A Look Inside My New Budget Planner
As you can see, I have a new budget planner! And not only that – it’s one that I’ve made myself!
I use a specific budgeting method that is unique (I created it!) – called The Extra Income Budget Method™.
This budget planner will guide you through my step-by-step process on how I create a budget that allows me to reach all of my goals.
I’m going to run through each of the sections, so that you can see what they are, and what they are for.
If you’d like to buy a budget planner, there are physical versions (professionally printed), and digital download versions which you can print off yourself.
There’s a choice of 2 different covers (stripes or flowers), but the inside contents are the same for both.
The Annual Review is at the start of the budget planner, because I didn’t want it to hide away at the back and be forgotten about.
This page is to log your income, outgoing money, savings and debt payments each month. It’s a great page to get an overall look at your finances and how they are changing from month to month.
Sinking Fund Tracker
If you’ve not heard the term ‘sinking funds’ before, that’s ok. It’s a pretty simple concept – it’s just little savings pots.
Examples of sinking funds could be things like:
- Valentine’s Day
- Car repairs
- Car MOT
- Annually paid for insurance
- Back to school costs
It’s essentially where you need to save a bit of money each month, to put towards something that you are going to have to pay for.
You will need to figure out how much you want to save between now and your goal, and then divide that between the amount of boxes that there are (10).
So say for example, you have 10 months to save for Christmas. You have looked over your budget and you think you can save enough to have £500 to spend at Christmas.
You would do £500 divided by 10 months, which equals £50 a month to save. When you save each £50, you will colour in a box on the tracker.
If you have debt, this is a page at the beginning of the planner where you will list all of your current debts. It’s a very important step, so don’t miss this one!
If you don’t know your total debt balance, there may be a bit of resistance there for filling this in, but doing so will help you to make a proper plan of attack going forward.
List your lender in the first column (who you owe the debt to), the total amount of the debt, the interest rate and your monthly repayments.
This was a request from a few people, to add in something where you could log the gifts that you are buying throughout the year.
You know when you totally forget about what you have already bought, and end up buying more?! This will hopefully prevent that from happening, and you can be organised with your gifts.
Those are the general pages over with – now it’s time to look at the monthly budget spreads!
The Bill Calendar is where you are going to write down the dates that all of your bills are coming out. This is particularly helpful if your bills are spread out throughout the month.
The planner is undated, so you can write the dates in yourself in the circles within the pink boxes.
This is the main part of the whole budget planner! This is where you will create your main budget.
This is where you will write down all of the income that you will be receiving in that pay period.
This could be your salary, dividends, child support and so on.
The fixed expenses are the expenses that you pay each month that don’t change. These could be things like:
- Mortgage or rent
- Car insurance
You can find out what the amounts are by heading to the Direct Debit/Standing Order section of your internet banking, or by going through your paper bank statements.
These are the expenses that you have each month that can change. They aren’t fixed to a certain amount, and they are based off your spending. Examples of variable expenses are things like:
- Kids activities
If you are unsure how much to allocate to the categories in here, have a look back through your bank statements at what you have been spending. This is where tracking your expenses come in handy!
Sinking Funds are essentially little savings pots for various things that you need to put money aside for throughout the year.
Examples of Sinking Funds:
- Car repairs
- Car MOT/service
- Back to school costs
You know the things that pop up every year, but it’s hard to come up with the whole amount of money all in one go? This is where sinking funds can be a massive help.
Don’t forget the Sinking Funds tracker at the beginning of the budget planner! This is where you can colour in your progress as a visual tool to see how you’re doing.
The Sinking Funds section on this budget planner is where you will write down how much you are allocating to your sinking funds on that pay day.
This section is where you will be filling out how much of your income you will be putting into savings on that pay period.
If you have debt, this is the section where you will be able to fill in how much you are putting towards your debt with that paycheque.
Extra Income Budget
This is the completely unique part of my budgeting method – and the part that I believe will give you the most success.
This part of my budgeting method allowed me to feel as though there was hope. It helped me to pay off my debt, survive as a single mum, save for a house deposit, and achieve all of my goals such as paying cash for laser eye surgery.
Any extra income you make, is to go on this sheet. So, anything that’s outside of your regular job or income stream.
I’ve personally done a few different things to make extra money on the side, such as:
- Mystery shopping
- Dog boarding
- Freelance writing
- Matched betting
- Extra jobs such as cleaning
When I earned this money, I didn’t spend it. I threw all of it at my goals. This is what I believe made my money management so successful, and helped me to achieve my goals.
The thing that I love most about this extra budgeting step, is that you don’t have to cut into your main budget in order to work towards your goals.
Before doing this, what I was finding, was that if I needed or wanted to buy something, I was going to have to cut back in one of my budget categories. This made things quite stressful and I wasn’t very happy about it!
When I started earning extra money, I used the extra money that I was earning for all of the ‘extra’ stuff, and it meant that my usual budget could remain untouched. It also encouraged me to earn extra money!
This is one of the most important parts of any budgeting method. The reason that we track our expenses is to make sure that the Variable Expenses part of the budget (as mentioned previously), is accurate.
Without knowing how much we are actually spending, rather than what we would like to be spending, it’s hard to know how much to put in the Variable Expenses part of the budget.
Throughout the month, write down exactly what you are spending. This isn’t to make you feel bad in any way, but just to make sure that you can see where your money is going, and to keep you accountable.
Side Hustle Tracker
A side hustle is where you are making extra money on the side of your regular stuff.
This sheet is where you will log any money that you are making outside of your usual income. If you would like some ideas, have a read through these articles:
- How To Make An Extra £100 This Month
- Side Hustles That Will Make You Money Now
- How To Make An Extra £1000 This Month
You can also sign up to my free money making email course, where I guide you through all of the best ways I know to make extra money.
Ideally, with this extra money that you are earning and logging on here, you will keep to use for your next payday, so that you can make a budget from the money you know you have.
This sheet is where you will log any transfers that you make into savings throughout the month. It will help you keep track of your payments!
Debt Payment Tracker
If you are making debt payments throughout the month, this is where you are going to want to track them.
This is a great way of keeping track of your debt payments, especially if you are making quite a few payments.
End of Month Analysis
At the end of the month, I think it’s important to look back at what has happened throughout the month in terms of your budget. This will help you stay focused, and also see if you need to make any changes.
If you had a savings target, write down what that was, how much you managed to save, and the difference between what you budgeted.
Do the same with your budget – particularly the variable expense categories.
There’s also a Progression Chart down the bottom of the sheet where you can log how much you’ve been spending each month. This is so you can see any differences in your spending, and also if you spend more or less at different times of the year!