Posted in Budget Journey, Free Printables, General

Monthly Fixed Expenses Tracker – Free Printable

With everything going on with Covid-19, I wanted to share this free printable in the hopes that it might be useful to you, your family, or friends.

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Posted in Budget Journey, Free Printables, Happy Planner, YouTube Channel

Savings and Goals Tracker + Free Printable

Goal Setting

I haven’t been the best at setting goals.  Actually, I’m kind of horrible at them.  I think it’s based on fear of not living up to my goals and the notion that I’d be doubly a failure.  So I don’t set them.  Or I make them so vague that it’s easy to accomplish.  Or I make them so specific that I already know that I can meet them.  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t strive to set better goals.  I think for me, it helps if I can set goals but also have small wins as I progress through them.  I once read somewhere it’s like the Angry Birds or Pokemon Go mentality, the more you win (even if it’s small) the more you want to continue to win.

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Posted in Budget Journey, Free Printables, General, YouTube Channel

Online Income Tracker + Free Printable

Budgeting Amateur

Let me start this post by saying that I am not a financial adviser and all of my posts regarding budget related items are based on my own experience.  I document my journey (which is sometimes a bit rough) online to hold myself accountable but also in the hopes that it might help someone else in a similar situation. I’m nearly 47 and do not have my finances under control. In fact, if you’ve seen any of my budget videos, more often than not it seems like my finances are controlling me.

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Posted in Budget Journey, Free Printables, General

Monthly Budget-Revisited + Free PDF Printable

Monthly Budget – Revisited

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I recently started my own budget journey.  It’s a few months in and lately it seems that I keep taking baby steps.  Not in progress since I’m still overwhelmed with debt, but in understanding.  I did a blog (with a free printable) that outlined how I thought I would be doing my monthly budget.  However, as I’ve gone through a month, I realized that I need to tweak the process yet again.  It isn’t about aesthetics but rather, as I go through each process a couple of times, I realize what works and what doesn’t.  Its the natural progression for learning something new, but I’m impatient.

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Sinking Funds Detail Sheet + Free Printable

Sinking Funds Detail Sheet

As I’m progressing through my budget journey to get out of debt, I’m learning more and more about budgeting, living frugal, and knowing where my money goes.  But I’ve also discovered that there are things I can do that help me keep track of things.  I’m definitely a Happy Planner person and creating templates and lists help me stay organized.  The added bonus is that it gives me a feeling of control.  I think part of my frustration in this journey has been the feeling that my debt and finances were controlling me, not that I was in control.

I created this Sinking Funds Detail sheet in order to have an idea of things that I had or already needed.  I thought it would also be a great place to track important dates (personal or professional) since one of my sinking funds categories is for gifts.  I think this system (which will be moved to each month as needed in my Happy Planner/Erin Condren DIY budget planner) will also help me budget one of my cash envelope categories more efficiently.

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My Monthly Budget System: March 2019 + Free Printable

Budget Journey

I’m not a financial expert.  I’m not even a financial amateur.  I’m whatever comes before financial amateur – financial newbie?  My budget journey to get my finances under control is fairly recent.  Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s still in its infancy as I started a couple of months ago (January 2019).

So far, I’ve found it to be overwhelming, stressful, and frustrating.  Of course, I’ve never taken a class or met with a consultant or financial planner.  All my efforts to take my finances in hand comes from research I’ve done online (predominately YouTube and Blogs via Pinterest.

Paying Bills

I’ve always paid my bills on time so I’m fortunate in that respect.  I know that there are lots of people who struggle with that aspect because of limited funds, resources, unexpected expenses, etc.  But since my debt is so large, I didn’t think I’d ever make a dent and therefore just paid my minimums.

I don’t think debt is inevitable.  Unlike many, I’m okay with having debt.  But between my credit card bills and my student loans, we’re talking six figures worth of debt.  The longer I thought about it, the more anxiety it gave me.

January 2019

In January 2019 I decided to start my budgeting journey.  And to make it extra stressful, I also decided to document my journey on YouTube.  I thought it would be easy since I don’t budget the way that most people do since I didn’t have a lot of money to throw towards debt, savings, sinking funds, etc..  Be that naivete or arrogance, I’m not sure.  Quickly I realized that I would need to have a more structured budget.  That’s where my problems and anxiety really went into overdrive.

Budget Meltdown

In early March 2019, I really, really struggled with this.  I think part of the problem was information overload.  I follow quite a few people on YouTube who do budgeting videos and I was trying to emulate their styles and methods.  Tried to remember how THEY did things and then tried to make MY numbers fit.  There was even a video that I posted where I had a bit of a breakdown (a bad combination of being tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed).  Fortunately, 1) I really want to get my finances in order and 2) I had such overwhelming support and encouragement from the YouTube community.

YouTube ‘Meltdown’ video:

Monthly Budget

The entire process of how to make my budget work for me has been constantly on my mind.  I know that a budget is a living thing and does/can change as things come up.  But I also think that having some kind of structure is important if just to have SOMETHING to work off of from month to month.

For March, I’ve done my monthly budget kind of late because I was still figuring things out.  But going forward, I see how I can set it up for the new month and then work on it periodically throughout the month so that it’s worked real time.  Check out my video on how I set up (and will be setting up) my Monthly budgets.

YouTube Monthly Budget Video:

Free Monthly Budget Printable

Because it was SUCH a trial for me, I’ve also included a Free PDF printable template of how I’m setting up my monthly budget.  It’s simple and straightforward and for now, I think is exactly what I need but this could change and I’m okay with that.   It’s not pretty or decorative and that’s okay for me.  Being a Happy Planner, I have tons of stickers to do that but I just really needed to make something that was functional.

Having done some test print runs, I think if you print this at 85%, you could cut off the excess and this would fit a classic Happy Planner (printing at 100% would fit the Big Happy Planner).  Printing this at 70% should fit your Happy Planner Mini but in any case, you’ll definitely want to test this out.

Monthly Budget Template_jojozahanna

Hopefully, this will be helpful to you and you won’t go through as much stress as I did.  I’m new to all this: Budgeting, blogging, and YouTube so this whole thing has been new and scary and exciting.  I hope you decide to join me on this journey!