How to better organise your budget !
Better budget organisation is one way to save time and money! Here are the steps to follow for successful budget optimisation!
Better organisation of your budget is one way to save time and money!
Coorganiz went to some specialists for advice, and also to organised parents, because financial management is also about practical everyday tips.
Here are the steps to follow for successful optimisation of your budget management (for investments and the winning lottery numbers, sadly we cannot help.)
Step 1: Lay it all out in the open. How much did you spend last year?
To find out, gather up all your bank statements and total them by area of expenditure. “There’s no need to go into every detail for an initial estimate,” says Agnes, a financial adviser in a major group. Use coloured highlighters for different expenditures: housing, household bills, food, clothing, subscriptions (telephone, TV…), childcare, transport, leisure, holidays. Over one year, you will have the major lines, and that is the basis for understanding your expenses. From there, you can square them off against your resources and begin to optimise.”
Step 2: Set monthly or annual budget envelopes and do not exceed them.
Include an envelope for saving a little each month if you can. And set up a simple tracking tool: a computer file or a tracking App if you’re a geek: Bankin or Linxo. If you are a technophobe, then a copybook will do just fine.
Step 3: Check in every week and return to your tracking tool as soon as you have a major expense.
There’s no need to make a note of every amount you spend, just the important expenses and any withdrawals from the ATM. Check in with the bank every week if you are on a tight budget, and every month if you have a little leeway. “I download my bank statement and tick all the expenses in my budget envelopes. I print it off and underline using colours: it takes me 25 minutes every week. I do it on Monday evening so that I know what I can spend in the week. It has become a routine, whereas it bored me to tears at first. But I am a single mum and my life is stressful enough as things are, so I don’t want to be overdrawn”.
Step 4: Optimise your subscriptions and expenses
“When I saw how much we were spending on subscriptions, I brought everything together under a single operator. A bill that is 25% lower isn’t bad… “Seeing an annual expense can be quite a trigger for some people. “I sold all the clothes that were too small or had not been worn”. “I emptied the cupboards…”, “I took out subscriptions at the library and games library”, “I empty the fridge down to the last carrot. Sick and tired of throwing away food every week.”
Step 5: Get help if the subject is making you panic
“Not only am I allergic to paperwork, but I get into a panic as soon as I have to do my accounts. So instead of letting my finances run away with me, which has already led to a few nasty surprises, I do them with a friend. Last year, I even went to see my banker several times. Don’t be alone with your financial stress”, says Marie who is a florist.
Step 5: Have 3 accounts if you are a couple !
Yes, it’s a pain, but it allows you to measure your contribution to the family budget and retain your financial independence. “Being in control of your budget is essential for remaining an autonomous member of a couple” reminds Charles, a solicitor’s clerk. “Whether you are a man or a woman, married or not, divorced… you remain responsible for your finances or your holdings in the eyes of the law.” So even if it’s no fun, don’t let the other person do your accounts… You have been warned! Did I hear someone laugh?
So now you know, managing your budget is not rocket science, it’s organised! Do the annual exercise, it’s an excellent way to realise how much you really spend and adopt good habits. It can also be motivational to change jobs if you want to increase your income. In short, it’s food for thought! Well, let’s hope that the weather isn’t too good this weekend, because I’m going to get stuck into it!
And while we’re here, if you are taken with the idea of optimising your everyday life, here are some articles that should interest you:
- How to organise and file your papers
- How to save time in household organisation
- What’s on an organised mum’s smartphone?