With the back to school vibe in the air, our senses are attuned to organization and routine. Those whimsical days of summer are a memory and the focus is on getting the job (or jobs!) Done!
For many, budgeting and tracking one’s spending is often a line on the to-do list that never seems to get done. Maybe you don’t know where to start or simply can’t find the time. Here are some tips to get started:
- Find an envelope
- Keep ALL of your receipts for 1 month
- Drop them in the envelope (when you come home or at the end of the week)
- At the end of the month-begin a spreadsheet (or handwrite) with all your expenses recorded under a relevant category
Ex: Children’s clothing, Groceries, Per Diem (daily coffees, gum, that $2 bottle of water, etc)
- You will now have a good idea of what you spend in a given month and where it goes.
*Make sure you are using a good month as a proxy-sometimes we have unusual expenses that occur once a year or once in a lifetime*
If you can get around to finding an envelope and allotting 15 min per month to record your expenses, I am sure you will find value and be surprised with the results you gather.
Once you know how much you are spending and on what, you can begin to budget and see where you can cut or what limits you are able to set. This will allow you to know that you have x amount to spend on clothes per year, y amount to spend on gifts, etc. The awareness that this provides is empowering as the goal of a budget is to have funds left over for saving or special projects. You’ll feel good knowing that you are moving towards your goals.
To learn more, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org