Saturday, 12 January 2013

Your budget or your life 1

Welcome to your budget or your life! In this blog I am going to be posting about how to make and maintain a budget, and also helpful guides and tips on:

*saving for a deposit for a mortgage/car/anything
*pitfalls in finance
*how to build up your credit score
*information on different types of bank accounts
*paid surveys

and much more to come over the life of this blog!

First of all here is a link to a standard budget in ODF format (sorry I dont have excel, but you can convert easily or use open office which is free like I do if your excel wont open it)

In this template on the far left hand side you have some examples of expenses you could have. Change any of these to anything that suits your own personal circumstances. Enter the totals into the second column. I work my budget monthly, but you can do it weekly to the same effect, and when you save your spreadsheet file always save the week or the month as the file name. E

The third column is for your incomes, enter as many as you wish here (for example if you have two or more jobs, or sell on ebay/gumtree etc)

The fourth column is for your isa total, If you dont have one (yet) obviously leave it blank, but I will cover ISAs more in the upcoming blogs.

The fifth column is for Savings Jar 1, this could be where you save a certain denomination of coin (such as pound coins or dollars if you are american)

The sixth column is for savings Jar 2, this could be where you save just any denomination of coin or notes.

The seventh column is for your wallet or purse, the money you carry on your person

the eight column is for the emergency fund, this is REALLY important. I would say try to get about £200 or $300 dollars saved here for emergencys, AND ONLY USE IT IN EMERGENCYS. I will speak about this more in the future as its pretty important.

Once you have entered values in all these columns the totals and totals left over (or negative) will display in the lower cells. This tells you how you are actually doing financially and theres no guesswork or "rounding up" involved. I HATE ROUNDING UP. This is for the fact that people seem to think that to budget you should round up values. I think being honest with yourself financially is the very best way to start. 

Ok, so you have your totals and you are seeing (perhaps for the first time) exactly where your money is going and how much you REALLY have. Now you try to get a better deal on every bill you possibly can.


Energy and broadband

line rental

Make cut backs, BE HONEST, and be brutal if you have to, this is your financial future we are talking about here and noone can do the legwork for you unfortunetly. Here are my 10 golden tips:

1- Cut back on buying branded goods (heinz, walkers etc) and try the supermarket or budget version, buying the aldi version usually cuts back about 60% of spending, and the stuff they sell is actually great quality

2- Walk places where you can rather than taking the car or public transport you will get fitter and  walking makes you feel good by releasing endorphins in your brain.

3- Turn off lights when you leave a room, there should only be one lightbulb on in your house when its dark, and thats for the room that you are in.

4- Dont buy DVDs, take out a free trial for lovefilm and then cancel it before the 30 day limit is up

5- Watch films online, there are actually a lot of films on youtube now, such as rocky 2

6- Dont let food you buy go to waste or out of date, make meal plans and use all the food before it goes out of date, make a soup, all you need to make soup is a stock cube and any selection of diced vegetables and meats. You can freeze it too and eat it later.

7- If you have a job can you do overtime? Its a good way to make money and get in your managers good books!

8- Can you sell anything that you dont ever use? Many people on ebay or gumtree will pay good money for that playstation you have had sitting for years

9- If you have a television subscription cancel it, freeview is really good now! Its like sky without all the crap shows

10- If you make videos on youtube, see if you are eligable to monetize your videos, its a great way to make money!

More next time on Your budget or your life, I will be blogging weekly every saturday.

If there are any questions or comments, please post here or email me on