Personal finance planning – How to stay within budget?

With so many important things to remember all throughout the year, many people don’t give personal finances a second thought. This is a very important factor to take into consideration as most of us choose to pay some bills annually rather that monthly or quarterly. By having a personal finance calendar, you can then plan holidays and extra expenditure efficiently without going into the red.

How to stay in the black?
The easiest way to keep track of finances is to use an excel spreadsheet to help calculate monthly expenses. This is a good idea if you are also planning a wedding, family or expensive holiday. Try and plan all major expenses in good time to avoid any unexpected surprises. If you can buy a separate calendar that states when all major bills are due this will aid you in future financial planning.

Set up an excel spreadsheet

  • Make a list of monthly bills in one column and the amount outgoing in another
  • Don’t forget to also include a column for monthly salary that will pay for all the bills
  • The spreadsheet can include a formula so the calculations can be done for you

Set up a financial year planner
You can also set up a financial year planner that will tell you month by month what you need to pay. This is handy for things that most people pay yearly such as water bills, road tax, MOT, car insurance, house insurance and council tax. As most of these bills will differ from time of the year, you may easily forget when to renew your home insurance or car insurance, so to prevent a shock from the mailman when he comes to deliver the renewal notice, it’s best to be prepared.

Some people have a separate wall planner or whiteboard and you just put in the month that major financial commitment falls in and not only does this help you plan your finances better but it will also come in handy when planning holidays. For example for people who have to renew car insurance in April they will also have council tax due the same month so by planning a holiday a little after this time it’ll give your finances time to recover.