My budget recap of June 2019 has spun around fast! It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was on project re-use with my cash envelopes this month! Where has the time gone? I have learned so much!
This month again I will be giving you my 5 budget takeaways. These are headlines about the key things I have learned this month. Maybe it will inspire you to carry on on the hard road of monthly budgeting, or give you the motivation to start.
Why do a monthly budget?
So 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
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, it really makes me accountable to myself -there is nowhere to hide! Haha!
For monthly budgeting, I use my budget binder to record everything I want to do for the month. It’s a really useful budget form to have.
I use it to:
- To set my budget for every budget area
- To record my spending for areas where I don’t use a cash envelope
- To record my savings goals
- To record anything that happens that is unusual
- To record when and how much things like car insurance is, so I can adjust my budget accordingly.
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, so £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 £0 credit card debt and £2600 is left on my student loan.It’s not been an easy process,but I love my binder and it makes me feel accountable for where the money goes.
I’m such a geek, that these days I am super excited when I am getting my cash envelopes ready for the month and printing off my budget planner.
Review of Actions for June
- Not to feel guilty for treating myself, as long as it’s within budget – yas! I’ve again stayed within my coffee budget and have started a saving pot within my bank account.
- Feel proud of my achievements, however small – yay!!!! My main achievement this month is juggling two remortgages and not knowing when they would be due to start, or how the payments would behave.
- Keep using cashback websites for whatever spending I can, to build up a fund for overpaying – I have gained £60 from Sixt for our hire car for our vacation this summer – win!!
- Adapt my budget to accomodate two possible mortgage payments – we believe in remortgaging our house, and it has already saved us fortunes in interest! As celebrated above!
- The most exciting one! Jump to starting Baby Step 6 (Dave Ramsey) – pay off the mortgage early. So we will be overpaying the mortgage every month. EEK! I know it’s geeky, but I’m really excited! Put away £384 towards a mortgage over-payment, so big tick!
How does my spending compare to May?
Every month, I like to look at how 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 May, we had a boiler repair to consider, so this took £400 of rental income out of the question. This month has been great because we have enjoyed this bonus. I have used this to go towards for the time being our holiday deposit and paying for a trip in winter. Mr Budget is going to pay this out of his income, when we return from our summer hols.
One of the areas I have really controlled well is the ‘eating out’ budget and the ‘grocery budget’. 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.
Seriously, you need to get to Aldi, or Lidl, if you don’t already. We are able to do this big shop (ok for two of us) for £40.
Other things I have kept up are making my own cappucinos at home (amazing!) and I’ve decided to not buy any clothes for my holidays this year. Mr. Budget is going to, but he has already bought a range of second hand designer t-shirts. Total £20 approx for 6! So that’s fab! Oh and he’s using his income next month also, to pay for holidays and other big treats we might want.
Actions for July
1. Have a cushion for extra spending
It is so scary taking my account down to zero every month, to start my budget month, so I am starting with a cushion, so that if anything unexpected happens, we have funds to sort it. This will be set at £200.
2. Towards the last half of the month, plan my spending rigidly
July is going to be a weird month. The end of the academic year, holidays coming up and it will be tempting to overspend. Me and Mr Budget are already wanting to go on our jollies, but we need to temper this by not being tempted to go and buy stuff because we are trying to distract ourselves away from thinking about going on holidays.
I will have to plan carefully as I have a tax bill due at the end of the month. Due to my budgeting over the last few months I have this ready, so I shouldn’t notice any difference. However I will continue to save £100 a month towards this, so we are in a comfortable position for our next tax bill.
3. Be creative when budgeting
Most of my concentration when writing my blog and the inspiration comes when I am sitting in coffee shops – but hey this is expensive. This month, to stretch my cash envelope, I looked at which loyalty scheme would give me free coffees the quickest, and managed to have some money left over, but enough coffee! Yay!
I have carried on earning money with Prolific. This has earned me approx £7 this month! Not much, but still will count towards over payments.
4. 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.
5. Slash the home energy bill
Now we have a fab hive learning thermostat installed, that is working beautifully, now’s the time to start seeing the benefits. In six months I want to see a saving of around £30 on a monthly bill of £120. Now we have got full control of the boiler, it should be easy to knock off the heat when we don’t need it. Previously Mr. Budget had installed smart things and we could control most of the radiators, but it still meant the boiler heating areas of the house, we didn’t need.
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.