The Budget Planner That Will Change Your Life
New Year, fresh start.
Isn’t it great having a chance of a clean slate, a new beginning?
There’s something so motivational about a brand new year – maybe it’s the thought that we want this year to be our best year ever, and it’s a good time to reflect on the past year.
Looking back at the past year is a great way to see the things that worked out really well for us, and the things that didn’t go so great. We don’t want to dwell on the things that went wrong, but it can enable us to see what we could do better in the future.
Something that I always find that I can work on, is my budget. I LOVE budgeting, and it’s the first thing that I recommend for anyone who asks me for money advice.
When you aren’t 100% on top of how much money is coming in and out of the bank accounts, it’s easy to assume that everything is fine, or perhaps wonder why you never have any money left at the end of the month.
You aren’t alone with this – and it’s hard to keep track if you aren’t purposely tracking and following a budget. There’s a lot of spending and numbers to deal with!
I am a big fan of writing everything down.
Yes, I will be that girl that you see surrounded by stacks of paper, scribbles and notebooks (with a messy bun and a cup of tea usually, with my child sat on my lap).
To get all of my workings into some sort of order, I asked my boyfriend to help me get it all onto the computer, so that I could then print it all off and keep in a binder.
The binder bit was important – I like to carry things around with me! (I’m probably a little bit too obsessed with checking my finances, but it’s working for me so far).
My boyfriend is the BEST person ever, and also really talented on computer systems. He used lots of different ones at Uni, and he used to work for his brothers architectural business as well, and spent time learning a bunch.
We designed it all together, and it took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I hadn’t realised before how much work went into designing and creating a planner – I now have massive respect for everyone who makes planners or printables.
After a lot of hard work, the budget planner was born:
I am incredibly proud of this, and I know that you will all love it as much as I do.
Here’s all of the lovely pages that I have included in this planner:
These are to be printed out once:
– Front cover
– Annual review
– Life goals
– Gratitude list
– Penny (1p) savings challenge
– Ways to save & earn
– Spending clarification
– 7 inspirational quote pages
These are to be printed out x12 (they are separated on the download):
– Monthly goals
– Monthly budget
– Monthly review
– Expense tracker
– Habit tracker
– Investment tracker
– Net worth tracker
– No spend tracker
– Sinking funds
– Debt payment tracker
– Savings tracker
I’ve put in some inspirational quotes because I personally love a quote, and judging by the reaction when I share them on social media, a lot of you like them too!
This planner will help you with keeping on track with your goals for the whole year. It’s never too late to start either, and you can always go back and fill in previous months expenses. The best time to start is now.
I’ve tried to include everything that I could, without it being overwhelming. If you are serious about achieving your goals and sorting out your finances, this is a must have for you.
How To Start a Budget
Use your monthly budget sheet for this that is within the planner. Start by writing down all of the money that you have coming in, such as your salary, interest, any benefits etc.
The next step is to go through your bank statements and if you look under the direct debits/standing order section on your online banking, look at all of the things that you are paying for each month.
When it comes to your expenses, make sure that you don’t forget any that are paid for in cash, such as kids activities or school dinners.
You can now easily look at income – expenses = money that you have for savings, debt, fun money etc.
The trick here is to obviously get more income, and less expenses.
If you’re trying to think about ways to make more money, I have loads of resources on this blog, but you could always start with how to make an extra £100 per month, or go for more and try how to make an extra £1000 per month.
A good page in the budget planner to use for your ideas is Ways to Save & Earn Money. Pop all of your ideas in here so that you can refer back to it when you’re a bit stuck.
When it comes to decreasing your expenses, a great thing to start with is meal planning. Food costs can get a bit crazy if you don’t plan them (talking from experience here) – and there are lots of fab resources out there such as The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning from Cass.
Throughout the month, use the Expense Tracker to write down every single thing that you buy. Yes, every single thing. The reason for doing this is so that you can see where your money is going, and if there are any money leaks.
This will also help you to assess your habits. We often don’t realise it, until we analyse our spending, that sometimes there are certain habits that lead to unplanned spending.
Examples could be: food shopping when hungry, going to the shops when bored, buying stuff for the kids when mum guilt strikes, always buying takeaway on the day that you work the most, etc.
Tracking everything will show you the things that you need to work on, and the things that are going well.
There are goal sheets within the planner as well, which will help you to set and achieve your goals from month to month.
Here’s to having the best year ever!
Get your copy of the Budget Planner here.