I don’t know about you but I hate staying at home at the weekends.
Especially since I started working from home, weekends sound like a break from the routine, getting out of the house, doing something that I don’t get to do during the week and seeing more faces. But with spending all day out and entertaining the kids, it comes also the big price tag.
For months I’ve been lying to myself that we’re just going to have a bite out but Saturday comes and ends up in 2 meals and 1 snack, play area entry, shopping here and there and it kills the budget for the rest of the month. Mind you, Sunday didn’t come yet.
You see for a long time I had to find a better way to do things or else I would never have enough money for my long-term goals if everything is spent on a short time, impulsive purchases.
If you tried to get your finances in order you probably are as I was, confused with what to change to make your money work more for you.
You see as a busy mom of two, blogger, Etsy and eBay shop seller I often find myself confused about my income, expenses, taxes and I never really know how much I actually take home. Considering that each month is different, it only adds more confusion.
Because I know the overwhelming feeling too well I wanted to share with you a system that I found success with. I create a planner refill to guide you step by step on a getting your finances in order and bring more focus on how to manage your money.
Since I shared this bundle with you on Etsy, I was overwhelmed with your response. Thank you so much to all of you who purchased one and it is great to read your kind comments about how this system helped you create a plan to save and pay off your debt.
I know that you don’t need complicated. You need easy. A step by step guide which you can trust that if you follow will be a game changer for you.
I’ve struggled with budgeting for years. Credit cards, spending more than I was earning, buying on impulse, my addiction to cushions that can easily ruin any marriage. I tried, I tried to buy fewer picture frames, even uninstalled temporarily my Pinterest.
It was a mess.
I thought that creating a budget is hard work, having a plan for how much to spend on eating out is a bit stingy, reforming new habits, cooking at home more and finding money free activities for kids was not exciting enough. But I’ll tell you that a car repair that you can’t predict is happening always at the most inconvenient time.
When I made that connection I figured out how to create a budget and after that, it became a game.
It was addictive.
I created this bundle and I’m sharing the exact system that I found success with it.
I figured out the basic routines that make saving money a pleasure, I learned how to calculate my monthly income and know exactly what is coming in. I cut on over $120 recurring expenses that were running without me even giving them any notice, 5 different subscriptions for tv ( Netflix, Now TV, Amazon prime video, Sky and a designated subscription for kids tv? Yes and cable on top of all that. It feels embarrassing when I write it even because the only thing I ever watch is youtube.
Those types of changes allowed me to make room for margin and start paying off the debt, allow me to work from home doing something that I love and share my journey with you.
Many of you have asked me to give you a more in-depth walkthrough of how to get the best of out these inserts and spend less, save more and create a paying your debt system that you can rely on.
Shall we have a look inside?
It starts with..
A pretty cover
This translucent cover has a patterned page underneath and I love the effect it gives. The next page would be for your personal details. Write your name, address, phone and email on the provided line. On the back of the page a cute encouraging quote to keep you motivated.
Monthly income and expenses
First thing in budgeting, determine your monthly income. This might be easy if you have regular income but once you have multiple streams of income and irregular it will be hard to calculate it all in your mind.
If you have multiple sources of income this page is ideal to break them down and have an overview of exactly what money is coming in and the source.
All your income should be calculated as a net income. Every month you need to create a new budget as there are no two months when all your expenses will be the same.
The Fixed and other expense category is for expenses you know are coming but not for bills.
For example this month I know I will be spending money on taking the kids to see a couple of attractions and I already know how much are the tickets. Things like house renovations or purchasing a new appliance can be added to that category. The other expenses are things that you can plan for although you are not sure about the exact amount. This can be approximated so you are not caught totally off guard but can still budget for.
I love this sheet as it gives the perfect overview of the different categories of recurring monthly expenses. It is broken down into 7 most common categories:
Utilizing categories has been recommended by many financial experts because it is so efficient.
The expense inserts are ideal for additional expenses. This pack comes with 12 planners to give you enough for an entire year. At the end of each month draw the line and calculate your balance based on your income and expenses.
You can use this list to make a note of
- meals out
- clothes you purchased
- personal items that were not already budgeted
- guilt free fun money
Because some months there are slight changes to my bills I like to check the boxes as the bills go out. I also tried to have everything on the direct debit and make them all at the beginning of the month rather than be scattered throughout the month. It is easier to keep track.
Sinking funds and Savings
Sinking funds are savings for expenses that you expect but don’t know exactly when. The way it works you save regular amounts each month for costs that you know will occur. This is a pile of money that you’ll collect with a very specific purpose in mind for one thing only like:
- car servicing and insurance
- vet checks
- boiler service
- dental expenses
- home repairs
- kids entertainment during school breaks
Planning in advance for expenses will give you the peace of mind that when they happen you won’t reach for the credit card and accumulate more debt.
The money that you save for the sinking fund should be easily available to you without incurring penalties for withdrawing the money early so keeping them in a short-term savings account or in an envelope at home is ideal.
In the bundle, you’ll also find a savings tracker. You can use this for the long-term savings. It can be used for your emergency fund and the amounts don’t have to be fixed each month but more whatever is left at the end of the month has now a purpose.
To encourage you further inside you’ll also find a money-saving challenge which dares you to save $1.378 in 52 weeks by increasing the amount that you deposit by $1 each week.
Getting out of debt
Getting out of debt is a marathon and a work in progress. These inserts will help you calculate your debt, the interest charges, set monthly payments that fit your overall budget and reduce the balance. We will create a payment plan and have a clear idea of when the due dates are, minimum payments that can be made, the current balance and make clearing your debt a priority.
You can either start by:
- Paying off your smallest debt first
- Paying off debt with the highest interest first
At the back of the bundle, you’ll find 6 planners with to-do lists to make notes along with your journey and observe how far you’ve come.
If you are ready to snag your planner refill, this bundle is available directly in my Etsy shop right here.
Let’s start saving!