I not only use my planner for setting goals and planning out my days, but also for keeping track of my fiances. Last week, I shared the first half of how I use my bullet journal. Each month I create a monthly overview, a recap of the previous month as well as my blog content calendar.
Today, I’ll show you how I set up my budget and spending tracker.
First of all, I do use a spreadsheet in conjunction with this planner. The spreadsheet is always created first before it’s written out on paper. Why? I like to plan out our budget digitally first because it’s easier to modify and make changes before my husband and I commit to the final version. I then like to write it down on paper and keep track of our spending week by week.
Bi-Weekly Budgets: Each month gets two budgets—one for every two weeks. I always pay myself on the same day as Steve gets paid through his job, so we can budget our money together. It makes it a lot easier to do this together and not be drawing money out of my business more than twice a month. I track our income, expenses and total savings on these pages.
Spending Tracker: We track how much we spend on food, fun and miscellaneous purchases every week. These are the only categories that need to be tracked because the amounts are always different. Each week I write down what was spent in each category, then how much is remaining according to the budget that has been set. I find that this keeps us really close to our set budget because I’m aware of what we have remaining in each category before going into the next week.
Sinking Funds & Savings Progress: We have a sinking fund set up for things like insurance, Amazon, car repairs, dog vet and grooming visits, gifts and other things that are come up but are not a monthly expense. Money gets deposited into this fund every two weeks so that we are prepared when these things come due. At the beginning of the month, I will write down what the beginning balance is for each category is. Then at the end of the month, I’ll fill in what was deposited and what the ending balance is. This helps me to be aware of how much we have to use for each category. I also track our savings balances for our emergency fund, house fund and travel fund in the same way.
I enjoy writing my budget out on paper. I know that it doesn’t need to be this way, but it works really well for us. I find it motivating to track our progress through my journal. It keeps me really aware of my financial state and that is one thing I’ve learned to be very important—just being aware.
How do you keep a budget? Comment below. =)
“A budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations” – Jacob Lew
Thanks for Reading,