Budgeting is pretty basic and straight forward but no two people do it the same. Not even those who learn to budget from Dave Ramsey.
A couple of things to know before we start…
First and foremost, I am single so my budget committee meeting consist of me, myself and I. It can be challenging at times to not have someone to bounce my thoughts off of, but I have two accountability partners when I need perspective.
Second, I do what works for me and you should do what works for you.
Third, I always use the zero based budgeting method.
Let’s get started…
I know Dave teaches us to budget on a monthly basis. This does not work for me since I get paid bi-weekly, so I budget every payday. Once you get going it doesn’t take much time from start to finish. Since July 2007, I have completed 261 budgets and I can confirm that no two were alike.
I do not use fancy apps or software to create my budget. I started with a spiral notebook and pen in the first year, then I started using Excel. Nine years later it still gets the job done. There is no need for me to have access to my budget at all time.
I have income from my full time job and side hustles (anything other than full time income). My budgets are from my full time income only. The budget for side hustle income is handle differently.
$3,288,78 – Gross Income
$ 825.91 – Less Taxes
$ 295.99 – Less 401K
$ 3.01 – Less Dental Ins.
$ 3.06 – Less Vision Ins.
$ 2,113.72 – Net Income
My fixed expenses are those that are the same every payday, therefore I do not include monthly bills that have moving due dates. SF stands for sinking fund.
$100.00 – Grocery
$40.00 – Pocket Money
$324.81 – Giving (10%)
$19.04 – Fraternity Donation
$211.54 – Roth IRA
$422.26 – Mortgage Pmt.
$7.31 – SF: Life Insurance
$38.15 – SF: Homeowners Ins.
$96.15 – SF: Property Taxes
$23.08 – SF: Christmas Fund
$2.77 – SF: Identity Theft
$19.23 – SF: Car Insurance/VPP
$50.00 – SF: Travel
$24.96 – SF: Organization Dues & Fees
$19.23 – SF: Clothes
$1398.53 – TOTAL FIXED EXPENSES
My variable expenses are those that are not paid bi-weekly and may fall on an even or an odd payday. Timing all depends on the time of year. Below you will find the monthly estimates. Those in blue have amounts that vary each month. I plan to sign up for average billing with the gas and electric company once I become eligible.
$100.00 – Gas for Car
$65.00 – Water
$65.00 – Electricity
$17.00 – Gas for House
$83.22 – Cell Phone
$39.99 – Internet
$47.82 – Health Insurance
$14.99- Alarm System
$29.99 – Gym
$463.01 – TOTAL VARIABLE EXPENSES
Money left after everything is paid is considered unassigned.
If we assume that all the variable expenses are paid in week 1 (odd week) the amount left is $252.18. Therefore the amount left in week 2 (even weeks) is $715.19. Every four weeks there is a total of $967.37 that is unassigned. Unassigned funds to not remain unassigned for long. In most case I have some “random things” to take care of, this my include things like an oil change, birthday/graduation gifts, something needed in the house or something just for fun.
After assigning funds to the “random things”, I will apply the funds to the baby step that I am working on. These days it is baby step 3 (emergency fund) or baby step 6 (pay off the house).