The 2019 Budget Binder is finally here! I am planning to share one of these each year to help you guys with creating your monthly budgets, save money, and track your spending, savings goals and spending.
THE BUDGET BINDER FOR 2019
I don’t know about you, but having a budget has really made me sharpen up as to what I was spending every month.
You’re thinking – but where do I start? Right?
Well first let’s have a look at this cute little binder and its contents.
A CUTE COVER
It so had to have a cute cover. It’s simple and has clean lines – not fussy. I don’t particularly like overly flowery or fussy!
I’m just excited looking at my binder now and everything I am determined to achieve.
SUBSCRIPTIONS LIST PAGE
I write this at the beginning of the year, by logging on to my bank account and looking at all my reoccuring payments.
These could be:
- Loan payments
- Insurance payments
- Utility bills
- Subscription services
- Tuition or lesson fees
- Gym memberships
- Regular charitable giving
- Recurring contributions to savings
– Usually I print two or three of these, so the first one is for me to just write down everything I have on the bank list (direct debits and standing orders)
– Then I order them in terms of different budget areas, so I can see if I have missed anything.
But you may be thinking:
Where do I find all this information for the financial binder?
- Any paperwork from the last year, and documents. Sometimes you might have paid for e.g car insurance, in a yearly lump sum. I do this so I don’t miss any renewal dates.
- Bank, loan or building society statements
- Your banking app.
I write on my final sheet, everything in an order that makes sense to me.
Renewal dates are important to me here, as I can negotiate new deals every year and slash the cost of all budget areas if I am determined enough (which I am!)
You might want to order these subscriptions in renewal date order, so you are super focused on which ones are due for renewal each month.
SAVINGS GOAL PLANNER
Goal setting is crucial in our plan every year, as it makes us accountable to ourselves for what action we are going to take to make this happen.
We will sit down and figure out, based on our monthly budget, what is possible by looking at what money is available to be saved.
I firmly believe that a budget where you pay yourself (to your savings) first is the only way. If you leave until the end of the month, to see what you will have left, the reality is there will not be much.
Pay yourself first.
(put your savings away first, not at the end of the month).
If you make yourself save, for example, 10% of your earnings first, you will then have to trim your budget to suit this! Win! Win!
I’m not saying this approach will be easy, but it forces you to be self-disciplined and to send your money where you want it to go, rather than watch it go.
Pin me so you can use me later!
MONTHLY BUDGET PLANNER
I have 3 budget sheets on my monthly budget planner and it gives me enough room to write down everything that I know I will need to budget for.
My subscription list helps here because it contains a lot of payments that are coming out of my account automatically. I write these in first, then I estimate what I will spend on for example groceries.
For some of these items:
- hair and beauty
- eating out
I am using a cash envelope. So I set myself a budget on my budget worksheet, then mark next to the column on my budget planner CE for cash envelope.
On pay day, I make up my cash envelopes, with the cash I have budgeted to spend that month. For more information on how to use cash envelopes see my post on cash envelopes.
Omg, you are thinking – this is too overwhelming!
How am I gonna be able to do all of this at once?
Where do I start with monthly budgeting?
It breaks down the steps over 4 days:
- Day 1 – Introduction to Monthly Budgeting and collecting information you will need.
- Day 2 – How to Hammer Down Your Monthly Budget
- Day 3 – Trim Your Budget
- Day 4 – Slash the Direct Debits and How to Use Cash Envelopes
The beauty of this course is that is is COMPLETELY free and you can complete the tasks at your own pace.
My budget binder has saved me hundreds in the 6 months I have used it. It will be the best $10 you spend this year!
Again, I wouldn’t be afraid to print more than one of these, for different budget areas. As a family budget worksheet, it really gives me a good ideas of how much I am spending in reality. So for groceries, I fill it in after every shop I do. It helps to keep the receipts, so you don’t have to hold the information in your head.
At the end of the month, you can use this sheet to see why overspends have happened and trim your spending accordingly.
It gives you an early warning system also, to remind you to manage your money throughout the month. So if you’ve spent over a quarter of your budget on shopping in the first week of the month, you will have to reduce your grocery shops in week 2, 3 and 4 to accommodate this.
Use the spending tracker sheet to check why overspends have happened.
Mark on your spending tracker if the month is actually a 5 week month. You will need to think about your budget areas in terms of making them last for 5 weeks, not 4.
Has this given you laser focus to start your own monthly budget or budget binder?
What are your financial goals?
Remember to think big and go for it! You can do it – and achieve the free financial future you deserve.
In the meantime, as you are building up your budget picture, read these posts on specific ways of saving money:
- How to Save More Money Each Month By Cutting Personal Spending
Also, feel free to use the comments to give us all suggestions on ways of saving money, so we can all become financially free sooner!