As 2015 is coming to a close is has become very apparent that Chris and I need to sit down and make our preliminary budget for 2016 in place. Budgeting is a relatively new thing for Chris and I. We sat down at the end of 2014 and made a month by month budget for 2015 and stuck to it hardcore until about July-ish. Of course our intention next year is to make it through the whole year using the budget, but at least this way we have a basis to return to.
What I like to be sure to include in the budget are:
Our scheduled paydays
Our monthly bills
Debts we are paying off
Our tithing for church biweekly
I make sure to make a column for our anticipated expenses and what we actually spent, and when a bill gets paid it gets crossed off in blue, if it does not I put a red star next to it.
I place all of this info into a very small notebook and that book then comes with me EVERYWHERE! It stays in my purse or work bag and it is used not only as a visual reminder to stick to the budget, but when I pay a bill or a bill pops up I am able to look and see immediately if we need to adjust the budget or if it will be in the budget to pay it this pay period or next.
Now this may not seem like a lot of sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to us, mainly me since I sit down and pay the bills monthly. Chris and I do not make the same amount of money every month, we have chosen to save money in the grocery department and time in the convenience department and buy our lunches at work, this may not be the most economical thing to do but it works for us.
This year we are planning to do something a little different. I am sure you have seen it on Pinterest, but we are going to do the weekly savings plan, but on a bi-weekly basis, and starting with week 1 & 52. Since we both get paid on the same day that would get really expensive. This year we will not both be doing it, but only 1 of us will be. 2017, if this works out in 2016, we will both do it.
So next Wednesday, I will give an update on how far into the budget we got!
Now I am no CPA, but if you have questions with how I make this work or if you would like tips on how to budget for yourself just let me know in the comments below!