Budget Like a Boss
Money is an interesting topic of discussion. In fact, it almost seems taboo.
But money literally makes our world go 'round. So why should we be ashamed of talking about it? One of my favorite self-help authors Jen Sincero in her book You Are a Badass at Making Money talks about how money has this stigma surrounding it and that discussing money is almost considered naughty.
But why? We work hard, we earn it, its ours, we should be proud of the fruits of our labor!
And I have to say I totally agree with her. (Please note that flaunting what you've earned is by far a different story altogether and not what I am talking about here.)
However, how many of us are good at budgeting our money? I mean really keeping track of the incoming and outgoing of our funds and what the outgoings are really going toward. I find this to be the trickiest task of them all and sometimes I still feel like I don't know if I'm doing it right. Is there one "right" way that exists or is it every man for himself?
Over the years I have accumulated bits of pieces of what a budget should consist of and then learned how to make it work for me. Today, I am going to share how I go about creating a monthly/yearly budget using Google Sheets. Hopefully this will either a) inspire you to make a budget of your own or b) help you finally figure out how to maximize your budget system so that it fits you and your lifestyle habits.
Step 1: Setup your Google Sheets Document
Step 2: Know Your Income
This may be the most critical and informative step as you will work to understand and break down your monthly income here. I have two steady jobs and do a lot of work on the side as a free-lancer (whether it be as a singer, accompanist, or choreographer). So, I have my income broken down into three categories:
- Other (free-lance work)
Step 3: Categorize
In order to minimize your spending habits and maximize your savings, you have to know what things you spend your money on monthly. This can be broken down into two major categories: Bills and Miscellaneous. The "Bills" category contains exactly what you would think it would, every bill I pay monthly, as well as the exact amount or estimated amount that bill costs.
For example - I know every month I will have exactly $12.99 withdrawn for Netflix; therefore, this amount goes next to "Netflix" in the table and I know that figure is fixed (until Netflix ups their prices again...) On the flip side, my electric bill is never the same figure twice in a row, so I try to look at the last 3 months billing cycles and use the average to create an estimated number for which to budget/allocate.
Here are my monthly expenses I have categorized as "Bills" that I have listed in my spreadsheet:
- Car Payment
- House Payment
- Car Insurance
- House Insurance
- Property Taxes
- Verizon (Cell Phone)
- Hulu/Spotify (Bundled)
- Amazon Prime
- SparkWave (Internet)
- Ameren (Electric)
- Illinois Gas Co.
- Entertainment (i.e. nights out with friends)
- Hair (cuts/style)
- Emergency (car problems, burst water heater, etc.)