Spooky Season Budgeting

Hey!


Welcome to this week's blog all about the end-of-month (October 2021) budgeting. Yes, yes here come the dreaded groans and misconceptions of budgeting. But I’m here to simplify things for you!


If you have been using your FREE Master Money Monthly Budget Template this is already done and all you have to do is review! For those who would rather do this by hand let's check out another process to budget.


**To download either Budget Template click here! Check out the blog Guides to learn how to use the Master Money Monthly Budget Template.


Disclaimer

One more thing before we get started. Empower Your Budget would like to put out a disclaimer. This is not trying to brag, show off or prove money in this scenario. Whether the amount is a lot or a little to you this is only one situation. Seeing examples of budgeting in real life is helpful as it may be easier to adopt and compare methods. There is no one correct way of home much money you need to have/ not have. This is just an example of a student financial situation.


End of the Month

Okay! Let’s get started with our end of the month budgeting. First, let's gather all our information. For this would include account statements and monthly transactions. An easy way to simplify life is paying everything credit card then paying it off in full before the end of the month!


Here are the example transactions for the month:

To the left transactions are listed throughout the month of October. The dates chronologically and color code to go one step further. Any income is in green and expenses are in red. The descriptions are not long, just enough information for the user to understand what took place during this transaction. One of the best parts of the transactions list is being able to go through and see what was bought over the month. Remember budgeting isn't supposed to restrict money but enable it to be used wisely. For example, this student received $1,000 from a college/ university grant in Covid Aide relief.


**Sometimes your perspective of how money is being spent or saved/ invested needs to be looked at another way. For example, one could see $1,000 as a waste for saving it or the money could be seen it as 'free' money that did not require time or effort.


Category Breakdown

Now that all the transactions are written, sorting them into categories is next. Looking at the expenses as an overview and try not to go over a specific amount. For some months this may only be $200, for other months this could be $2,500 if semester rent is being paid. These expenses are quite low this month as this student does not have a car. Other expenses not having to be paid includes gas, insurance, and any car expenses. As talked about before the student's rent was paid at the beginning of the semester making utilities the only reoccurring expense. To the right are the transactions sorted and totaled. (Don't worry if you do like to categorize the numbers on the next page!) This student has been very fortunate to have no debt, however instead they have decided to pay out of pocket. For this reason the student decided to reinvest the $1,000 Covid Aide back into their college fund for tuition next semester. With the $120.51 extra, the student decided to invest that into their brokerage account. In their point of view, they may need it sometime soon but at the moment can let it grow.


Making Notes

**As the student was working through their budget extra notes or annotations were made. Budgeting again is all up to the user. You may add and include any notes you would like. Do what works best for you!

Finally we get to Empower Your Budget's favorite part… the budget overview. We love seeing everything laid out and an overview of the month. This also helps users analyze the income and spending. From here you can conclude what went well and what needs to be worked on.


Budget Reflections

As for the student here are the takeaways they have come up with:

- More money was made than spent! Yay net income!

- The utility bill is a bit high. The project cost is usually around $60, however the budget did cover this extra amount.

- The credit card spending went up a bit as the budget suggest trying to stay around $100-150 including groceries and personal spending.

- Investing in the Roth IRA would have been a first choice. However holiday shopping is soon so money should be kept liquid.

- Overall this month's budget was very good.

- Next month's income is protected to be quite similar.

- Make sure to practice self control and limit spending on extra late-night trips to McDonalds and Culvers.


Ending Tips

Wow in three steps we are done! How easy?! For an extra step, one may add this information to my end-of-the-year budget overview. Now an overview of money can be managed over the year. In this example, only October is shown and color-coded it. However usually this whole spread would be filled with numbers.


Click here for the free Paper Budget Template or go to the Templates Tab. For the FREE Master Money Monthly Budget and Yearly overview click here. For other questions, comments, and services check out the Support tab for more options.


Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog! Check out more blog posts here! Make sure to share with others to help share the message of Mastering Money.


Remember

Master money so money cannot master you.