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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shopaholic Savings Plan - Part 1: Budget

Shopaholic Savings Plan Series
Part 1: Budget, Part 2: Credit, Part 3: Savings

There are 3 O’s associated with the Shopaholic Savings Plan:

1. Own It: I’m Elizabeth and I’m a shopaholic.
2. Be Organized: Keep track of spending.
3. Allow for Overages: We aren’t perfect.

Budgeting is kinda like counting calories, except the end result is having more money!

Keeping a budget is new to me. I only started this year, and it had a lot to do with the fact that I live alone now.

Step 1: Monthly Expenses
The first thing you need to do is determine what your ‘Monthly Expenses’ are.
These are expenses you can’t escape, and these are mine:
- Rent
- Wifi (I recently cancelled cable – I was charged too much for staying home.)
- Car Insurance
- Home Insurance
- MSP’s
- RRSP’s (Learn more in Part 3)
- TFSA (Learn more in Part 3)
- Hydro
- Tanning (I live by the saying ‘If you can’t tone it – tan it’.)

You may notice the absence of the ‘cell phone’ expense. The HBO Girls series did say “It's not adult life if your parents pay for your blackberry”, but I have an iPhone, and it is cheaper for them to be on the family plan. So I am an ‘adult' and I'm also budgeting genius. (Okay not quite.)

Step 2: The Math (counting’s hard)
After I’ve added up all my Monthly Expenses, I subtract it from my monthly salary (after taxes) and the remainder is what I have left for clothes, food, social outings, hair, shoes and life. 

Step 3: Monitoring
I not only keep all of my receipts but I write down all my purchases. 

How do you keep it all organized? Simple. Open up an excel spreadsheet and let your inner Miranda shine. Here’s a glimpse at my Budget:

PS. When it comes to emergency money (cause we aren't all perfect) I make sure I use my credit card for all expenses (SSP Part 2) and contribute to my RRSP's and TFSA (SSP Part 3).

How can you make money by spending money? That’s in Shopaholic Savings Plan - Part 2: Credit (out Tuesday July 23rd, 2013). 

ttfn, Elizabeth
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