Wednesday 24 August 2016

Dancing Budgets

As I have said I use a spreadsheet to budget what to do with my paycheque. I plan out what I will spend on what and when with my pay during that whole payday cycle. 

FYI: I call the time from one payday to the next a “payday cycle.”

I have gotten so good with my budgeting that I can accurately predict what cash I will have left in the bank at the end of the current payday cycle.

This allows me to not only budget but forecast; as in plan out what my next payday cycle will look like. 

This is for fun and for motivation for me to stay on track during this payday cycle. I don’t really take these forecasts seriously, you can’t.

This is because the further you go out into the future, the less reliable your forecasts become.

Why? Well I take my expected bank balances at the end of this payday cycle and plunk them into the beginning of the next payday cycle.

I then input my best guess as to what that paycheque will look like and guestimate my expenses. This then lets me play with these numbers to determine what will be spent and what will be saved.

I now work with three budget spreadsheets looking at three different payday periods. Again this is for fun and motivation. 

How is this? Well, I get to see what could happen in the near future if I keep on being a good boy. This helps me not spend wildly and resist the urge to buy something new and shiny.

Once payday has arrived I do the following: 

1. Delete the budget that was this current pay period (the one that just ended the previous night)
2. Copy the budget for the next pay period to a new spreadsheet called “1) This Payperiod”
3. Rename the budget for next payperiod “2) [date] Payperiod”
4. Rename the budget for the payperiod after that “3) [date] Payperiod”

Why I do this is that I have two pay period budget sheets one is called “7th Payperiod” and the other is called 22nd Payperiod.”

Depending on what part of the month I am in will determine what one is next. As it is right now the 7th pay period is next, because my next payday is on the 7th of September.

After the payday on the 7th of September, the 22nd Payperiod will be first because that is my closest payday (22nd of September). That is why I rename them, just to keep this straight and know which one is next.

It is a silly game, but it lets me forecast out about as far as I dare. After all, all we have is the cash in hand and your next payday. After that it is a crap shoot.

For me, though, it allows me to see progression and active and real steps working towards my goals. 

I will need this especially once winter hits, as this winter is predicted to be colder and worse than last year. One thing is for certain, I will not only survive but thrive.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

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