Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Budgets: Let's Get Real

Now is the time for me to get serious about the future.  As much of a control person I am, finances are hard.  I want to feel like I am secure with more money saved and potentially getting into my own space solo.  I was excited to peruse through properties for sale, but the first battle is tackling what you have to deal with now in order to get there.  I use my phone and other apps quite a bit to track, but sometimes good ole pen and paper can help to see every detail you should be looking at.  I watched this Better Budgeting 101 webcast from BECU and got some ideas of how I wanted to layout a planner to help keep me on track towards better spending habits and achieving a long term goal.

This fits in with my other planner in the A5 case, so I will always have it!
This was a Target One Spot notebook that I created for my budgeting starting this month.  I left a couple of pages in between each section in case I had more to include and separated each section with some page flags.
First page - Budget Goals.
This was pretty easy and laid them out with short, medium and long term goals according to what is feasible and attainable.  First and foremost, save!  Next, pay off the debt.  Last goal of investing!

My least favorite page
Least liked, but the most important.  What is my current situation and how will I manage that,  From here on out, I do not want to see that number increase until I am debt free and on to investing.  

Check boxes are so satisfying when a task is complete!
Make your budget tasks attainable for you to complete in a reasonable amount of time.  I like and do better with having monthly goals.  Don't be hard on yourself if you slip either!  Just try again the next round and note where there were issues.

Starting off a month of tracking along with the goals in mind
I have an app on my phone that I keep track of expenses from my accounts, but not with cash.  I'll get to really see where and how I am spending my money. 

The last written section is a place for notes and thoughts.  I want to keep track how this process made me feel.  The joys of being an adult!  This is a very difficult lesson for me because I have a shopping problem.  I have accumulated so much stuff over the years and need to curb that habit.  

Last portion of this planner was to have a place for all my monthly receipts.  I will keep the current month's receipts, then shred as I move on to the next month.

Another long term goal for me is to focus on living simply.  Thanks to capitalism, many of us have been tempted to acquire and upgrade creating mass consumerists.  No one is going to tell me to not spend, so I have to do it myself and hold myself accountable.  Any tips and recommendations that have helped you with better budgeting?

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