Our Monthly Budget
Isn't it fab being trendy? We've been living on a really small budget for years (I am disabled and Man Wonderful has a pension) and all of a sudden we are gurus on how to live really happily on what we have.
I thought I would share how we plan our monthly budget.
There are loads of different methods...envelopes, using different accounts, sinking funds.
. We use a physical, written exercise book to keep note as well as three accounts: one current account, one savings account and one long-term savings account.
. We talk about everything to do with our money.
. We know the fixed funds that come in and the date they are coming in. This is written in one column as our income.
. Some income amounts are monthly, some are four-weekly.
. We know the direct debits and standing orders that go out every month. These are written in another column as our outgoings.
. The outgoings are on different dates in the month.
We have had the same fixed amount to spend on shopping each month this year: food, cleaning items, etc. As items have become more expensive, we have changed what we buy to fit our budget, not increased our budget.
We put the same amount of money each month into our long term savings account. This is also where our 'emergency fund' is.
One thing we have had to increase is money for dog food. This has shot up, and I buy a good quality of food for them. I am, however, looking at different brands to see how we can save a little.
Petrol funds are considerably more than they were last year - we are very lucky that we do not go far in the car - our car is paid for; insurance and road fund license are paid for annually and we have a 'pot' for any repairs and servicing the car needs.
This is a vital part of our budget. Life insurance and home/contents insurance. We offer to pay an 'excess' that we can afford, and the insurance covers a larger amount, should we need it. We pay this in monthly amounts.
We pay for our internet and TV package monthly - this is currently causing me a little anger, as the package we have is quite expensive and I want to reduce what we have and our monthly payments. However, because we are in an 18 month contract, it would cost us to change our plan. I have spoken to the company and emailed them. I have a big note written in my 2023 diary for the start of March to apply and change our contract for the end of April.
Gas, Electricity and Water. We have always over-paid these, even by a small amount. In the past, we would be offered money back from time to time. Thankfully we have this habit - and we are continuing with our habit - as it helps when there is a larger bill, like winter. The recent rises have hit everyone hard, but we continue to over-pay a little each month.
We both have a mobile phone, and only replace them when they are well-and-truly knackered. Man Wonderful changed his handset recently. He had the cheapest handset and we are paying a small amount monthly for this as it is the same amount as buying in one go. We pay a small amount each month for our phones because they are low priced packages and we don't have additional extras.
10. Other People
This is another large(to us), but fixed part of our budget. We have kids and grandkids (yes I'm old!) and it is important to us to have pennies to spend on them.
We spend something on the grandkiddies every week, and have dinner for all the family once a week (this is withing our food budget).
Christmas is budgeted for each month: but I spend this every month. I don't get 'surprised' by a sudden amount of shopping needed in November/December each year. No. I have a Christmas Cupboard that gets things added to it as I buy them. I have never asked people what they want, as I have a set budget and if I don't know them well enough, what on earth am I doing buying them a gift anyway?!
Birthdays - the same. We know when they are and I usually paint my own cards which saves some money.
We are a romantic couple and do spend money on us. This might be a lunch out, or buying slippers before the winter - it might be going to the Theatre every now and then, or buying a couple of books from the Charity shop. We have a monthly 'us' budget, and find that this is really important.
What do you budget for? How do you manage your budget?
That is a very well planned budget! Do you still live in a caravan and if so is it expensive so heat in winter?ReplyDelete
No, we have lived in a wee house for five years now. In the caravan we were plugged into the electricity on a site.Delete
A fixed fee covered all electricity for 24 hours, whether we used it or not. Therefore we had the heating on!
It was a small 2 berth touring caravan, and in winter was like a snuggly cave.