Monthly Archives: February 2014

Budgeting score – January

It’s a few days after the end of January, and the last few debits have left my account, so now I can take a proper look at how well I’ve done so far.  As I’ve said in my earlier post, I’m using the 50/30/20 method so my aim is to have all my spending fall under a certain level in each of 3 different categories.

Essentials Lifestyle Savings
Target score: 50% 30% 20%
Actual score: 50.8% 33.9% 15.3%

Well, I’ve managed to spend less than I’m earning for this month, so that’s definitely a positive thing, but I’m a bit off my targets.  There were a few expensive things this month such as a late Christmas present that involved travelling down to London, but the point of this is to plan ahead so I don’t have to overspend to do these things like that.  To better manage these I’ve started using a technique called “Piggybanking” which I’ll talk about later.

I seem to have gotten better at tracking what happens to money I spend after withdrawing it, but as my tally for the month ended at -£3.11, something’s a little off.  I’d bet on it being money leftover from December which I already had out.  Can’t really plan for that unfortunately, but as long as the number’s close to zero I can see where my money’s actually going.  In this case I seem to still be spending a lot on food.  We’ve set ourselves a weekly budget for big shops which we’ve stuck to, but the total on big shops is about 50% higher than that, leading me to think I’m taking too many trips to the local ship for the odd item or two.  Going forward I’m going to change my budgeting sheets so I can keep track of that sort of thing a bit better.

I’m still spending a fair bit on Takeaways and meals out, so I’ve set myself a limit on that of around half of what I spent in January.  Some people would suggest cutting it out entirely, but while that looks nice on paper it’s not as realistic when trying to actually do so.  At some point during a month most people will be in a situation where they they’ll need to buy a meal while out, or at the very least pay for a drink.  If you keep going over an impossible limit  that you’ve set yourself then the limit stops having any real meaning, which quickly leads to failure.

January’s final score:

7/10 – Good effort


Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Budgeting, Self-Improvement