I just need to make sure they haven’t lost their income.
At present our government in the UK will honour 80% of most incomes. That means the conversations I will have will either help them get a rent break, or reduction for as long as they need, or just check-in and make sure they are ok.
Earn as much extra income as possible
One of the things I firmly believe is that you have is the power to earn more.
So this is my plan again.
I am working at home in my main role. Around this, I will fit my plan to earn more.
I have started a fab course to become a freelance copywriter - it means I can dictate my income and the aim is to work from home eventually. I’m so excited!
Other ways I plan to make more money is to upload more products into my blog shop.
This will build me a passive income over time, via my blog.
Finally of course I plan to do plenty of surveys via Prolific. In one week alone, in March, I earned over £20!
As you can see here, I have stopped my cash spending for now.
This is going to be incredibly hard. Using cash stops me spending too much.
However other people's health is more important.
When we hand over cash, we could potentially be putting our brave cashiers at risk, by spreading the Coronavirus.
Instead I plan to use my contactless card.
If you want to zoom in to our budget for the month, click on the image and you can see it full size.