Ongoing Budget Construction
You’ve got the most basic frame for your budget created. If you are just now tuning in, be sure to go back and read our prior posts.
You should have a monthly calendar with all of your monthly bills recorded per due date and any extra expenses that you regularly incur. The next thing you want to do is to record your pay dates (income) and the amount you’ll be paid. So, if you are paid $400 a week and are paid each Thursday, you’d simply record that information every Thursday. Now, for this next step you need to duplicate your original work on the calendar (save a new copy under another name). I still have the first budget calendar I ever created. I have kept it and it came in handy when my data became corrupted. With that said, I always keep a duplicate file that is totally up to date. In fact, as of the date that I posted this discussion I had to use my backup file. Thank goodness I didn’t have to start from scratch.
Depending on how you pay your bills, the next step may vary for you. I pay my bills through my bank, electronically, so I’m going to start this discussion there. Since I pay electronically (meaning that my bank actually sends a check or does a wire transfer when they can), I have to make a plan to provide about a week for my bills to arrive. In order to do this I have to schedule payments about a week early. So that my bills arrive on time I move all of my bills back 1 complete week on my calendar.
For this next step you might need a calculator. We are going to add up the dollar amount that you are scheduled to spend each week. Will you have enough to pay your bills on pay day? If not, you’ll have to do some arranging. For example: I have to pay the house note about a week before the first. The way that we are paid, I have to break it up into two payments (I make these payments to myself- these go into savings to be used when it’s time to pay the note). So I take half out on the first (let’s say of July) and the other half on the 15th (of July) to make the house note for the following month of August. I’m going to post an example of a calendar I created to show you how this works.