How to budget in 6 simple steps - Step 4
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
Yesterday we covered step number three with the Debt Tracker. Today is step number four, the Savings Tracker.
Step 4 | Savings Tracker
Once you've taken care of any debts that you have (excluding your home loan), you can start saving. This can be for smaller things, like a vacatation, or bigger things like an investment property. Often, we may have more than one thing to save for and it can help to have a visual representation of each showing what your savings are building towards.
This Lorna Leigh Lane Savings Tracker has several different trackers in different colors which you can use for your various different savings goals.
To use, complete the sections as follows:
SAVING FOR: What is the name of your savings goal?
INTEREST RATE: If your money is being held in an account that pays interest, enter the rate here.
MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION: How much do you plan to save each month?
SAVINGS GOAL AMOUNT: How much do you want to save in total?
SAVINGS GOAL DATE: When do you aim to reach your goal?
Then, whenever you make a transaction on this account, complete the details in the table below and watch as the balance increases.
Tips for saving
And finally, some little tips that can help you to find some extra money each month to put towards your savings goals:
Stick to a budget - this is the best way to find where you are overspending unnecessarily; you may be shocked to see how much you spend on things like takeaway coffees
Declutter your home - selling second hand goods online has never been easier so sell what you don't want; your bank balance, your home and the earth will be better off as a result
Cut back on subscriptions and apps - check your bank statement for the ones you don't use or need, even if it's just until you reach your goal; you can always sign up again later
Look at your utility bills - can you save money by switching to a different plan or a different provider?
Revisit your insurance coverage - are you covered for things you don't need anymore and can you save by switching to a different provider?
Take a day off - try to have a day per week where you don't spend any money; you'll be amazed at how much you can save this way
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 Savings Trackers 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 5 | Monthly Budget.