Finances (series)

Why spending could be damaging your dreams; How to create a budget that supports your life goals Part Four

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined how to cut back on spending and create a life goals budget, this week we look at how to create a monthly savings budget, how to budget with cash envelopes and explore how to evaluate your earnings strategically.

 

Download “Finance-Budgeting-Spreadsheet.xlsb” Finance-Budgeting-Spreadsheet.xlsb – Downloaded 139 times – 17 KB

 

Monthly savings budget – five year plan

 

Now plan how you are going to allocate your savings to your goals each month, using the life goals budget as guidance to when you will start saving and for how long. Also bare in mind when the goal is due to be completed and take into account the more minor things you will need to save for like birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas. This is the stage where you will clearly see how you are able to realize your goals financially and it is an incredibly powerful exercise, one which will empower you to create the life you long for!

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Why spending could be damaging your dreams; How to create a budget that supports your life goals Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored what to consider when creating a budget and assessing your current spending. This week we examine how to cut back on spending and how to create a life goals budget.

 

Cutting back on spending

 

Once I honestly assessed my current spending I evaluated what I could cut back on and drew up a revised monthly expenditure sheet. Although I felt a strong inclination to make major, often unrealistic, cut backs, I knew I had to be practical in terms of what I needed to live on whilst also being thriftier with my monthly spending. I also made a plan to pay off all debt, a non negotiable element of any budget.

 

To do this yourself, simply use the second column on the first sheet of my downloadable spreadsheet.

 

Download “Finance-Budgeting-Spreadsheet.xlsb” Finance-Budgeting-Spreadsheet.xlsb – Downloaded 139 times – 17 KB

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Why spending could be damaging your dreams; How to create a budget that supports your life goals Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at how your spending could be damaging your dreams, this week we explore what to consider when creating a budget.

 

What you need to consider when doing your budget

 

There are many things you need to consider when creating a budget. Firstly you need to accommodate for the unexpected, such as what you would do if you lost your job. Do you have enough savings? Typically financial experts advise to save six months worth of living expenses to cover us for such an event.

 

Other things to consider are the different types of insurance, pension plans, medical cover, car costs and car emergency fund for repairs. Below is a brief list of these things so you can do your research and get the necessary cover. Whilst you might not think all of these things necessary it is well worth seriously considering acquiring them as it could save you being in a precarious financial position in future.

 

  • 6 month living costs emergency fund
  • Pension
  • Joining a work union (monthly fee)
  • Life / critical illness insurance
  • Work, lost earnings insurance
  • Medical cover
  • Car savings and annual car expenses

 

The next stage is ascertaining your monthly expenses.

 

Assessing spending (current), incorporating paying off debt monthly

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Why spending could be damaging your dreams; How to create a budget that supports your life goals Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

When I was younger my dreams seemed so far away. I realize now that it was just that I didn’t fully understand how to make SMART goals, goals which were broken down into manageable and realistic steps. One of the things that always used to stop me achieving my goals back then was the money it invariably took to achieve my ambitious plans.

 

Today I ensure I account for the money each goal requires in my budget, having done research into how much it would cost and working out how long it would take me to save for it in turn. I then incorporate how long it takes me to save for each goal into the deadline for the goal itself. This holistic approach to goal setting has served me well.

 

In this series I’ll walk you through how to prevent spending damaging your dreams by helping you to create a budget which supports your life goals. Let’s get started!

 

How spending could be damaging your dreams

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