Thursday, July 14, 2016
Earlier this year I fell in love with the blog The Frugal Girl. Kristen, who writes it, is so upbeat and inspiring, she really encourages me to do better with our money.
In one of her older posts, she talks about a monthly money email that she sends her husband to let him know how their budget is tracking. I decided to follow her lead and put together a budget email that suits our situation.
I've always had every intention of sitting down with Paul and doing regular budget meetings, but they've only happened like twice, in our whole marriage.
A budget email suits us better because Paul can read it at his leisure and then we can talk about anything that stands out to us. No big deal.
I've done the budget email two months in a row now, and it's amazing how much better we are sticking to our budget because of it. After reading the first budget email, Paul began taking packed lunches to work whenever possible and this has saved us so much money over the past month. I have also been much more committed to sticking to our grocery budget, and am hitting it more often than not now.
It's so exciting to see the traction we have made in the past month, and I am looking forward to seeing where we are at after another month of this accountability.
The nitty gritty
I write our budget email once a month, putting all our spending for that month into it organised by budget category. We already have a spreadsheet of our planned budget, so I refer to this and note whether we have over- or underspent on a particular budget category.
This is what goes into a typical budget email:
Current account balance
Credit card balance / Amount owing
Income (over last 30 days)
Total spent (over last 30 days)
House & appliance repairs
Grocery spending (list where and how much cf budgeted amount)
Eating out / Coffee spending (list where and how much cf budgeted amount)
Entertainment spending ie. games and Netflix (list where and how much cf budgeted amount)
Communications spending (Internet and cell phones)
Health spending (ie. Dentist, Doctor - Actual cf budgeted)
Transport and travel spending (Actual cf budgeted)
Birthdays/ Celebration spending (Actual cf budgeted)
Clothes/ Hair spending (Actual cf budgeted)
Activities spending (Actual cf budgeted)
Upcoming big bills to save for
And that's it. Although it's a pretty simple idea, it does take a lot of time to put these emails together. It's definitely worth it for our family though, as proven by how it's helping us stick to our budget better.
How do you keep track of your spending? I'd love to read your tips in the comments.
Posted by Emma at 8:19 PM