Revising and Simplifying My Budget (One More Time)

Hi money savers!

I have been looking for ways to save money every day and part of this lies in revising and editing my budget even more. In this way I can trim the fat from the areas where I spend too much and divert that money over to the areas where I need it more.

You may remember when I tweaked my budget, then simplified my money , simplified it even more and then revised it and simplified even further. Well I am doing it AGAIN because I have need for a different set of cash flows in the upcoming months.

I recently started taking some classes to further develop myself in my field (yaay me!!!!!) but these classes are expensive so I have had to shuffle around money to be able to pay for them and not owe anyone.

I have whittled the Expenses categories down to seven major groups namely:

  • Home
  • Utilities
  • Household
  • Car
  • Credit Cards
  • Miscellaneous
  • Savings

Those are the major categories that I have as expenses for the month and my salary is divided according to the burden that each thing takes up in my life.

I included savings as an expense because I do believe that every dollar should have a job and if Ijust leave it up to myself to pick savings it might not get done. By forcing myself to save a set amount and treating it like a bill I have no excuse not to send money to savings. Now of course I am not doing this manually, since I just have an automatic transfer set up in ING to put a certain amount in a savings account every month.

You might wonder what I put under each category so I am going to expand a little bit more here.

Home

  • Rent
  • Insurance
  • Water/Sewage
  • Pet Rent (Dinero waves paw wildly)

Utilities

  • Electricity
  • Cable/Internet
  • Cellphone
  • Phone card

Household

  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Household Items
  • Pet Items

Car

  • Loan
  • Insurance
  • Gas
  • Maintenance

Credit Cards

  • Credit Card 1
  • Credit Card 2

Miscellaneous

  • Personal loans
  • School
  • Church

Savings

  • Emergency Fund
  • Never Go Back To Fresno Fund
  • Other Savings
  • Irregular Expenses

The listings above take care of my money and any overage e.g. if the water bill is less than budgeted goes into the Irregular Expenses account so that I can make the most honest use of my zero based budget.

I then went into Mint and QuickenOnline and set up each of those categories with the corresponding amounts for July. I think that since I will not be using my credit cards for shopping this month I will have less updates to do online and should get a clearer picture of my finances.

By the way, the category School under Miscellaneous is being used right now for the classes that I am taking. When I am done with the program it will be renamed to some other project that I am working on. If there is no bill to go with it then the money will be transferred to  snowflake a payment to one of the credit cards listed.

Credit cards 1 and 2 are the two cards that I carry a balance on…..at zero percent interest. One card is the card I used when I got LASIK and the other is a card that gave me a 0% balance transfer offer. So I am carrying a balance on those two cards but not paying any interest since they are both at zero percent!!!!

My two main credit cards which I use for all purchases, are paid in full every month because the money budgeted for things like rent and food is sent to those cards every month.

As you can see, my budget is a living entitiy that needs tweaking every so often as my circumstances change. My rent is increasing in August so I needed to take account for that in the budget and adjust accordingly. My salary is also going up a little bit, as teacher pay increases slightly every year.  I am taking these classes so that I can become an administrator in the field of education and increase my value and salary even more.

How often do you tweak your budget?

Author: Lulu

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5 Comments

  1. Well done on reworking your budget and an even bigger well done on having all your credit card debt with 0% interest! Honestly, they are like gold dust at the moment (especially here in the UK!)

    oneadvice’s last blog post..Planning a Debt-Free Wedding

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  2. That’s awesome that you have 0% interest on your credit cards.

    How did you get it? I think we would all love to hear it.

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  3. I tweak my budget every month! I use an excel sheet to add up everything I spend then I review how I go under or over in each category and alter the next month based on the information I collected. I also take into account where I might be spending extra that month… I’ve found that being a guest at a wedding is expensive!!
    I actually made a post about my excel sheet earlier today if you want to take a look.

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  4. I tweak my budget about once a week! Usually in a “how can I squeeze even more from this?” way. Setting yourself the challenge of paying off $33k of debt in a year kinda does that to you.

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  5. Set a plan and stick to it!

    Work work on the budget – Do you keep track of it on a daily basis? That way you know exactly what you’re spending and what you can afford.

    I have most of my debts on lifetime low apr cards rather than 0% deals! Saves the expensive transfer cost when the 0% deal runs out!

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