The saga continues! To recap, last year I studied the financial guru and YouTube star Jordan Page, to see if her tips and tricks to financial freedom could work for someone living on less than minimum wage. Short answer – yes, long answer – it required a few tweaks.
MONTHLY BUDGET SET UP & GOAL TRACKING
My overall budgeting goal was to increase my success of becoming financially stable with an income of $15,000 a year. I created the Eazy Peazy Budgeting Templates to help me capture three things:
what/where I am spending my money
how often I’m attempting and hitting my savings goals
and what needs to change for me to continue to improve my finances.
My Budget Set Up assisted me in tracking and re-evaluating my finances and gave me a foundation to begin monthly and paycheck budgeting using Eazy Peezy Templates.
This system is includes simple and to the point budgeting sheets that grow with your financial goals but don’t overwhelm you. These printable budget sheets were created specifically on the tried, failed and tried again method and are designed to allow you to edit them as your life and finances change.
Step 2: Monthly Budgeting
In Step 1, we used the Eazy Peezy Budget Set Up packet to organize 5 accounts to label where my take-home income is distributed. My take-home income totaled $541.00 bi-weekly; this comes out to $1082 a month after taxes.
In step 2, we are using the Eazy Peezy Monthly Budget packet. This packet consists of four pages and is meant to be used after completing the Budget Set Up. Before setting up your monthly budget, you’ll need:
Your Eazy Peezy Budget Set Up sheets already completed
A live view of your account balances
And a calendar listing all of your bill due dates for the month
Blank Eazy Peezy Monthly Budget sheets
Make sure to have your Spending and Bills Account balances readily available.
The bills account sheet should look familiar, this is where you’re going to list all of your expenses for the month in order of due date.
Try to be as exact as possible; this is also a good time to check your bills account statement or mobile app to confirm that the correct amounts have been charged.
The date a bill is due may not be the same as when it is deducted from your bank account. This information will give you a better understanding of your bills accounts' behavior.
Keeping a close eye on how your expenses are deducted assists you in identifying red flag charges. Discrepancies in the amount, date or provider being deducted from your bank account is a sign to check with your bill provider.
Keep in mind that you can fill out these sheets in any order. You could go straight to the spending account sheet and see all of your expenses before doing your balances.
However, when living on so little, sometimes you don't really have a choice in what your spending budget is. This is because generally, whatever is left after my bills are deducted - is my spending money.
When you are living with a deficit; where your bills take more than one paycheck. It's best to complete the bills sheet, then the income and end balances sheets. This will give you the total of how much spending money you will have left so you can divide the total in the spending sheet.
I use the bank account balances from the day I receive my funds in my account and before spending any money. I manually move cash around in their appropriate accounts but you can set up automatic transfers.
The plus amounts are being added to a bank account from my spending account. Once I feel like I know where all of money needs to go, I make the necessary transfers using Zelle so that the transfers are immediate.
The debt plan and debt tracker boxes are optional but I’ve found them extremely useful. Every three months I complete a debt/savings budget where I follow my credit scores, debts in collections, and student loan payments.
Having these boxes in my monthly planning, helps me make realistic goals on what how much I can put towards my debt that month. It also helps me see an 'at a glance' review of how my debts are disappearing or how they aren’t disappearing. This way I can change my tactics or savings goals.
The End Balances sheet where you get to see what will be left in all of your accounts after everything is paid.
Spending Account Sheet
Your spending sheet will most likely be the most difficult one to complete as this one supposed to be in perceptual work in progress.
You may have an idea of some common expenses and their amounts but what’s important is that you check this sheet as you fill it out to see where you are spending your money and if it aligns with your financial goals.
I can’t be the only person whose spent all my grocery budget on ordering in for a week straight. After noticing that an entire month of grocery money went to only one week of food, this really changed my perspective on how I spend my money.
‘There’s no such thing as extra money; all money belongs somewhere.”
The Eazy Peezy Monthly Budget sheets aren’t meant to scare you off; I know it can be intimidating or discouraging sometimes to see all of your assets laid out on a single sheet of paper.
If you are truly wanting to make a change in your finances and reach your goals, there are three gifts you’ll need to give yourself.
Gift #1: Accountability
Budgeting can be difficult, budgeting is difficult. Spending money is fun and saving isn’t as fun as people who have lots of money make it seem. Take this for what it is, this is you trying to develop better financial habits and in order to achieve this you have to take responsibility for what happens to your money. This means reviewing and re-reviewing every last penny you earn on a consistent basis.
Gift #2: Grace
I shouldn’t have - this expression is detrimental to your mental health when it comes to budgeting. If you hadn’t done this or spent money on that; there is absolutely no way to guarantee that if you could have gone back in time to change a decision it would have panned out better for you. Allow yourself to make mistakes and make wiser decisions next time.
Gift #3: Satisfaction
Saving $20 in a month or paying off a $100 debt is a BIG DEAL! These aren’t small steps; you are making progress. Find a way to congratulate yourself for a days work because budgeting is work. When you see your labors manifest into something that is going to make you a more competent and stable financier – even if it’s just your finances – budgeting no longer becomes a chore, it becomes something you are proud of.
The Eazy Peezy Budgeting Templates include Monthly Budgeting but there’s more:
Step 1: Budget Set Up
Step 3: Paycheck Budgeting
Step 4: Debt / Savings Budgeting
Future posts will debut the rest of the Eazy Peezy Budget Templates AND subscribers of the newsletter will receive blank printable versions!