Monthly Budgeting Strategies and Advice (Aprils’s Budget for 2020 )

You might be wondering why I’ve decided to do this? Why did I decide to put my budget out there? I want everyone to realize that I’m in the same boat as you. I’m trying to get my finances together and I believe showing my reality will accomplish that.

This way of putting myself on display will be a great way of holding myself accountable. Furthermore, I don’t want you to have to budget alone, let’s do this together. Let’s save money together. Let’s get out of debt together. Together we can achieve our financial goals.

You want to join in on our budgeting progress and get all the tools to help you improve? We have many resources to get you back on track. The Shekeepsthechange Facebook Finance group is a community to share ideas and get questions answered. Buddy up with someone and let’s hold each other accountable. On a weekly basis, we will share our goals and struggles. Put our budgets out there and give out tons of techniques.

The Goal for April 2020

We are planning our budget out for April 2020. So where do we begin? We begin with a promise, a promise to follow our plan. Starting to budget the prior month is the best way to go about your budget on purpose. Develop a plan and a goal so you are more prepared to walk into money struggles with confidence.

April might be a hard month to budget for because of the COVID19 epidemic. We have so many expenses rolling up and most of us have lost the majority of our income.

Most of the news we hear about this virus doesn’t make us feel secure. If there’s anything we can make apparent of this situation, clearly, it will be for a while. Second thing is that its time to adjust. Adjust and prepare to make realistic decisions. Our budget needs some serious adjusting. It’s safe to say only the necessities are important.

What are the necessities?

The essentials are what we need to survive with. The first necessity is Food no questions asked. Let’s not go overboard with this expense though. I was shopping with a friend and she picked up Frozen ramen meals for like $5 apiece. And I asked her if she can make meals out of them, well obviously not lol.

We tend to grab unnecessary things in panic and waste money. Even during these larger shopping trips I still shop with a list. On my mobile, I keep a long-running list on a note-taking app called “Stuff to Buy. When its time to go shopping, I’m all set!

What is your savings goal this month?

How much do you want to save? I want to save $100 by the end of the month. I know compared to others this might be small but according to my income it’s realistic and its a start. Let’s think about savings for a moment, saving can be hard to achieve in any income. You might have a low income but your expenses should not keep you from putting something away.

Some people might already have savings set aside. If you already having savings aside you can add towards for more of a buffer for emergencies. Everyone’s goal should be catered to in their circumstance. And if $20 is all you can save by the end of the month, you will be $20 richer than you were last month. We are not a community of judging, we are a team of support.

Keep in mind on a tight budget we are going to save just 15% towards savings and sinking funds. Save this money automatically with your bank account as a transfer and set up your sinking funds with Digit. Digit is an awesome app that will gradually save money on miscellaneous things.

Have a big goal in mind?

Put it on the digit, you won’t feel it come out of your account. The money transfers come out according to your spending. You can set up your transfers and limits manually. When my savings are transferred, I also transfer money to the sinking funds. My budget limitations are based on a 6-month limit because of its realistic. Right now I have the following budgeting goals for my sinking funds.

My Money limits for my SinkingFunds

  • 1. Clothing ($600.00)
  • 2. Auto Maintenance ($1000.00)
  • 3. Debt ($1000.00)
  • 4. Gifts ($600.00)

What do I do with the SinkingFunds?

When I’m ready to make an expense out of any of those categories I transfer it. There is no fee to transfer and it normally takes 24 to 48 hours for the funds. In an average of making good choices at an expense, many people would suggest allowing 24hours of thought into it. The time can keep you from impulse buying and looking for ways to save money on the purchase.

Support may be hard to come by with balancing your finances. You may feel alone or may just need a mediator. Stop putting all the burden on your shoulders and put yourself out there. We have a Facebook group on finances, yes! Join the group and get the support you need!

Budget prepping is the most ideal way I pre-plan my month. I preplan with a goal, my goal as discussed above is to save $300. After that is in place, I visit the damage from last month. A quick and easy process of where I have used apps on my phone for spending review is trying TrueBill. You can link your bank account to Truebill and view your expenses by categories or by companies.

Simply speaking you can see where all the money you don’t have now went. You can go the paper and pen route and print out your last month’s bank statements. After the review is over, we move onto the plans.

We are walking into the biggest part of the budget, the plan. The plan is what is going to make it or break it. At this time, your budget is a plan for the whole month. If you followed my previous budget strategies then you know we follow a percentage budget.

Looking for a refresher?

Click on the image below to read about our Percentage Budgeting. Our percentage strategy also needs to be a zero-based budget. Percentages leave guidelines and zero-based budgets keep the weight off your shoulders. No money left hanging, nothing to waste.

It’s easy to get tempted to overspend of course but, I plan on spending as least as I can. since I still have a goal to save $100. My personal spending in stores is where I struggle the most. In light of this, I follow the instructions below before I walk in a store.

My Go-To Shopping Prep list

  • 1. Make a list
  • 2. Put a dollar amount for everything on the list
  • 3. Shop the sales
  • 4. Get cashback

Making it happen

I know you’re looking at those percentages saying how can this work! The percentages are guidelines for a general idea. It’s possible to have other expenses in your budget additionally that doesn’t fit. You might have a business that, however, is an expense. If you have another bill that doesn’t seem to fit you can easily increase or decrease by 5-10 percent. I don’t recommend to doing more than that because there shouldn’t be too much stretching. As long as everything adds up to 100%, you are in the clear.

Trimming the fat

I like to call this part of the budget “Trimming the Fat” When something goes outside the percentage guide, you need to cut it! Cutting back can be difficult but it’s necessary. It’s crucial to make realistic decisions. One saving tip is eliminating unnecessary subscriptions. You can definitely use the Truebill app for that. My March expenses alone I overspent on my personal expenses and car insurance.

Sometimes when you used to spend a certain amount every month you don’t realize it. You can be overspending on your bills, not to mention fees. Cutting your bills downs can also include fewer trips to the store. Coming up with a spending limit on a frequent retailer can save you tons. Little changes can induce big results in cutting back expenses.

Daily Reminders

Need something to motivate you to stick with your budget? Try creating daily reminders either electronically also physically via journaling. Create a task reminder on the phone to track your daily spending. You can also write and remind yourself in your journal

We planned out our budget for the month. How does yours look? It’s easy to make the percentage interchangeable based on your budgeting needs. My budgeting planner has easy step by step budgeting templates based on all times of income scenarios and pays frequency. As an email subscriber or Facebook group member, you get the pages for free!
Stay tuned for our monthly budgeting video on IGTV and our Facebook group.

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