My First Budget

 

Hello all! I hope you’re having a peaceful and relaxing Sunday and that you like the new look that I gave the blog :) I think I need a fresh start!

This week I decided to commit to learning to budget. I have always avoided budgeting because I thought it is somehow either something I can’t do and is a bit of a “downer”.

The good news is that I don’t have any debt (yet), I save some money at the start of the month and I have a pension plan in place since turning 30 a few years ago. So I think that’s a lot of good things. But the reality is, that I have literally no idea as to what I’m spending each month. I hope by learning to budget that I will actually save more because I know where I stand and also that it’ll relieve some guilt. I’d like to have a better relationship with money and just feel more abundant.

I used to work through the FlyLady FACE journal about once a year, and this did give me an overview as to what my “number” was as to what’s coming in and what’s going out. That was really helpful but I think I need to work out a more detailed budget.

So I scoured the internet for information. After watching some youtube tutorials, I signed up for Dave Ramsey’s free “everydollar” online software. Years ago I tried to use YNAB before, and my bank has it’s own app but I think there is little point filling in all the transactions if you aren’t interested in getting a kind of a result and I think that’s why I’ve failed in the past. I was afraid to look at the whole picture.

After filling in the everydollar budget using my bank’s app, I traced all the transactions for November. I found out that in November I spent a whopping €76 on eating lunch out with my colleagues! But I think it’s these moments of enlightenment where we see where we can improve.  Another shocker for me on analyzing some phone bills, I found out that I my mobile phone bill is consistently double what the rate plan is for it, due in part to frequently texting my boyfriend’s Irish number by accident and sending far too many international text messages.

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The hard cold facts of my first budget

 

I organised my findings into the FACE section of my Control Journal and have vowed to track bills, savings and review how it’s going on a monthly basis. Right now I’m not sure how I deal with that I get paid on the 25th and the start of the month bills get going from the 1st… should I just try to hold on until the 1st?? What do you guys do?

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I guess if I just start I’ll learn as I go. I’d love to be able to plan how much to put away for Christmas, travel, insurance & medical stuff that comes all in one go. I regret not taking home ec! LOL!

 

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4 comments

  1. Welcome back to the world of blogging! I like the new look.
    It is always astonishing to me to see exactly where my money is going. Saving for regular but not monthly expenses was one of the biggest motivators for me in first starting a budget spreadsheet. Actually, it started as a way for me to track spending when laser cards were first introduced in Ireland but the transactions sometimes took days or weeks to show up on my bank account and I had a couple of times where I ended up overdrawn as a result. Anyway, on the side of my monthly speadsheet I have a column where I list the annual/less regular than monthly expenses, including a total. The idea is that I transfer 1/12th of that total into a savings account as soon as I get paid. I’ve had a tendency to sometimes raid that savings account when stuck but for the most part I manage to at least have enough to cover bills as they come in. My list, in case you’re interested is: House/legal insurance (legal, Haftpflicht, and Hausrat), travel insurance, BahnCard, preserving supplies, Rundfunk, choir dues, translator association dues, car-sharing, Mieterverein, replacing white goods, and a small amount that I really should delete as it’s for something I never actually do anymore. The amount for replacing white goods has never is one that I thought was a great idea but is something I’ve never managed to actually build up – the raiding of this savings account ends to use up this small amount (I basically added up how much it would cost to buy a cooker, washing machine and fridge and divided that by seven, figuring that these appliances are generally built to last about that long). I also have a second account that I add an amount to each month for holidays. Or at least that’s the plan – at the moment, saving of any kind is pretty non-existant. Anyway, yet another comment that’s turning into a novel, sorry. Good luck with the budgeting – it is definitely well worth while.

  2. Gosh moonwaves, that’s so smart and super helpful! Thank you for sharing your categories and you obviously started budgeting early – when I had a laser card I NEVER looked at the statements as you can imagine!

    I’m going to give that side-list a try in my journal. You’ve actually just reminded me about another association fee that comes around annually in January that i had completely forgotten about! And as for replacing white goods… well… I’d say my idea there was that they’ll just go forever! Lol!

    I feel like I save actually too much, but then always have to dig back into it anyway towards the end of the month which feels a bit like self-sabotage and that I’m only fooling myself. So I want to try to be a bit kinder to myself and really give this a go and learn how to do this. I find it so inspiring to read about how other people manage. The topic of money is still so taboo!

  3. There was an excellent article in the Irish Times today about starting saving in your 20s. Worth a read.
    askaboutmoney.com is a really good Irish website, or mrmoneymustache.com for a more “extreme” view on saving is also really good. Both places where the taboo part of money is barely, if at all, present. I used askaboutmoney a lot when I first started trying to get out of debt and budget properly.

  4. Thank you Moonwaves, I’ll be sure to check All those sites and articles out. Unfortunately in my 20’s the only thing I was saving for was to move abroad and then I just struggled to stay afloat here.

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