So far, my and Eric’s settling into regular paychecks, public transit and gasoline prices, date night with each other, outings with friends, and grocery purchasing has been trial by fire. Life has just been too busy to get control over our numbers after graduation and moving. It has also been beneficial that we had a comfortable savings to tap into when needed between the move and waiting for me to start working. We are still on one salary at this point, so our budget needs brought back into line. Starting February 1st, we are tracking expenses and fitting those in with the money coming in. Here’s five ways we are starting (again) into our budgeting process. Would love for you to join us and track how it goes over the next few months!
1. Are you paid weekly? Every 2 weeks? Monthly? Break up your budget into paycheck amounts. This makes wrapping your mind around money spent/earned a bit more tangible, and equates each paycheck with the comings and goings in different parts of the month.
2. Figure out what your defined monthly “outs” are: rent, car payment, student loan payments. (I am paid ahead on my graduate student loans, so currently owe nothing monthly).
3. Average your flexible outs over the past few months: utilities, groceries, date night, phone bill.
4. Create a spreadsheet that outlines these set and averaged numbers.
5. Starting February 1st, track your spending based on these numbers. Join us in seeing how the budget and your actual spending works out, and whether you are on the plus or minus side of each month’s income.
In a few months, based on our personal finances, we will be adjusting our own numbers to fit in more with our lifestyle, our savings plans, and our work to pay off student loans. Let’s see how we all do!