Guess What? We are now on day #18 of our Be Intentional Challenges! We hope it has been wonderful, productive and life-changing so far.
What are we doing?
The 30 Be Intentional challenges this month are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home. We are going to have different themes each month this year (and we have very exciting stuff planned) and this month is your foundation!
We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!
As the 30 days go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:
Here’s the previous 15 challenges in case you missed them and want to get your life on the right track:
- Set and Be Strict About Bedtime
- Work Towards Waking Up At The Same Time Everyday
- Making Your Bed Everyday
- Get Dressed To Shoes Everyday
- Hydrate Yourself
- 5 Minute Stretching and Breathing Exercise
- Implement a 20 Minute Quick Clean with You and Your Family
- Menu Planning
- Dinner by 10
- Take Your Vitamins
- Have A Family Meeting To Review, Discuss and Figure Out How To Solve Obstacles Preventing You From Doing Challenges #1-#10. Plus read about the results of our family meeting and our solutions so far HERE.
- Develop a Nighttime Routine
- Write Out Daily Schedule
- Complete the Financial Summary Questionnaire
- Clean Off and Scrub the Bathroom Counters and Then Do A Daily Wipe Down
- Complete the Home Map for Complete Clean-out and Organization
- Find and Fix The Second Thing Sabotaging Your Day
Are you ready to face the facts of your finances? We will be spending a few days to get the facts in order.
So…. Be Intentional Challenge #18:
Set Your Budgets in the Areas of Bills, Debts and Everyday Living
This is a hard step for a lot of people. It can be difficult to write out your budget. We did not have a visual of our budget for many years as we didn’t want to face the facts. It scared us. But because we didn’t we suffered in debt by getting further into debt and taking longer to get out. Don’t avoid your budget because you can’t live without a budget…. the question is… are you controlling your budget or does it control you?
Well, whether you like doing this or not, let’s be the ones in control of our budget.
Here’s how this works:
- With what we are showing and providing today, this is called a “high level view.”
- It is not meant to track your budget – we do not recommend a paper system, but utilizing either software (like Quickbooks or Excel) and/or free online tools (like Mint.com or what we like to use called Manilla.com)
- This is a quick reference, quick glance guide to go into your home binder. The purpose of the quick reference is so that you can have access to it quickly if you want to know what is budgeted for a certain area, or if let’s say you get a new car insurance quote, you can quickly glance at this to see what fees you need to beat. Or even if you are looking to earn extra money and you want to try and pay this week’s or month’s phone bill, etc. you will quickly know what the goal is.
- It is also super helpful to have the budget line items broke down by week, month and year for lots of reasons. But for one, if you do get that new car insurance quote and you are quoted an annual fee, but you only know the monthly, it can be more difficult to figure out the best one quickly. That is one of many examples of why we encourage you to break it out this way.
- Download this as many times as you need throughout the year for an updated current copy in your home binder.
We are going to be working on this topic for a few days. First, print of 2-3 downloads so that you can create separate pages for each of the following categories: Bills, Debts (write down min. payments – we will get to more debt-reducing soon!) and Living Expenses.
Then just simply fill them out.
- You might find it easiest to fill in the monthly first as most bills/debts are in monthly amounts.
- And then multiply by 12 to get your annual.
- Then take your annual amount and divide it by 52 to get your weekly amount.
- Then write the totals at the bottom.
Now you have your high level budget view and we will work on reducing your expenses and your debts, but write down what you spend NOW.
Here’s examples. This is not our budget, but we just filled this out quickly to show you what we are talking about with made-up examples. But even though these are just quickly made-up, we will be sharing our actual living expenses budget with you in the next day or two!
Sample Bills Budget Form
Fill this one in with your bills that are non-debt (except your mortgage) and that you can’t live without and are fixed (billed) like your utilities, mortgage/rent, etc.
Here’s a sample of the Living Expenses budget form
This is for those expenses that are not “billed” but that you have has a normal living expense and that you can control each time you spend, such as your groceries, clothing, eating out, etc.
Finally, if you have any debts, the fill-out this form as well!
These would be loans, credit cards, and the expenses that once they are paid off, they are gone.
|<== Download your printable Budget Form HERE|
In the next few days, we will be sharing the following regarding budgets:
- How to set a budget
- How to set a budget on a varied income
- Our personal Living Expenses budget Then and Now
- How to start reducing your budget and spending less on each area to have a better looking budget
One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!