How I Budget Monthly

How I Budget Monthly

Accurate as of

January 2024

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The whole point of managing your finances is so that you can enjoy while you prepare for your retirement days. Practice balanced delayed gratification.

Starting young has made this easier to form the habit of tracking as there weren’t many income or expenses to record. I’ve went back and forth between spreadsheets and budgeting apps but have now stuck to using both.

Spreadsheet

  • annual overview of how things are going
  • make financial decisions
  • e.g. how much more could I be allocating to invest’ or ‘do I have enough to take a holiday trip’

Budgeting App

  • record on the go
  • tracks the balances of all my accounts - banks, investments, credit cards
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This is from my Annual Budgeting Spreadsheet. As I populate my Income and Expenses this chart will show real time figures that gives me an idea of

  1. How much I have left to Budget
  2. What is my Savings Rate
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Fixed Expenses

This doesn’t change for me. I’d revisit every 6 months to ensure that all that is fixed is only what I really need. If you’re doing this for yourself at the start, trim down. Cut unnecessary fixed expenses.

e.g. subscriptions you don’t need or overpaying for your phone bill

I’m allocating a budget to Swimming Lessons for my spine issue. Even though it’s going to cost me quite a bit, I know that in the long run, it will be beneficial for my health.

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Variable Expenses

Start of the month → Allocate a Budget to each cateogry.

As the month progress → Cell will change colour

Yellow - About to exceed budget allocated

Red - Burst 💥

This is crucial as it will affect how much I’ll be Saving or Investing.

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I choose to spend on the things that I love — Bread 🍞 Desserts 🍮 Books 📚  and I forgo things like Taxi 🚖 Shopping 🛍️ Drinks 🍸

When I was receiving a salary, it usually comes in at the start of the month. It goes into my savings account of which I’d first

  1. Pay off my Credit Card Bills
  2. Allocate a sum to my Investment Account

These days I don’t allocate a sum to save anymore. I’m at the stage where I don’t spend excessively or have thoughts like “why is it that I’m only left with $X” in the middle of the month.

Most of my expenses each month is kept to what is necessary / comfortable for me.

In 2023 the goal was to save 60% but I’ve surpassed it with a 75% savings rate.

In 2024, the goal will be 70%.

In your case, if you aren’t used to budgeting and controlling your spendings each month, please, SAVE FIRST after receiving your salary at the start of the month. Transfer it out to a separate savings account.

Use a Spreadsheet or a Mobile App ( I use Wallet by Budgetbakers ) to create a budget and record each transaction so you can track your progress mid-month. If you’re about to burst your budget, act accordingly! 🫡

At the start you might think that this is totally unnecessary but it will make a difference as you age and progress through life.

🛒 Shop

If you’d like to start off with a template. Annual updates will be made available for free as I update mine.

Get the spreadsheets here

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🎥 How I Use this Spreadsheet