Budgets, I can’t tell you how many I have started and failed to maintain. The problem was always that they were too complicated (with all of our random expenses) or didn’t reflect what we made that month (as our income fluctuates).
I was left with all of these questions!
- How much should I be spending on Mortgage/Rent/Cell Phones/Childcare and so on?
- How much should I be saving?
- How can I budget on a fluctuating/variable income?
The answer to all of these problems is to solve them once when you are very motivated to get things under control and then find an easy, habitual way to maintain them.
So let’s do this, set the timer for 15 minutes!
- Place your “average” or “estimated” income for the month and watch spreadsheet fill itself out with recommended values for your corresponding expenses.
- Then ignore the advice (you were going to anyway) and enter what you intend to spend in pink.
- Have a plan for each dollar in your budget (your estimated income should equal your total monthly expenses).
Now comes the hard part KEEPING THIS THING UP TO DATE…
Download the free apps “Mint” or “Prosper Daily” (I prefer the former). These will help you keep track of your transactions as they pass through the bank (OR you could just look at your bank transactions).
Pick a day of the week (Fridays or Saturdays usually work best for me) and set a regular time aside say 11-12pm (or 11-12am if you have kids) and spend 15 minutes a WEEK just entering the actual values for each week of that month.
You finally get a clear idea of what is costing you too much and can plan accordingly!
Learn how to save $10,000 on your student loan interest without paying more here!
Please share with me below how you budget! I’d love to hear from you. I’m lonely…