Budget Monday

hola

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Happy new week! I’m reporting in on progress from last week’s challenge – Change 14 – Budget Simply. So I’m a day late from my promised Monday report back. It’s here though and I figured you’d forgive me the delay. I spent my weekend watering my friendships and treasuring new family, celebrating the christening of my beautiful friend’s baby boy in Mildura.

I was committed to the Change though and sat up Monday night after a run and visit to the movies to create my simple budget spreadsheet as per last week’s tips. [Incidentally I saw Rust and Bone at the movies and quite liked it, sweet, funny, though also pretty intense, probably not for everyone – it’s french and has the talented and beautiful Marion Cotillard, and has won awards to boot.]

rust and bone

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Sidetrack’s aside – spreadsheets and budgeting simply! Because I had already identified a couple of financial goals and had done a rough back of the envelope budget to figure out how much extra I could put on my credit card for Change 12 I was fairly well placed to create my simple spreadsheet budget. How did I go and what did I learn along the way? Well, I did my figures for a fortnight as that is the frequency I get paid, I also added a little column for expenses & other wishlists that were coming up as a reminder. I put my goals up top to remind me of why I was doing it and adding a few colours to make it a bit more interesting. I also played music in the background. It all helped make the task enjoyable so I will be more likely to do it again! Hence applying one of my resolutions for 2013:

if-you-cant-get-out-of-it-get-into-it--85312678

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Through the process I used online banking to increase the direct debits to my savings and credit card in line with my goals (including paying my small debt). I also set up a couple of additional automatic transfers to transfer money for essentials like groceries into a separate ‘bills’ account each fortnight. Which means the money left in my account is guilt-free spending money.

And you know what, I actually had spending money left over!

Well according to the spreadsheet at least! History has shown that so far I have managed to spend every penny each fortnight, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on how much I spend and where it goes – can anyone recommend a simple budgeting / spending-tracking app they use?

I had to resist my urge to make the budget more complicated, as it really was quite straightforward to set up. I made best guesses along the way of amounts for things in the discretionary basket that I wasn’t sure of as after all it’s about progress > perfection!

simple-to-complex

not this!

I’ll need to be fairly proactive for a while making the system work and modifying it to suit me as I go along until I can get into autopilot [financially-sorted] mode, but I think I’m up to the challenge.

So with that I announce:

Change 14 – Budget Simply = DONE!

Stay tuned for Change 15 and in the meantime Happy Watering your Simple Budget!

M x

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