Before we talk about setting up a full monthly plan, we’re starting with smaller steps, so you can see what the thought process is in building a plan. When you move to building a monthly plan, you’ll be starting a very high level, then you’ll need to drill down into the weeks and set them up. It’s critical to plan properly, to budget your money so that you cover all your bases, even emergencies, and then track your actual spending against your budgeted.
Now, you need to setup a plan to cover your spending for the next week. Think about everything and anything that you will need to spend money on, then assign an estimated cost for those items or activities. Don’t make this harder on yourself than it truly is, simply go day by day. This maybe the day that you do shopping for the week too. But before you step foot in the store, figure out what you’re having for every meal, everyday, Monday through Sunday. This may sound cumbersome, but you can actually start planning ahead, so you don’t overspend when you hit the aisles and see some deals that lull you in. Instead of regretting later, build a list to work from, and check the items off as you get them. Stay out of the aisles that you don’t need to be in. A great idea is to first set your list, then look through your local paper for coupons to match what you’re buying. Once again, set the list first, otherwise you may be inclined to buy items because of coupons. We want control, not the animal.
I’m not going to waste your time to show you my list, but I’ve made it, researched coupons and saved close to 10%. Those savings are going right into my can.
It’s important to be realistic, yet frugal. Don’t over fluff your budget, make it as exact as you can based upon your assumptions. You’re only kidding yourself you know.
Tomorrow night my wife is being induced, as mentioned earlier, I may have to write the next couple of days after the fact, we’ll see. Until later, you’re smarter than a lizard dammit!