I’m a bit of a nutjob for spreadsheets.
I don’t know why.
But I like having my budget all lined up, accounted for, colour coded and formulae inserted.
Here’s a pie chart of the basics of my budget:
And here’s an overview of my budget spreadsheet:
I have one personal credit card and another that is shared with the fiance. We’ve found the shared credit card has made life so much easier when dealing with things like electricity bills, groceries, insurance, etc. We pay off equal amounts each fortnight. We manage our salaries independently, cause we’re independent like that! We still have a ‘family meeting’ if we want to buy something big (like a sewing machine, or a new bike), but that’s more out of courtesy than being on a short leash.
I’m in charge of paying off my car loan while Dan’s in charge of improving our house deposit and paying for our interwebs bill. I put away the equivalent fortnightly amounts for regular bills like electricity, car registration and servicing, prescriptions, vet bills, etc into my ING Direct account to hold until I need it.
I chose not to get private health cover before I hit 31, but I do put away the equivalent amount into a separate ING Direct account that I have specifically for glasses, podiatrist sessions and whatever-else-hasn’t-happened-to-me-yet. I’m incredibly lucky that I have Dr Joe as my GP; he’s got me on a health care plan that gets me free dental for another two years and five visits a year to Traci, my nutritionist.
I keep track of the difference between what I earn now and what I earned 3-4 years ago and use that difference as a guide for what I can comfortably save each fortnight. This year I’m trying to add a bit more to it, roughly the equivalent of my old personal loan repayment.
I give myself a supply for ‘entertainment’ purposes (read into that as you wish!) and a bit extra cash, because not everyone is capable of keeping to an exact budget, right?
The fortnight just finished was a bit tight for the first attempt at this new, tightened budget. But I did do things like get my hair coloured and buy papercraft supplies from Spotlight (all for a good cause, I promise!). Hopefully this fortnight will be a bit easier since I’ll be keeping a closer eye on how I spend my moola.
(I just realised that this doesn’t even cover my business finances. But in a nutshell, I don’t spend what I make until after I pay the tax bill and I pay for anything I need out of my normal funds and claim it against my ABN. Seemed to work last financial year, so am trying it again this year.)