How many of you have financial goals for 2019 and are looking or a free monthly budget planner? I know am! Even though I’ve not mentioned it on my 2019 career and blog goals, but I’m hoping to save up an additional £5k by summer for when we (hopefully) move house.
If you’re like me, then you probably spend your money without realising then often log onto your bank account and wonder why you’re in your overdraft. I always think that the more we earn, the more we spend. It’s so easy to get comfortable with having a bit of extra cash after your bills have gone out that it can be so easy to spend £10 here and £20 there without thinking of how much it’s adding up to.
One thing I really want to get into the habit of doing this year is taking control of my finances. I waste way too much money on food at work when I could opt for cheaper options (sometimes I can spend £10 a day!) and let myself buy things I don’t really need.
I’ve created a downloadable monthly budget planner to help me and wanted to share it with you all.
Before I get into how to use the monthly budget planner, I wanted to share some tips on how to take control of your finances.
How to take control of your finances.
Understand what you are spending.
The first step is to actually understand what you are spending. This means being honest with yourself, logging into your bank account and looking at your outgoings. When I did this, I was surprised at how much I was spending on food. Then, I was able to make changes to what I was eating to spend less. I was buying too much prepared fruit and veg for one meal at a time, rather than buying in bulk and chopping myself.
Take a delve into your subscriptions.
Do you subscribe to Netflix? Picmonkey? Spotify? There are so many monthly subscriptions offers around these days that you can end up subscribing for things you don’t actually use.
Look into your bank account and PayPal standing orders/regular payments to see what you are subscribed to and cancel anything you don’t use or need.
Make saving goals and stick to them.
I have an ISA for my savings and as soon as I get paid, I transfer the amount I want to save into the ISA. This means I can’t touch it!
When I get paid, I always do this as well as pay off my credit card!
Pay off credit first.
While it’s tempting to save money, if you have a lot of money on your credit card and are able to pay it off, then pay it off if you are able to! Unless you are on a zero interest trial, the amount of interest you pay on your credit card will be much more than the amount of interest you earn on savings! So get it paid.
If you have credit debt in a few different places, try to get this paid off. Avoid making only the minimum payment each month and aim to pay more. If you are struggling with this, pay your smallest debt off first while paying the minimum payment on the rest. Once your smallest dept it paid off, move onto the next.
Are you insured?
When I was around 24, I was really stupid and had no house insurance. I was renting a furnished property with friends and just didn’t really bothered protecting my items. After a year of living together, I came home one Sunday night and my housemates both looked panicked. They had gotten home just before me, around 10:30 pm and noticed that someone had been in the house. The back door had been broken into, all our bedsheets on the floor.
I had my laptop, brand new camera, Xbox Kinect and my GHD straighteners stolen. Luckily, they didn’t find the £300 I had in cash under my computer keyboard (I paid the rent out of my bank and my housemates gave me the cash each month).
I wasn’t insured. I mistake I’ll never make again!
As well as house insurance, Cyber Security Insurance is also something to look into, especially for you entrepreneurs and freelancers out there! Cyber Security Insurance is basically a way to protect you and your business from being hacked. Find out more here: What is Cyber Liability Insurance?
Income protection insurance.
This could go in the above heading, but because I know some of my audience are self-employed, I thought it was worth mentioning separately.
Income protection insurance is a way to cover you if you get ill or injured and are unable to work. There are different types and the cover varies depending on how much you are willing to pay for the insurance.
If you are self-employed, this a must because if you fall ill, you don’t get paid!
Think of your future.
We’re hopefully not going to be working forever, it’s time to start thinking of your pension! The company I work for will match up to 7.5% of my salary if I put it into the pension scheme, so that’s what I am currently doing. Retiring might seem far away, but when you get there you want to ensure you have enough money to enjoy your life! So look at what options are available to you.
The Free Monthly Budget Planner.
Here it is, my monthly budget planner and a quick explanation on how to use it:
Pay one: Monthly budgets.
Here is where you enter what your budgets are for certain things.
You can fill the first box in yourself for what your expenses are and set the budget. Things like:
- Food shopping.
- Eating out.
- Makeup and skincare.
At the end of the month, check what you have spent on each and see how you have done!
Page two: Monthly payments.
Whether it’s your phone bill, PT sessions or a credit card bill, here’s a way to track your monthly payments. Entering the due date makes it easier to see what’s left to come out of your bank account.
Page three: Finance goals and saving tracker.
Here you can write down 3 goals per month. Whether that is to save a set amount, reduce your spending on food or clear a debt – it’s up t you.
The saving tracker is blank to allow you to write in the savings you wish to make that might. If you want to save £100, just write £5, £10, £15, £20 etc in the boxes and shade them in or cross them out when you get to the goal. You might only be able to save £20 for the full month – so adjust accordingly.
Page 4 – Daily spend tracker.
This is a way to track what you are spending each day. There are 3 empty boxes per day for you to fill in. It’s a good way to keep a track of those £5 magazines or £4 coffees you keep getting. They all add up!
As you can see, the monthly budget planner is a way to really dig into what you are spending. Even if you just use it for one month, it can help you see where your money is going and how much potential you have to save!
Do you have any money save tips or finance related goals this year?