I have always been able to pay my bills on time. This is something I’m very proud of, even when I was living off of a part time retail wage and paying double my normal rent payment due to roommate troubles, I was still able to make those monthly payments. After I got married my habits didn’t really change. We always lived below our means. We bought a house that we could afford on one salary and we started chipping away at our debt. Our method was haphazard at best and included watching our bank account balance until we had a couple thousand above our ‘comfortable’ balance and would send a large principle payment.
Creating a budget changed my life. I’m a goal oriented person and being able to see exactly when we would reach our financial goals was a huge motivator for me to start looking for ways to cut our expenses even more and get there faster! One of our biggest goals is to move to a different area around the time that our daughter is starting school. We have a lot of things on our wishlist and I know that the more we save, the more likely we will be able to afford buying a house with those things, or pay for renovations to add those things. It makes the monumental task of saving thousands of dollars for a house an attainable goal with a timeline.
Here is my budget template. We update it when ever there is a major change, like salary or set monthly bill changes. Every six months or so we revisit our goals. We keep this on our fridge to keep in mind that we are working towards our goals and there is an end in sight.
Using the Budget Template:
- Income – This will be your take home pay. When looking at your paystub this is called your Net Pay.
- Payroll Deductions – This section is for reference only. Payments going to your HSA and FSA account will cover your expenses in the future. This also lets you keep in mind how much you are putting towards retirement and health insurance.
- Monthly Spending – This should be an estimate of all of your reoccurring monthly bills.
- Sinking Funds – This is for irregular purchases. Car and home repairs don’t happen every month but that doesn’t mean we don’t plan for them. They WILL happen, it’s just a question of when. Having these sinking funds in place keeps you from having to dip into your emergency fund.
- Debt – List out individual debts with monthly payment, total balance and the interest rate. Use this information when deciding when to pay these off.
This budget will print on 1 page. You should post it somewhere it can be viewed everyday. The fridge is my preferred spot but if you would like to keep this information private you can post it in your bedroom.
Use these print options:
If you have any questions please ask in the comments. I would love to chat about your budget.