Budgeting is my nemesis, friends.
I do enjoy sitting down with a nice clean spreadsheet and calculating our household expenses and determining where every last cent of our income should be going, but it’s the maintaining of the budget that’s the challenge.
I’ve tried budgeting apps a few times, and they’re all very well, but they’re not as specific as I would like to be in my budget plans. The “miscellaneous” category only goes so far.
This month I’m setting a goal for myself to budget and stick to my budget for the entire month. This might be a tricky feat, since this is a big birthday month for me, but I will make it work!
There are five reasons why I want to work harder at my budgeting skills.
- To cut back on excess spending. I want to get serious about all those little cracks our money seems to slip through. I’m sure we’re spending way too much on groceries, but it’s hard to pin down because of all the little side trips.
- Stop living from paycheck to paycheck. We’re making do with one income currently, and I’m grateful every day for the hard work my husband does for our family to keep the wolf away from the door. I know that if we are a little more conservative with our spending that we can get a bit of a cushion between paychecks so we don’t have to time our purchases based on when there’s money in the bank.
- To Build an Emergency Fund. We started putting twenty dollars from every paycheck into our savings account last year, and you would be amazed how beneficial that has been for us. We’ve broken that metaphorical piggy bank several times, but having the money set aside for those unexpected emergencies was such a blessing. And a little bit every paycheck adds up quickly if you don’t touch it for a while.
- To Be Able to Afford Our Dreams. Someday we’ll want to have our own home again, and we want to travel, and my husband has a retirement plan that involves living on a sailboat for the rest of our lives. We need to start preparing for these things now.
- To eat a cleaner diet by menu planning more effectively. Menu planning and budgeting go hand in hand. I wrote a post about the importance of menu planning last month. If I’m more dedicated to keeping on track with my budget, I’m going to spend less on take out and other unhealthy food, which will improve my overall diet. It’s a win-win!
I’m going to be using an excel spreadsheet to keep myself up to date on my budgeting goals. I’m useless with Excel, but this spreadsheet was created by Rachel’s husband for a budgeting project while he was in school. I love it because it’s easy to tailor it to my own personal finances, which means I can plan for the things that are really important to me.
Did my reasons strike a chord with you? Are you looking to make changes in your own budgeting process? If you’re like me, and you want to starting budgeting more effectively but you don’t know where to start, I’ve attached the file for our Blue Castles Budget Sheet. Please feel free to make use of it!
If you have any questions regarding the file, please comment below or email us here.
Happy budgeting, friends!