My budgeting journey and what I learnt

In my early twenties I worked in a bar earning just over the minimum wage. I thought budgeting on such a small salary was impossible. I was often late paying my rent, ran out of money for food and had to be bailed out by my parents on more than one occasion. Before you say it I know, I was incredibly fortunate to have my parents support and there are those that do not have parents who are able to loan them money in times of need – making budgeting even more essential.


It got so bad I even lost weight as a result of not being able to afford food. The crazy thing is that I was wasting money on fast food when I could have, with just a little planning, bought healthy food at a supermarket which would have been cheaper and lasted longer. Impulsive spending to make myself feel good and a lack of financial discipline were at the root of my problem.


Here are some of the cheap ways which we can make ourselves feel good that I’ve picked up along my budgeting journey:


Accessible Psychology’s Budgeting Spreadsheet; Budgeting Made Simple!

I know how daunting and scary it can be to create a budget. To make things as simple as possible I have made a spreadsheet – complete with everything you need to record and all the formulas pre-entered – so that all you need to do is enter in the amounts that apply to you.


Before I introduce you to its features over the coming weeks you can download it below to see first hand what I am referring to…


Download “Finance-Budgeting-Spreadsheet.xlsb” Finance-Budgeting-Spreadsheet.xlsb – Downloaded 269 times – 17 KB


Over the coming weeks I will talk you through how to fill out the spreadsheet so that you have a detailed and all-inclusive budget which will enable you to achieve all of your life goals and obtain a greater level of financial security than ever before. If your budget changes in any way the formulas have been designed to account for this and do all the working out for you.


By the end of this series you will be able to take back control of your finances and make achieving your goals financially viable, welcome to one of the most important (and surprisingly fun) elements of achieving your dreams!


Budgeting Myths Debunked: Budgeting is Hard

If you can add and subtract, trust me you can budget. If spreadsheets fill you with fear, fear not, I’ve done one for you all you need to do is fill it out. Budgeting really is so much easier than the majority of people believe. It’s just a case of figuring out how much money you have to work with, what necessities you need and then Probably the hardest part is being realistic, but research into how much things cost and your experience of how much it costs (like food, for example) will ensure that you budget so as to spend smarter, saving more and yet remaining realistic.


The tricky part is when it comes to implementing the budget but with a few techniques effectively sticking to your budget can be achieved (more on that later in the series).


Budgeting Myths Debunked: Budgeting is Boring

I know probably no one has told you this lately but budgeting can actually be fun. Sometimes even really fun! Essentially what you are doing is ensuring you have enough money to achieve your life goals (do I hear a ‘yes please’?), prepare so you will be ok if the unexpected happens (who doesn’t want piece of mind like that?) and plan for the future (so you’ll be financially fit no matter what the future holds; studying, marriage, kids, retirement).


Creating a budget is really planning your future as you want it to be, what could be more fun and exciting than that?!?


Why ignorance is not bliss when it comes to finances

Finances can be a very scary area of our lives to confront, especially when we spend more than we earn or live pay check to pay check. But ignorance is only bliss as long as you are unaware that you are ignorant. The moment you discover you are sinking financially or you retire with little to no pension it is not bliss anymore.


Rather than have your money (or lack thereof) control you – thereby preventing you from achieving your life goals – this series aims to get you firmly back in the driving seat of your finances. With just a little discipline and some easy peasy sums, you can take back control of your finances – no matter what you earn!


Why budgeting is important regardless of salary


Many people consider budgeting only considered important for those on smaller salaries or with huge expenses but the truth is that even the largest salary can be mindlessly spent. Indeed often the more we earn the more we spend so the need to budget is important no matter what we earn.


When we budget effectively we create a financial plan which will enable us to reach our goals, have enough savings should we lose our job (worst case scenario I know but still vital) and plan for the unexpected and the future (kids, insurances, pension).


If you suspect you don’t earn enough to budget to accomplish all that, you may be pleasantly surprised! Whilst it may take longer to reach your goals they are still achievable and with so many price comparison websites out there finding the right insurance at the best rates has never been so easy! Even saving a little every month can have a big impact when you think of how much you will save in a year.


If you are fortunate enough to have a comfortable salary you too may be surprised that by more intentional spending could you enable you to achieve your goals faster, save more and spend less without having it drastically impact your quality of life.


This Month’s Hot Topic is Why Spending Could Be Damaging Your Dreams

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Do you desire to go from overspending to intentional spending, making your money work for you rather than the other way around? Then this month’s hot topic is for you!


It may not be everyone’s favorite topic.. but effective budgeting can give life to goals, turning them from dreams into reality! Effective budgeting has the power to transform our lives in a real and practical way, giving us more freedom and the ability to achieve what we desire most.


Join me in my practical guide of how to effectively manage finances – complete with downloadable spreadsheet which will calculate your living costs and do all the hard work for you.


And, as always, please check in with our community and comment on what you have found most helpful, your experiences with finances so far and your ah ha moments throughout the series.

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