I have never managed to budget money. Once or twice I have attempted to set up a system, but always felt that I didn’t really know how to put it in place or make it fit me. Over the past month I have asked a handful of people on how they budget and it turns out that everyone has their own system. A friend was kind enough to share a sample of her budgeting spreadsheet for me and I have spent a couple of hours tonight trying to get it set up and adjusted to me.

This started off with the essentials – colour coding [priorities!], formatting and formulas, as well as deciding what columns I should have in the outgoings section. That was actually easier than I thought as I just had to look through my online banking for the month. I have settled on the following categories:

  • Rent – Self-explanatory.
  • Council Tax – Self-explanatory.
  • Bills – Self-explanatory.
  • Travel – Includes weekly bus passes and train travel.
  • Abel & Cole – – Self-explanatory.
  • Food – Additional food, like bread.
  • Takeaway – Of which I have too much.
  • Cigarettes – Self-explanatory.
  • Phone – My phone is PAYG, but I top up £10/month to receive unlimited texts plus £20 every six months for unlimited data.
  • Toiletries & Cleaning – Self-explanatory.
  • Going out – Covering all going out from coffee to restaurants and pubs.
  • Clothing – Self-explanatory.
  • Presents & Donations – Self-explanatory.
  • Spotify & Xbox Live – Includes the £9.99/month for Spotify Premium and MS Points purchased on Xbox Live.
  • Amazon – Most of my online orders are through Amazon.

I think the main reason I hadn’t managed to budget before was that I wasn’t sure on how to track things properly and whether I should document what I spend or only spend what I am allowed to. For the time being I am planning to track what I do spend without forcing myself to adjust though I am already shocked that I can’t account for some money just eleven days into the month.

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5 Responses to Budgeting

  1. Dan says:

    I generally find if I look at how much I spend it just makes me feel a) Very fat because of how much gets spent on takeaway b) like I should spend the next few weeks eating noodles & doing nothing else because I have such little money left…

    Really need to do something like this as money will get much much tighter soon :(


  2. Cat says:

    So far so good, as they say..

    I’m still keeping up with the budget sheet to the point that I’m emailing myself from my phone the moment I spend money that’s not through the card.

    I’m also already realising I need to cut down on things!


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