New Year, New Budget!

I wanted to write this post last week- when the year still felt new, but I ended up in the hospital with a collapsed lung… All is okay now, and I’m back on the grind.

For January, I redid my budget template. As I am on the spending diet/detox/ban and not buying anything, I wanted my budget to reflect that. I don’t want to lose track of Misc category and where that money goes to, so I have a way of keeping track of the categories too.

Here is a snippet:

jan 2015

The way I started was actually based on percentages. I figured out how much I wanted to spend in each Category: Housing, Food, Transport, Debt and the Rest. I loosely followed the 50/30/20 method, but adjusted it a bit.

After I decided on percentages I broke the categories down. For example, Food became: Groceries, Restaurants and Coffee. Then I worked out the dollar amounts (not shown) corresponding to the percentage.

As I am not shopping for anything except essentials I don’t have all the categories listed. Instead, I have another page where I keep track of what I have purchased with my allowance and categorize it separately.

I think there are a couple of good moves I’ve made so far this year: I now use Google Docs and maintain my spreadsheet there. I have it connected to my phone and all the computers I work on. No excuses not to update spending. No emailing back and forth between my work computer and my laptop. It’s just overall a great convenience. And the other good move I made is using percentages. Numbers and dollars are all arbitrary amounts but percentages really put things into perspective.

Although I’ve stopped posting my weekly spending reports on here I still keep track of what I spend every day. I will resume to post monthly budgets and monthly actuals based on percentages.

So far, I really like using Google docs and this way of keeping track of my budget. I might post a template on the blog. Let me know if you would be interested and if you have any questions !

-R.

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