Here we are again. Just like that, another fortnight has come and gone and payday is coming up fast. Time to get prepared, allocate some funds, and put my money to work!
If you haven’t been around for long, I publish my personal budget for my family of four each fortnight to show others how I manage my money. I am currently trying out the Paycheck Budgeting method, most recently made mainstream by The Budget Mom. I use real figures and am open and honest about what our goals are and how I prioritize our family budget to ensure we have the present and the future covered!
Previous Budget Review
My husband and I have been working just about non-stop this past fortnight, so we haven’t had the time to be out spending up a storm. Even though we’ve been busy, our meal planning has saved us from needing to buy lunches at work, or get a quick takeout option when we’re exhausted in the evenings.
Our bills section came out just as expected. We didn’t have any unexpected expenses and had a good idea of everything we needed to cover.
The envelopes section is still developing, as I am struggling to keep on top of recording every expense as it happens. I’ve been trying to remember to get receipts with my purchases, so I have a record of expenses I can enter into Goodbudget at the end of the day. Despite this small hiccup and the fact that I spent more than I’d budgeted for the Household envelope, we spent less overall this fortnight that I expected. Yay!
For now, this leftover money will stay in the envelopes. I’m stockpiling money to buy the kid’s new summer clothes now the weather is warming up, and I bulk buy Woolworths Gift Cards every four weeks to receive a discount on our groceries. So, this cash will stay put for now.
Sinking Funds, Extra Debt, Extra Savings: All as expected. This is great as it means we are right on track to reach our savings goals. We had an extra $105 to put towards our renovations savings this fortnight too and $26 between us for spending money.
August Budget 2
This is my fourth fortnight using the paycheck method of budgeting, and while I am enjoying having such a comprehensive knowledge of where my money is going each fortnight, I am not loving the amount of time and attention this method requires compared to my previous budgeting method.
Every other week I need to create my budget, review the previous budget to see if I have any leftover money, add everything up (at least twice because I always forget a bill!), change the automatic transfer I have set up in my bank account to reflect any change in the amount to go in to my bills/envelopes accounts, and record each expenditure throughout the fortnight accurately to ensure my paper budget balances when I do at all over again in 14 days time.
While I am going to stick with this method for a couple more months at least, I’m not sure if it’s something I can see myself using long term. To motivate myself I have started a Budget Binder where I can keep hard copies of my Paycheck Budget Worksheets, Expenses Trackers, Savings Trackers etc. Nothing flash or expensive, just super simple and spacious because I plan to turn this budget binder into a full-blown Household Binder down the track. More on that to come.
Anyway, back to the budget:
Income: My usual estimate as to our work earnings, plus the carryover from the previous fortnight. We do not receive money from our investment property this fortnight.
Bills: The usual culprits taking a whopping great chunk of our income. No surprises here.
Envelopes: I’ve decreased the amount I’m putting in the Groceries envelope because I’ve been conscious of controlling my frivolous spending habits in this category. The other categories all get the same amount put in as last fortnight.
Sinking Funds, Savings, Debt: All the same as the last budget.
Overall: We should come out on top. Just. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means every dollar is working for us, and by prioritizing our savings goals it’s not a problem that we don’t have extra cash at the end of the month. Any extra money we receive over and above our estimated income will be split 80:20 between our renovations savings and discretionary spending for my husband and me.
As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or email me at email@example.com
I’m always thrilled to hear from you!