I haven’t ever been great with money but I am not horrible either..
Money has been on my mind lately. I have been trying to get out of debt and just be overall smarter about the way I use money. I don’t want to be tied down and a slave to money I want to control the money.
I don’t have a lot of debt but I have enough that I don’t like it. A couple of credit cards, student loans and a car. I have about average debt for my age but I don’t want to be average anymore.
The pastor of the church I attend did a series on money a while back and I took the advice he had really seriously. You can watch the series here.
I was already creating a budget every month. I had been doing that for a year. I created my spreadsheet because I couldn’t find one that worked best for me on the internet. I say do an internet search and see if you can find one that works for you and if not it is easy to make your own in Excel.
Even though, I had a budget I found myself running over in certain categories (food) then Richard noticed something I didn’t. He said that I wasn’t tracking every penny to a T. I was just half keeping track. So I added another section where I actually broke down all my categories and I put down every single penny I spent into one these categories so I could easily see where I was making mistakes. I could look at my food budget for example and see why I went over…maybe because I spent $20.00 on one meal the other night at Cheesecake Factory when I went out with my friends?? After doing this it helped tremendously.
Here is an example of my budget and my budget breakdown. (Disclaimer: This is NOT my real budget this is just an example, I don’t really feel comfortable showing my real budget over the internet – but I wanted to show what it looks like so you get the idea.) Agian, this works for me and may not work for you. (Feel free to use my example and make it your own.) – everything written in red is to help you understand what I am doing. I had to save as a web page picture to make the link work. So you will you have to be familiar enough with Excel to be able to make your own.
If you need help, feel free to ask me. Also, if you have any suggestions I would love to help them. This isn’t perfect and I always look at it as a work in progress.
Next time, I will talk about the snowball effect and how I am going to use it in my next step to get debt free!! Richard is already way ahead of me and is almost finished! (Jealous…)
Do you guys keep a budget, and if so how do you do yours?! I would love to know.