My Budget Book

If you ever want an eye opening experience into where your money goes I suggest tracking it your spending in writing! This might seem tedious but it really can tell you a lot about your spending habits and also helps you take a long hard look what you need to do to help you become debt free and put money aside for the if’s in life!

When I first really started buckling down and budgeting I was trying to use an online tool that my bank offered and keeping track there but for some reason after about 3 months I realized I was constantly going over budget on many area’s and I was loosing track of different things and it wasn’t really helping me save. So being the stationary addict I am I purchased a cute notebook at TJ MAXX and started writing down things and creating a plan and a budget.

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I wanted a pretty note book of course, because I was going to be carrying this around with me daily in my purse. This is also a really nice wide rule note book so lots of room for all the information I need to add into my budgeting. I also like that it’s got plenty of pages for when I update things or when I need to make changes. PS I got this as TJ Maxx!

Now for the Budget portion!

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So the first step to setting up a successful budget it listing out all of your monthly bills; things like rent, power, car payments, insurance, credit card payments, etc. I like to include anything that I pay every month. On this page I also liked to list my current loans/ credit cards and what the current balance. This gives a nice over view of how much we have left to pay off debts.

One of my main goals with this budget book it so not only become as close to debt free as I can but also to put aside money into savings so that we have money for future use like vacations, emergencies, and even a down payment for a house of our own. I have made it my goal for the last 18 months to treat savings just as I do a bill and to act as if I don’t have that money at my disposal until either there is an emergency or a vacation. With that I come up on the next few pages in my budget book.

On the next two pages I have laid out the different credit cards or revolving lines of credit that don’t have a set pay off date. I also like to color code each page; the blue is what my ideal payment amount and payoff time frame will be, while the pink is the actual payment amount and pay off time frame. I broke each of these down by month. Because I started my budget book in April I only have the page split into nine sections which happened to work out perfectly for the number of lines on each page.

The reason I have the two different pages, “Ideal” and “Actual”, is so that I can work the idea numbers into my monthly budgets the best I can. The “actual” page is to keep track of the reality of where the balances are sitting as well as what I am actually paying and if I am meeting my ideal payment. If I’m not meeting that I deal payment I want to see why which I document later on in my book.

The next two pages are my savings goals! Again I have and “Ideal” and “Actual” savings page so I can again work the ideal into my budget and keep track of the actual in case something has come up on the month that required me to take money out of savings to cover things. One thing I have learned about putting money aside is to treat it like a bill every month and to only take from it when absolutely necessary. The other thing I have found helpful when saving is to have specific accounts set up for specific items. I personally have 5 different savings accounts set up including a house savings and an emergency fund for those unexpected things. This has come in handy when different things have come up. The easiest way I have found to treat saving as a monthly bill is to set up automatic transfers to each account that I either can’t change or that I factor into my bills budget.

I also like to keep track of what my over all balances are in my savings account and then a running total. I have found by having 5 different savings accounts I don’t actually notice how much we have set aside until I add them all up together! It’s a good way to play a trick on your mind and also to save for specific things!

I sometimes like to play with numbers and think about how much we would have after so many months if we put a certain amount aside and it makes me excited to think we can actually make that happen!

I always recommend having different savings accounts with different labels so that you know exactly what you are saving for and that stays the in the forefront of you mind.

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Next up I like to write down pay days and what I calculate my pay to be and what I actually get along with my husband. I my self get paid monthly so this takes a lot of budgeting and this is the main reason why I started getting more serious about my budgeting. My husband just had a major job change and actually has gone from getting paid every two weeks to weekly so this has been a bit of an adjustment as well but with my budget book I have been able to budget a lot better. This also helps me to project my budget for the coming months and see if there will be extra on certain months or if we will have to keep things tighter the next! This also helps me to plan ahead for the shorter months or if we have a vacation or large expense coming up and it’s going to be a short month.

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Next up is the actual monthly budget plan. I then set up something similar to my savings and debt pay down pages. I have the top section listed out in the “Allotted” amounts for each bill or expense for the month. I then list on the bottom the “Actual”. For me I work best with rounded numbers so that is what I list in my “Allotted” section. Some of the amounts might actually be as easy as the allotted amount where as other might be more or less. For example I a lot $100 for our power bill each month but most often for 8 months of the year it’s less than that. So when I budget more then I know I have a buffer so everything canimg_1517 clear my account and I won’t have any issues with thinking I have more than I actually do.

On the next page I list out my expenses. So I have broken this down into 6 categories (Coffee, Gas/Fuel, Groceries, Shopping, Hobbies and Restaurants) to not only make it easier for me to keep track but also for simplicity. For each category I go through my bank account once a week and write down all of the different transactions that fall into each category. At the end of the month I add up each category and put in the total on the previous page in the “actual” spot for expenses. This is probably the most eye opening part of my budget img_1518when I see how much I truly spend on coffee and shopping. I couldn’t believe it and I definitely have been making some changes. Which brings me to the last page I have for each month which is the monthly budget analysis. Here is where I make comments on why things plaid out the way they did. I notate where we did well and I notate where we need improvement. I also keep track of how well we are doing saving and if we were able to put extra away and I also notate how our debt pay down is going. This is a way for me to go back from month to month and see what happened where and what needed to be changed for the coming month.

As time goes on I also like to right out different savings budgets and different area’s where we can save more for a particular big purchase or what our bills would look like if we were making a larger payment in one area. By having this note book it’s really nice and easy to keep track of it all and has really helped my husband and I save and pay down debts.

This has been so eye opening for me as to where some of our extra money goes in a month. I highly recommend sitting down and doing this for yourself because it doesn’t totally sink in until you write down the numbers! So far I have been doing this for 4 full months and I can say this has given not only the ability to have a stacked emergency account but also to pay off a few debts!

Please let me know if you have questions on how I go about budgeting or if you have other helpful ways of tracking you budget/ spending. I also like to look for new ways to keep up and better prepare my husband and I for the future!

Thank you for stopping by and keep an eye out for what might be up around the curve!

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Time Flies — Over the Winter Blahs

I feel like I have been completely swamped with work and have completely forgotten about keeping up on my posts! We recently have been down a person at work and it’s caused for more of a work load put on me. Thankfully it hasn’t been stressful but just a lot of work and the day’s are going by very, very quickly so before I know it I’m headed out the door home to do house work or just sit and relax for that matter!

I have felt a little lost because I haven’t had the time to meal prep or even blog prep (I try to do them at the same time on a slow day) and this is driving me crazy because the control freak in me doesn’t like not having a plan for things!

But the nice thing about spring coming in is that it means time for spring cleaning and taking the time to really organize and plan things out! This is my goal this next weekend it so organize my desk and to organize my makeup collection and my closet. I will say if I took a photo of the current hazard zone that is in my office/beauty room you all would be horrified by the sight! I like to be super organized and super put together on the outside but sometimes my inner dwelling is a disaster! But that’s just the controlled chaos that I like to go in and organize! So now that I am out of the winter blahs the organizing is started and in full force.

I don’t know about any of you but I seem to get dragged down in the winter time. The short day’s, the gray skies, the constant cold! I find myself not in the mood to self start and not in the mood to do anything but the regular house work-you know dishes, laundry, sweeping and mopping. I just feel well

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But with daylight savings having just come and gone I am so ready with the nicer weather just around the corner and the lighter days coming that means time to get things started and going and organized!!

I also need to get back on the workout grind! I know I can do it because I was sticking to it so well in January until I fell and was out for a short time but I just haven’t gotten back to it. I know I can and I know I will but I need to get back started! I need to stick with it! I need it for me!

So with spring weather let the fun begin and let the organizing start!

 

Any how that is a simple update on my absence! But never fear there is much more to come! March subscriptions are already starting to come in and I want to get up my everyday make up routine (we will see if I can accomplish this) but never the less more to come and even better coming up on one year of the Curvy E Chronicles!!!

 

Thanks for stopping by and keep an eye out for what might be up around the curve!

Disappeared For a Week

Was MIA for the last week. The even worse part is I have no good reason for being gone.

It was mostly a mental block of not being able to find the right thoughts to put into words.

I have been trying to plan and have things set to go ahead of time but last week was just one of those weeks I couldn’t seem to get set up or planned ahead of time.

Some weeks just end up being slump weeks and last week was one of those.

Hoping to dive right back in with keeping up regular posts.

 

Thank you for stopping by and keep an eye out for what might be up around the curve.

 

Whirlwind Weeks : Nov. 15th, 2017

Every time I feel like I am getting caught up on things and really knocking out my to do list life happens, work happens and my Netflix and Hulu accounts happen! Ok so maybe the last thing is just my procrastination at it’s finest but I know I’m not alone in that!

So I have fallen behind again in my blogging and I know I need to work harder at it because I want to keep interesting content coming and I know this is the best way for me to express my creative juices! I feel like my real adult job has been taking so much of my energy recently that I haven’t even had a chance to really put thoughts into words and that bugs me!!

I find that my big kid job no matter how much I love it really is just there to fuel my other hobbies and well really my passions! And I find it incredibly hard when my big kid job causes me to stress over things I cannot control and I put my hobbies and passions on hold because I am trying to deal with my “big kid job”. So I am working on taking a step back and really putting balance into my life!

The more I grow up, the more I find that it’s more important to enjoy the things you do. Whether that be the work you do every day or just the hobbies that you enjoy. And I want to work more on doing more of the things that I love! Which includes this blog, makeup, fashion, rodeo and turning my attention toward things I know I want to improve about myself.

Away with the stress and negative crap of my “big kid job” after all it’s just a job and it will not define me!

My goal is to continue to do more of the things I love and leave the rest in the dust!

Lets end the year strong so that we can look to start a new year even stronger!

Playing Catch Up!

They say time flies when your having fun! As much as I love to agree with this I find that I have lost track of posting and writing and putting up some fun content!

But I have some fun stuff coming up around the curve and so great things planned for the fall and winter season!

I hope you love to follow along on this curvy adventure!

Please share any feedback and ideas you have for this growing blog!

And better yet there is now a FACEBOOK page!! Please like and follow!

Posting Schedule!

I have been struggling with finding a working posting schedule and because of this I haven’t been as active as I have wanted to! But I am working hard to find what will work for me and how to keep up on the different things I do! This blog is growing and with growing comes some growing pains! I will eventually figure out a working schedule! But until then thank you for your patience with the different posts coming your way!