The ‘B’ word usually sends people screaming from the room and thinking… “I’m not going to do it…I can’t – I’ve tried before – It’s not fun!”
When it comes to budgeting, you may have tried and given up or maybe you have never done it. Or maybe you’ve tried to download an app that was linked it to your bank accounts. You then swore to report your entire spending, loved all the beautiful pie charts even though you weren’t sure what they meant.
So now you try and create a budget without having a PhD in Finance. It’s not working, you still can’t figure out how much you have left at the end of the month. You’re not sure if you can afford to buy anything for your house, take a vacation or get a new pair of shoes! It was supposed to make you feel better and more in control of your money, yet you are frustrated and now you haven’t looked at it months. Sound familiar?
Well I’ll bet you are wondering what’s wrong with you. Why didn’t it work? …Because for most people it’s too much information. It’s too detailed for most people’s personalities when it comes to managing their household finances.
You’re not alone if you cannot figure out what all those pie charts mean and more importantly why it matters to your household budget. That’s why clients come to me, frustrated because they can’t figure it out or just give up and slide back into oblivion, after all if I don’t know my numbers then I don’t have to pay attention to them! (I had a client actually tell me that!)
Personal cash manager programs, either on your phone or computer is not for everyone. So when it comes to personal finance and budgeting, sometimes the simpler, the better.
Most people don’t want to:
:: Record every dollar they spend
:: Feel anxiety about every purchase and how it fits into the their overall budget
:: See every transaction they make each month
Most people want a simple set of numbers that tells them the most critical information: “Am I spending less than I earn each month?”
If you are one of those people that gets overwhelmed by all the numbers and pie charts, then you’ll like this! Here is an easy Cashflow sheet that you can use.
Sometimes just using pen and paper is a start for you to uncover how much you spend – where – and what’s left over at the end of the month – or not!
Take one month’s transactions and put them on the sheet into the categories (if you need to add one that’s not there – do it) Add up all your expenses – add up all after tax income that came in, subtract your expenses and then hopefully there is a surplus…if not go back and look at where you may have some money leaks. This simple exercise can change your relationship with money dramatically. Knowing your numbers is the key to your success.
If you have any questions or want help with the Cashflow sheet – don’t hesitate to call me!
Here’s a quick Cashflow Tip: One of the biggest leaks I see is groceries. Do you know how much you spend? Well if you want to get it under control, then you have to monitor it.
Here are 3 tips to manage your food budget.
1. Have a list
2. Shop on the same day/days week
3. If you have kids, leave them at home!
Bonus tip: Don’t shop hungry!
Now for those of you that are app friendly and a little more ‘techy’, there are some good apps that you can download on to your phone that you can use to track your spending on groceries… for iPhone: Simply Shopping Budget (more in-depth – mint.com) and Androids: Visual Budget.
If you want to try Cashflow Management software, I highly recommend: For PC users –Quicken Cash Manager ($50) and for Mac’s mint.com (free).
Knowing where you are spending your money is priceless and key to your success. If you want different results in your life around money, then simply, you have to do things differently. Knowing your numbers is always the first step to getting control of your Cashflow.
If you want help to get you started, call me. I’ll make it easy and stress free …promise!