Hello there my Chaotic Critic family. I’m back with another episode in my Low Income Budget series. Midway through February I shared my budget check in and in comparison to January, it’s not too shabby. This post is a tad bit late here on the blog, but you can stay up to date on the latest on my YouTube (click here).
As always, be sure to click the links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert or accountant. I am on the road to financial freedom like many others and decided to document my journey.
What’s Going Right?
In starting my check in process, I went through my Month-At-Glance page which has all my expenses broken down in categories. With each of these categories I was able to break down. My favorite part about this worksheet is that there is space for the projected cost, actual cost, and difference. Having these three sections plus the same for my income makes it easy to keep track and fill in the information as needed.
Midway through the month, I had paid majority of my bills, so in the actual cost section I went and wrote all the information in, down to the cents. Easy subtraction and I wrote in the difference. In some categories I was under budget while in others I was over. When I do my February wrap up, I’ll be able to see if I was able to stay within what I planned.
I will say that going forward, I need to be practical with myself. My projected cost doesn’t have to be the end all be all, but I need to make it correspond with my actual life and not a made up number. The numbers that I’ve projected are a ballpark, yes, and are actual, yes. Still, in some areas I know that I should make it higher and just be real with myself.
Bill Pay Check In
While the Month-At-Glance gave me space to track the full price break down, my Bill Pay Checklist is a quick checklist. Once something is paid I’m able to check it off and write in my rent, gas, etc. I don’t see either page as redundant. One is more extensive than the other. Having the monthly checklist is helpful in seeing everything at once in one spot and the amounts of what was paid.
The highlight of this entire mid-month check in was the expense tacker. I was able to see where majority of my money was going. Once again, it was food. Food took a lot of my money throughout 2018. Here we are two months into 2019 and I’m back at it again. I highlighted all of my food purchases and I had spent $77.92 as of February 18th. The amount of food I could have cooked with groceries worth that much is another story.
Going forward, I need to track my expenses on a daily basis. Even if it means putting it in my phone and transferring it later. I’ll be able to see it all – cash or debit purchases – and it’ll be accurate.
I’m excited to wrap up February and move on to March. One thing I will be doing differently is adding in cash envelopes and breaking down my Bill Pay Checklist to a week by week basis. This way I can keep track of where all my money is going from each of my pay periods to my bills, savings, miscellaneous, etc. Stay tuned for that!