Budgeting is a tricky subject. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating a budget, but it's also one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
There are plenty of ways to keep track of your spending, but we think a bullet journal is the best way. We're not just saying that because we're huge fans of bullet journals; we're saying it because they allow you to be more flexible and creative when budgeting.
The most important thing when budgeting is to be consistent. Use the same system each month, and try not to change it up too much. The more consistent you are with it, the more accurate it will be!
Here’s how you can do it:
You can start by writing down your income and side income (if you have any) for the month at the top of the page. Write it down as soon as it happens so you don't have to rely on your memory or keep track of receipts if you lose them.
Create a column for your savings and emergency funds. If this is new to you, start small—maybe just 5% of your income each month. As time goes on, increase it until you're saving enough for an emergency fund (and more).
Next, create another column for bills and other expenses that need to be paid regularly. Add in any other expenses that come up throughout the month—like birthdays or anniversaries—and make sure to note down when they are due so that they don't sneak up on you.
Record all of your expenses, by listing them down, as they come up so that you can see where the money goes. This can be done with either a single column or multiple columns on one page—it's up to you! Just make sure that it's easy enough for you to fill out quickly so that things don't fall through the cracks when it comes time to review them later on.
Finally, once all of your expenses and savings have been recorded, take time each month or quarter to review them against your income so that you can see if there are any areas where you need improvement. Once you've got a good idea of how much money comes in each month and how much goes out, you can start making plans for how much more cash flow is needed (or wanted)—and then figure out which areas of spending are most important so they stay funded while other areas get cut down or eliminated altogether.
We hope that this will help you set realistic goals and create a budget that works for YOU.
Don’t know how to start your layout? No worries! We created a free printable budget tracker that you can use or easily cut and stick to your bullet journal!
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