“I’m bringing budgets back (yup)! Them other non-budgeters don’t know how to act (yup!)” Haha…right Mr. Timberlake? ;) What, you don’t think that’s the same as bringing sexy back? Well check the calculation my friends:
Budgets = Confidence = Sexy!
Aww yeahh! Okay, so maybe YOU wouldn’t swap it in, but this frugal ba$tard sure will. After all, it’s what got me started blogging! Well, that and buying a house and all, but it definitely kept me on track. And to this day I’ve been a good little boy and continued to stick with it month after month. I mean, you *have to* know where all your $exy money goes, right?
What I haven’t been doing, though, was keeping it updated here on the blog for all to see. So going forward my budget will be updated the first week of every month! And, as always, you’re more than welcome to borrow/steal any part of it:
I tend to be budget happy up in here, so it has plenty of room to track a few different budgets – like one for your paychecks, “house”, credit cards, etc. I also like being able to see my net worth and any other cash funds I may have laying around, so that’s also included. The whole spreadsheet is really like a “financial snapshot” if you will. It certainly won’t satisfy everyone’s needs, but it’s a great starting place for anyone who’s ready to get down and dirty.
*Updated: 1-05-11: See that big red square there? That’s courtesy of my EX-employer… they currently refuse to give me all termination paperwork and my last paycheck. We’re in battle :(
Here’s the paychecks portion above. It took me a while to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t, but keeping it updated and refreshed every month helps to nail it all down. You can find the rest of the spreadsheet here, but this is the most important portion of it in my opinion…If you can come out in the positive every 2 weeks, you’re awesome as hell! Here’s the average breakdown of what’s included in these “paycheck budgets” (averaged out):
Paycheck #1 ($2,249.18):
- Mortgage $$ ($848.24) – 1/2 of my portion of our mortgages. We have a 30-year fixed, along w/ a maxed out HELOC as a 2nd mortgage.
- House $$ ($300) – We tracked and averaged our other house expenses (utilities, groceries, etc) over a good 4-5 months, and eventually came up with our own “house budget”. This $300 covers 1/2 my portion, and the Mrs. puts in the rest (you can see the breakdown in the spreadsheet).
- J’s Credit Card ($638) – Like the house stuff, I tracked everything i spent over a handful of months (clothes, gifts, work lunches) and then averaged them together to come up with my own “c/c budget” that gets paid off in full each month. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I freakin’ love it! I get mad cash back rewards, and it’s super easy to manage.
- Cash Withdrawal ($100) – I *have to* have cash on hand all the time :)
Paycheck #2 ($2,249.18):
- Mortgage $$ (848.24)- the other 1/2 of my mortgage portion.
- House $$ ($300)- the other 1/2 I contribute to our “house budget”.
- Insurance: All ($143.42)- homeowners, auto, computer, and bling insurance for the Mrs. and I.
- Insurance: Life ($55.56)- life insurance for both the Mrs. and I.
- Cash Withdrawal ($100)- to cover the next 2 weeks ;)
In a perfect world, I’d like to ALWAYS have my expenses budgeted below or at least even to what I bring in every 2 weeks (but sometimes I go over in one paycheck, and over in another). Luckily I’ve been able to come out in the positives each month, but when I don’t I just pull the difference from my savings account and throw it into my checking to make up for it….not the worst thing in the world to do, since that’s why I have that padding there to begin with, but it’s still a dirty habit that I should get out of.
So there you have it – J’s new & improved 2010 budget :) Again, feel free to steal any part of it! It may look a bit confusing at first, but it’s totally cool once you get the hang of it. It’s all a matter of what works for YOU though, so if you already have a great method down pact, then by all means keep rockin’ it out!
PS: Be sure to check out my list of Best Free Budget Templates too, you might find something that works a little better for you there. If you don’t, you must really despise ’em ;)
Featured savings tip
You already know that banks pay $$$ for the privilege of holding your money…it’s called interest. But maybe you didn’t know this: that so-called interest can be as little as .01%. If your cash savings aren’t sitting in a high interest savings account that earns you at least 1%, you’re basically saying “no” to free $$$!
Now, obviously the 1% interest you get with a high interest savings account like the one at Discover bank won’t make you rich, but that extra 1% compounded over 30 years can grow into a *big* pile of cash. And if you wanna hit lofty $$$ goals, you should be looking for every edge possible.
Here’s another way to look at it: if you leave $50,000 in a regular savings account, that’s almost $500 you’re just throwing away, each and every year you don't setup a high yield savings account! Will you do 5-10 minutes of work right now to earn an extra $500/year for years to come?
If you said “heck yes”, then you can setup your high interest savings account here to start earning 1% on your cash savings.