Thursday, 23 May 2013

how to budget

Things that you've learned that school won't teach you.

This has probably been one of the hardest life lessons I have learned. In fact, I still struggle with budgeting. Lessons on money management would have made me aware of budgeting instead of thinking 'money grows on trees.'

As a child, I didn't think about how my parents paid the bills; I just took it for granted that we would always have a roof over our heads.

We didn't have holidays and I had a lot of hand-me-downs so I knew they didn't have a lot of money.

This was more of an issue to me as I became a teenager. When I wanted the same things as my friends, I was the typical selfish teenager blaming them for not having much money.

When I left school and started to look for a job I had rather a rude awakening! Firstly, I had no idea how to present myself into the world of work, never mind budget!

I have to say, money burned a hole in my pocket and would still if I didn't keep a check on my spending. I have always found it so easy just to keep swiping my card and lose track.

I had to learn the hard way about budgeting. Getting out of debt was a really difficult part of my life, and I don't want to be like that again, so I have tried to pass the importance of this onto my girls.

My eldest daughter is a bit like I was regarding money. She spends it all and then struggles for the rest of the month. However, my youngest daughter is excellent at budgeting. She knows exactly how much she has got in her account and spends wisely. I have always tried to teach them the value of money, giving them pocket money for chores they have done and opening them savings accounts from an early age.

To keep on the straight and narrow, I have learnt a number of useful tips to pull my finances into order:

I made a spreadsheet on the computer and I put everything we have to pay for on it.

On payday I see how much everything will cost for the month and if we have a little spare, which is not very often, we treat ourselves to maybe a meal out or a night at the cinema.

I started writing everything I was spending down in a daily diary.

If I go on a night out, I leave my bank card at home and just take a certain amount of money and stick to it.

Planning meals for the week and taking a shopping list when I buy groceries has been very effective. It avoids waste and makes impulse buys less likely.

Having said all this, as it's nearly payday, I think I deserve a treat for having blogged every day of this challenge ... just a little one.


  1. My boyfriend is pretty good at budgeting, but I'm awful! I've been meaning to start the daily spends diary for about a year now, but just haven't gotten round to it yet! lol

    1. It's definitely worked for me, I was quite shocked about how the little spends built up :)

  2. I feel you on this one! I have been working on the budgeting as well and it is KILLING ME...I keep seeing things I want, but I have to keep walking away. Great tips on the spread sheet and daily spending diary I have recently started doing both and they are helping SO MUCH.

    1. It's so hard to walk away, I used to impulse buy but I have started to think before I buy. If I still 'need' it a week later, then I reconsider :)

  3. Well said Rachel! I wrote on the same thing lol

    1. Great minds think alike lol :)

  4. I hear ya! Budgeting will be the end of me! I struggled with this as well, and it took a harsh reality to learn the importance of budgeting, and oh how important (and boring) it is! Thanks for the tips. I love the idea of a spending diary!

    1. You are right about it being boring! The diary has really worked for me, I was surprised how much I was spending :)

  5. I could most definitely improve in this department. but it would've been nice to get some advice & education in personal finances while in school. it should be a week-long course, like sex ed. right? xo - chels @

    1. I've learned more about maths since I left school, how bad is that! :)