I’m only kidding (about the new me part), but how often do we treat the changing of the year to have some kind of magical ability to change us? Before I get into my new budget for the year, I want to share with you all what I’m planning for 2018 to look like. As I said in my last post, my new Commit 30 planner has really helped me to focus on all areas of my life, not just the budget part! I feel that this new year is going to be the best one yet, not just because of all the amazing things on my calendar already, but because I am striving for more balance in my faith, my marriage, my job, and my family/friends.
Here’s my vision for 2018:
- Physical Health: Work out 3x per week.
- Mental Health: Stress Less. I stress about almost everything I cannot control, so this is going to be my biggest challenge this year!
- Spiritual Health: Complete a 1-year reading plan, and not miss a day!
- Personal Growth: Be Intentional. To have slow feet, and really get to know the people around me. To go deeper than just a Sunday Morning hello!
- Marriage: Be more affectionate with Taylor. I love my husband so much, but I also love to pick at him and throw him under the bus. I’m going to try cutting back on that this year, and treating him like the king he is! ❤
- Family/Friends: Once a month dinner/getting together with parents/in-laws.
- Career: Promote Faith Ministry College well.
- Home: To always feel inviting, and create a place that people can feel at home!
- Pure Joy/Fun: Focus on hobbies (ex. blogging, crafting, painting).
- Adventure/Travel: Go to Ecuador AND Jamaica!
- Community: Be more involved. I want to be more a part of our neighborhood community.
- Finances- Pay at least $500 a month on student loans.
That’s my vision for 2018- would love to know yours in the comments below!
Ok, So what about the budget?
For this past year, I have gone back and forth with different budgeting apps. Mint, and the free version of Every Dollar, but I find myself going back time and time again to the old school pen and paper… okay… not that old… the oldish school of a spreadsheet!
Google Sheets (excel sheet provided by Google) has a great monthly budget template you can use, and all you need is a Gmail email!
As you can see, you can choose custom categories. I combined a lot of my similar bills because I didn’t see the point of each little thing getting their own category. If you are having trouble making out the words and category, click on the link below the pictures and it will take you to the PDF version in another tab.
What I like so much about this budget template is that it allows you to have a starting off balance that you have in your account at the beginning of the month. 75% of our bills come out before my husband and I get our first paycheck the second week of January, so this helps me to visualize where the money for our bills is coming from.
I also like that I can manually put in each of my transaction into the second-page sheet, and allocate it exactly where I want it to go. Then, it adds up your spending for the category you choose onto the first sheet. With Mint, I found that they would allocate it for me, and I always had to go back and put what I wanted in the category I wanted. I am sure the paid version of Every Dollar, and YNAB may be a little better, but I don’t like the idea of paying for an app to do what I can do in just a little bit of time and discipline.
To help me stay on track with each transaction (and so I don’t have a huge list to allocate) I make it a point to set aside two times out the week to track our spending. I usually do it daily, but if I forget for some reason, I have it as a “To-Do” on my weekly schedule that helps keep it in front of me.
The key to this budget and I believe any budget, is getting it done the first day of the month, if not a little before the month so you have an accurate standing of where you are in your finances, and then you never have to play ketchup. Once you create your first set of categories for the month, they usually never change from month to month, so it tends to become a well-oiled machine once you get into the habit and discipline of tracking your income and spending.
If you have any questions, please comment below, or contact me with a private message! Hope you guys all have a very…
Happy New Year!!!
Questions for You:
1.) What are your personal/family goals for 2018?
2.) Do you use any of the apps I mentioned to track your spending? If so, tell me how they are working for you!