How to budget in 6 simple steps - Step 1
A budget is a plan you make to spend your money. Budgeting stops you overspending, helps you save to reach your financial goals and, contrary to popular opinion, actually gives you the freedom to spend money on the fun stuff!
The process is quite straightforward and requires you to sit down at the end of every month to budget for the month ahead. It may take a few months to understand the process fully but after that, it's a cinch.
In this 6-part series, you'll learn how to create a zero-based budget and these six steps you need to follow to budget on a monthly basis:
1 | Manage your bills with a Bill Register
2 | Record your income on an Income Tracker
3 | Reduce your debt with a Debt Tracker
4 | Save money with a Savings Tracker
5 | Create a Monthly Budget
6 | Track your spending with a Monthly Expenses Tracker
This week begins with step number one, the Bill Register.
Step 1 | Bill Register
The first thing to do when setting up a monthly budget is to gather together information about the bills that you pay regularly. Think phone bills, council rates, rent, insurance, gym membership and subscriptions.
Start by collecting all of your paper bills. Next, check your emails for the bills that are emailed to you. Then, go through your last three or four bank statements and make note of any other regular bills you see appearing that you haven't already found bills for, such as online streaming services.
Armed with this information, you will now record all of the details for these bills in one place. You can use the Lorna Leigh Lane Bill Register for this or else just use a piece of paper and record the following information for these bills:
BILL TO BE PAID: the name of the bill (eg., Rent - Century 21)
AMOUNT: the amount that is paid each bill if there is a set amount; or if there isn’t a set amount, you can leave it blank or put an average amount
DUE: enter the date the bill is due (eg., 12th or last)
Note, if you bill is quarterly, write a 'Q' in the due column and put a strike through the months that don't require payment. Do the same for bills due semi-annually and annually, writing 'S' or 'A' in the due column.
Then each time you pay a bill, tick the month you have paid and record the date of the payment.
By checking your Bill Register regularly, you can ensure you don't miss any payments which can affect your credit score and you'll avoid nasty surprises down the track!
Budgeting is easiest with templates that you can re-use each month so you can get into good financial habits.
The Lorna Leigh Lane Home Budget Ultimate Planner Kit contains a Bill Register and plenty more editable templates including pages to create monthly budgets and track your spending as well as debt repayments and savings tracking pages.
To get your Home Budget Ultimate Planner Kit click the button below below and give zero-based budgeting a try.
Read on here for Step 2 | Income Tracker.