Starting A Budget In 2018

I don’t know what it is but I seem to get really excited about staying on top of our finances and working out new ways in which we can save money. As it is January I thought this was the perfect time to start a fresh and make some changes in our budgeting system.

Throughout the year there are those times where it is hard to manage our money well, with one being November our most expensive month, then followed by December, Christmas. I have been tracking everything coming in and out for a number of years now, but as prices go up for the cost of living, wages are just not increasing enough to cover that change. Also, this year marks a very frustrating time where our fast train service to London, East Midlands, will no longer be stopping at Bedford during peak times starting in May. As my husband works in London this has thrown a spanner in the works in that he might not be able to take his bike on the slower train service, which then means we have to get a new season ticket to include the tube, which is £5732, £1200 more than what we have paid already.
So, as you can tell, our family budgeting will need to change.

We already have a fantastic spreadsheet that goes into every single penny coming in and out, which also includes how much we have in our bank account as well, but I am starting this year to do monthly budgets to really help us save money and hopefully we can stick to it.
It will look something like this:

The planned amounts for each category will go in the Budget Column and then during the month, the actual costs of each one will go in the Actual Column. We pay a few of our bills in one-off payments throughout the year so I will be calculating how much it is each month so we have that money set aside for when it does come out. I found that we always seemed to think we had more money to play with because I had not been noting down the monthly costs we needed to save for those one-off payments. I am hoping this will be a really big change in how we can save this year.

Do you budget, if so, how have you found it?
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