Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Our budget planner

Ive been using our budget planner since the start of this year and its the first time Ive actually stuck at it.
It was imperative that I kept track of our finances due to being on a low income until i returned to work and then having to survive on one wage. This planner helped take some of the stress out of worrying about money as i could plan what bills were due and what we had leftover for the 'fun' stuff!
I use Excel. I probably dont use it to its full potential but because I use it a lot at work, im getting better at formulas and macros etc.
So here's an overview:


Ive taken out the actual figures, for privacy reasons of course, but this is the basic layout. Normally this section is pretty standard from month to month but Hubby has just started a casual position so his section will differ depending.
example only (wish our mortgage was really $1000/mth!)

Here is where i record our regular monthly expenditure (minus food/fuel...thats to follow).
Again, this doesnt often change month to month but I use a colour code to know what has been paid and what is still to come. Some of these payments are direct debited so I know when they're due to come out. I also record these on a calender next to the computer. When they have been paid, I mark them GREENYELLOW are all pending payments. Then I calculate the total at the bottom.

I record my food and fuel expenditure separately as this is where I can save money if needed. I class them as my 'variables'. I set myself a budget of $440 for food and $200 for fuel per month. This seems to work out pretty close to but if money is looking tight I can always jiggle these costs around.
I update this as i go along for the month and then its saved for when i want to look back at how we can do better next time.

Then I have our quarterly and yearly bills. This is what has been really handy for me as Ive been able to predict when the next bill/s are coming in.
Im sure most of your Utility bills come quarterly, so mark what month you receive and then colour the box 3 months down the track. So in this case i can see next month we'll get Electric, Gas and our council rates (YUCK!)  and in December our RAA is due. Then I can budget around that.

Finally at the bottom I have the grand total of what will be left in the kitty. I use formulas to subtract our sub total expenditures from our income.

So I hope that might have helped some of you looking at preparing a budget.
Its not foolproof but i go back to this every couple of days and compare our bank balance to see how we're travelling.

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