Starting a few days before pay day, we did the household budget. That is every penny accounted for. Ensure that the budget gives you a zero balance, before you have received your pay. It is vital every penny is spent. Start with entering the household income. That’s definite income, not “oh I’ll be getting birthday money this month” or “I’m awaiting a tax rebate”. Purely focus on the definite income. We can spend any additional, unplanned income last.
Once you’ve totaled this, start “spending”. The aim of this is to have spent all income before the pay hits your account at the end of the month. In my opinion; focus on a roof over your head i.e. rent or mortgage and food on the table (weekly food shop). Then cater for your water, gas and electricity. Then the more minor things like; council tax, home (contents and building) insurance, life insurance, (if you have one (or two)) car insurance*, car tax*, petrol/diesel*, landline, internet*, mobile*, debt and lastly, but most importantly: savings.
Have you got too much month remaining and not enough salary? If yes, then go back to the budget and start to scrutinize! Every penny must be spent, but spend it wisely. Not forgetting the aim here, is to live off one salary for one month. This is not about clearing your debt, saving an emergency fund or settling your mortgage. One salary. One month. This is not a how to get out of debt piece.
By working with a pyramid method of spending, you should be able to reach the top of the pyramid with actual “spending” money or miscellaneous. This is what we were fortunate enough to end up with i.e. “spending” money. We tightened up on everything. Here are some categories to help:
000 Buildings & Contents Insurance
000 Life Insurance
000 Council Tax
000 Car Insurance*
000 TV Licence*
000 Internet & Phone*
000 Spending (miscellaneous)
Lastly, if you are fortunate enough land some additional cash, then either save it or repay debt. Based on our situation we save it.
*from a minimalist lifestyle these items may not be needed, add value or be worthwhile.
In addition to the tight budget, remove temptation by unsubscribing, watching less TV i.e. less advertising, removing things like Facebook or Twitter. The aim is to take yourself away from the relentless advertising, even the internet. Adverts about that TV you looked at once, will follow you all over the internet. Essentially, watch A documentary about the important things it explains all and is the reason why we’re on this minimalist, frugal, saving, debt free lifestyle – about.