Planning for the Month and Budgeting (Working Toward Creating Your Best Year Yet!)

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The best way I accomplish my yearly goals is to break them down into smaller, achievable, and actionable goals. I do that by creating monthly goals, weekly goals, and lastly, daily goals. Once I have my bullet journal come in, I’ll demonstrate how I do this. But first, let’s begin working on our January goals/ to do list.  First you’ll need your yearly goals created from: CLICK HERE

1.List the Areas in Your Life That You’ll Focus On:

Now,  the categories that you’ve selected to focus on for your yearly goals, you will place them as well in your monthly goals. I also included chores and miscellaneous for other things I have to get done ie. bills or needing to buy feminine care products.

Here are my categories:

Health, Fun and Recreation, Career, Create More & Attraction Recognition, Travel, Money, Misc., and Chores.

2. Create Goals for Each Section That Coincide With Your Yearly Goals:

When you are doing this, make sure that you check your schedule and you don’t overload yourself if you know you will busy with work, family, or the likes. Remember: don’t bite more than you can chew. Also if you’re beginning a new activity, make sure to create an achievable goal. For instance, if your yearly goal is to become fit and you want to begin a new workout, please don’t strain yourself by doing an insanity workout if you never worked out before. Start slow.

Here are a few of my monthly goals (specifically for January):

  • Fun and Recreation: Take couple photos with Joe, Hike with Margaret, Study at Aroma’s Coffee shop with Erika and Sarah, Read a book
  • Create More: Do a poetry challenge, blog twice a week
  • Health: Join a gym, cardio 3X a week, strength 2x a week, write in dream journal once a week
  • Career: Apply to at least two summer camp jobs or teach abroad, apply to Japanese Fellowship
  • Money: Pay loans, put $50 in savings
  • Misc.: Buy hair dye, dye hair
  • Chores: 2x a month – dust, vacuum, clean sink and toilet; 1x a month- organize closet, clean doors, and closet mirror

Budgeting

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How to Budget: 

This isn’t an in-depth on how to budget course, but perhaps I’ll make a blog post sooner or later on it, but the main thing to know is that you need to budget less than your income in order to save money.

1. You’ll need to know what you spend your money on in order to create budget categories.

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Do you shop often at the mall for clothes and shoes? Is most of your time spent at grocery stores? Or do you find most of your money toward doctor appointments and medical treatments? Or how about spending a couple bucks every morning for a cup of coffee?

My categories are:  Coffee, groceries, dining out, gas, misc., medical, and entertainment.

My fixed categories are repaying my loans, expenses from medical emergency treatment for my dog, and putting some money in my emergency savings. I can’t change these, which is why they are categorized as fixed.

2. You’ll need to figure out what you can cut back on in order to save money, but make sure you also have the balance of having fun. 

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My close friend often spends her money without even knowing how much she has in her account. She also continuously buys things she does not need. Now, I’m not saying you can’t buy what you want, but, think, do you really need any more nail polishes when you don’t even use all of the ones you have? Or are you really going to read that book soon? Alternative: you can rent one from the library and that way you’ll know if it’s a keeper to actually buy.

Here are my budgets:

  • Coffee: $5; Now, I have acid reflux and IBS. I’m not supposed to be drinking coffee, but once in a while I do like a cup. I also found this coffee shop that sells great coffee for a $1.50. I don’t need to worry about spending my $5 on only 1 coffee at Starbucks. That’s balance for saving and enjoying life.
  • Groceries: $50; I live with my parents, so the essentials are already here, but I like to buy snacks for work from Trader Joes.
  • Dining Out: $20; I only plan to eat out twice this month. Right now, I’m low on mula because I was on vacation for the winter, so I think this was the most likeliest area I could save money.
  • Gas: $45; This is based on my gas mileage and how much I spend on gas to commute to work, but I also included a bit leverage for when I drive elsewhere.
  • Misc. $50; This could be used for my gym fee or if I have an emergency and need the cash for another purpose.
  • Medical: $30; Lately, I’ve been going to the doctor twice or even three times a month and it adds up to about $60, so if I’m not careful in ensuring that I’m visiting the doctor for legitimate reasons.
  • Entertainment: $30; I’ve already planned for what I had wanted to do for fun and recreation. When I was creating my to do list, I knew I wanted to save this month, so I picked activities that aren’t expensive. For instance, I’m going to the movies, but I’ve found a promotion from a local theatre that charges only $5 on Tuesday.

3. Spend less than your budget, or if needed, exact amount, but never more. 

A budget is a budget. You don’t have to spend all that money listed. It’s there to make sure you don’t spend more than your income, which will lead to debt. So make sure to ask yourself, do I really need this? Or do I really want to spend this money for something I may not use often?

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