OK so this is a post/series that I have wanted to write for a very long time. Only problem was that I felt that in order to write it properly, I had to share my actual numbers and well… when I do my budget the numbers don’t match. Like really don’t match. It’s kind of like an exercise in confusion. There is ABSOLUTELY no way I should be able to do 95% of the things I do and yet somehow I manage to find the money I need to do them. Honestly, I feel like I should hang my head in shame. But it’s OK, because from this point on, I’m (with your help) am going to work towards turning things around.
My plan is to join Stacy from Adventures in Coupons in her 2015 Budget Challenge. In January, I discovered YNAB (* YouNeedABudget.com *) WOW was that an eye opener. For years I’ve been using an excel spread sheet, and although it was OK it just wasn’t great. So I read a couple of posts about YNAB and decided to see what all the hype was about. I signed up for the free trial period and knew instantly that this was something that I wanted. So much better, and the best part, you can see everything on one screen.
Using my old system, I would just pay the things that I had to and leave the rest for when I had extra money. This is not a good way to operate. But it is what I was doing.
So this year I promised myself that 2015 would be different (don’t we all say that every year?). I was going to make my way through Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps (I most likely won’t complete them all this year, but if I can make it to baby step #2 I’ll be happy) and get my act in gear.
So like every year, I sat down and figured out exactly what I was going to need to make it through this year. Here’s what I came up with:
|Tire Change Over||14.60||175.00|
|Tires – Summer||83.40||1,000.00|
|Tires – Winter||83.40||1,000.00|
|Membership Fees||Capital One||5.00||60.00|
|Pets||Annual Check Up||17.10||205.00|
|The Q H||Blogging Conferences||125.00||1,500.00|
|Personal Student Loan||50.00||600.00|
|RSP (House Down payment)||310.00||3,720.00|
There is however a couple of issues with this budget. The biggest being that I don’t make that much money per month. The other being that some of those expenses are not every year, some are every other year, every three years, every 4 years or even every 5 years. So I worked my numbers out for the next 5 years, and averaged the totals. From there I changed up the budget a bit:
|The Q H||Materials||50.00||600.00|
|Personal Student Loan||50.00||600.00|
This is much easier for me to manage and I’m still saving for all of my “Annual Expenses (regardless of which year I need them)” every month, so I can pay the bill when it comes due, I’m just not worrying about where to put the money until the bill comes due. It’s also over $300.00 a month less. Win Win, especially when you consider that I still don’t make this much money, which means that I’m going to have to get creative and find ways to make more money.
At this point I am averaging around $1,000 a month so to make all of my required payments I will have to increase my income by $2,345.70 a month.
Because of this, I’m using YNAB a bit differently than most people. I’ve filled in my monthly budgets for the year with the payments that I need to make, and as I work through each month, I will disperse my the income I am able to make to each of the categories in order of priority (Rent, Groceries, Fuel, Pet Food, RRSPs – keeping the tax man away should always be a priority, then Debt payments, Savings, Materials, Entertainment, Restaurants, with anything left over going towards the debt with the lowest balance).
So that is my budget for the year, there may be small changes to it as the year progresses, but I don’t really anticipate many. The biggest change that I’m hoping for is in income (so I can actually pay for everything). I’d love for you to join me next month to see how I did at increasing my income and sticking to my budget. And don’t forget to stop by Adventures in Coupons to say hi to Stacy.
Please be aware that should you choose to purchase the YNAB system through the link in this post, you will save $6 and I will earn $6
I’ll be parting at these lovely link ups.