5 Jan 2010

Numbers Crunching

It's hard to find out how much you spend in total each month ... Money seems to just disappear in cups of latte and ... well... staff ... I've tried several budgeting spreadsheets on the internet and found this one the most helpful. I used the offline version but there is an online one available as well.
I had to estimate a lot of expences and
than based on these estimates I tried to create our future budget.
That was really hard work!
My first attempt looked really good leaving us some money to spend on drinks out, giving me some money to spend on Lattes that I usually buy every morning when commuting to work, there still was some money for a nice summer vacation and enough left for our birthday presents.

But than a strange thing happened - budgeting different categories made me remember what else we usually spend out money on and also made me discover a lot of one off payments that don't show up on any bank statement until they hit us. So my second attempt on a budget saw less appealing.

I started looking into way of cutting costs and found over £100 a month to add to our "free money" pot! That bit was real fun! I felt in control, I felt as a winner who is taking charge of what's happening rather than a looser who needs to cut back because of mismanagement!
The cost cutting exercise though led me to some additional costs discovery and in the third round of budgeting out of the window went our summer holiday and birthday presents budget was slashed to just enough to have a modest round of drinks with friends...

I still don't know if I've planned it right though - but by now I had to admit that I may not know it for certain until we actually try to live on our budget for at least two months. In itself it's nothing problematic but what worries me is that if the budget is not enough - we won't be able to overpay on credit cards and I may end up with a credit card "loan" in my name for much longer
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