Rolling right along here, I’ll move on to outlining parts 3 & 4 of my money saving plan. I’m getting pumped about living within my budget and I hope you are too.
3. Create a saving schedule
Before I graduated, I didn’t think about saving too much. Now that my savings account is about equal to my checking…I’m ready to take action. For the past few months, I have had two automatic sums taken from my checking account and saved elsewhere. Most banks offer this service online, so be sure to see what your options are.
I decided that I wanted a set amount to go into my general savings account every time a paycheck was direct deposited. Having this happen automatically prevents me from planning to spend that chunk. Out of sight, out of mind.
I also decided to establish a second “special” savings account called the Rainy Day Fund. This account allows me to feel free to use it for fun. I view my regular savings as the emergency pool, but the Rainy Day Fund can be for traveling, new furniture, electronics, concerts, etc. If it helps you, set a specific goal to save for, and calculate how much and when you’ll have to deposit in order to reach your goal on time. For example, if it’s January and you’re planning a vacation in July that you’d like to have $500 for, you can schedule deposits of $84 once a month, $42 twice a month, or $21 per week.
4. Establish a weekly budget for variable expenses
Some people prefer to work on a bi-weekly budget instead of a weekly one. I’m choosing to track weekly so I can plan better. It can be hard for me to know what my weekend plans are 2 weeks out, and I want to make things stretch as best as I can.
I consider planned expenses to be the things you technically have no control over. I would put rent, utilities, and any other standard monthly expenses in this category. After that, I look at all the changing expenses that I can control out of my pocket. Using the tools in this spreadsheet, you can plug in your information and play around with potential budget options.
The weekly or bi-weekly budget you settle on will be the amounts you put in those envelopes for the determined time period. It’s important to ease yourself into the process and think realistically about what you can handle based on your lifestyle. After a trial run, budgets can always be adjusted.
Check back in for the next post about putting the envelope method into action! Who’s with me?