The No Spend Challenge – Day 27: Rethink Next Month’s Budget

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

This is the Twenty Seventh day of The No Spend Challenge. To read all posts in order start with Day One. Read a summary of the challenge and view all 31 days in a list format here.  

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Welcome to Day 27! Today our assignment is to RETHINK the budget. We’ve spent theist past 4 weeks cleaning, organizing, decluttering, creating, reevaluating, maximizing resources, and enjoying our families. A pat in the back would be nice right? Lets not do that quite yet.

The point of this No Spend Challenge was to change the way we approach spending in evaluating needs and wants. This challenge helps to force us to use what we have instead of buying new. Old habits are very difficult to break. Summer is almost over and school is starting up again. Then after that will come the holidays. The temptation to revert to old habits will be significant.

So how do we make these changes stick? The first thing we’re going to do rethink our budget. For some of us that may mean creating a budget for the first time. For others it may mean creating a budget and discussing it with your spouse or significant other for the first time. Regardless, lets focus on rethinking our budget. Nobody can do this for you. This is not a one-time, ten-minute fix. Instead, this is a change in lifestyle and habits. For more read about the 7 Baby Steps to financial freedom here.

Don’t neglect to do something just because it’s difficult.

Don't neglect to do something just because its difficult

Change is hard. Yet positive change is so worth it! Yet we’ve seen this month that we CAN change. So here we go!

 

1. Download the forms

The first step to do is to download this file: Monthly Budgeting Forms in Excel. You can also find all three forms we’ll be using Quick-Start Budget, Monthly Cash Flow Plan, and Irregular Income Budget in PDF form here on Dave Ramsey’s website. It has pretty much any of the forms you’d need for helping you on your journey to financial freedom!

On the excel file above you’ll see these tabs at the bottom of the file.

Excel File Tabs

Note: You’ll need Microsoft Office, OpenOffice (a free version of Microsoft Office), or something similar to open this file.

To download the most recent version of Open Office click on the the OpenOffice link and then click this button:

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2. Fill out the Quick-Start Budget

Then second step is to fill out the Quick-Start Budget. Here’s what the Quick-Start Budget looks like:

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This can be done in about 5-10 minutes and will get your feet wet so to speak. Here’s an 8 min “How to” video below:

 

If you’d rather follow along with written instructions download this PDF here.

3. Steady Income? Fill out the Monthly Cash Flow Plan

Then step 3 is after filling the Quick Start Budget you’re ready for the real work. If you have constant income fill out the Monthly Cash Flow Plan. If you have irregular income skip to step 4.

Here’s what the Monthly Cash Flow Plan looks like:

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Here’s a 21 minute tutorial on how to do so.

If you’d rather follow along with written instructions download this PDF here.

4. Irregular Income? Fill out the Irregular Income Budget Form

If you have irregular income fill out the Irregular Income Budget Form. For instructions see this PDF here.

Here’s what the Irregular Budget Form looks like:

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Take some time to do this as a couple or with an accountability partner. You won’t regret it.

The things you work the hardest for will often reward you the most.

The things you work the hardest for will often reward you the most ESH

Do you keep close tabs on your budget, or do you typically ignore the budget while hoping for the best?  What is the most challenging part of creating a budget?  Where can you cut expenses from your budget? Are you ready to get on a budget and take control of your finances?

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Is your family on a budget? Will you start on budget for next month today?

{Click here to go to day 28}

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

30 Comments

  1. After we got out of debt (minus our mortgage) we went to an all cash budget and that has made it easier to keep a close watch on our budget because there aren’t a million small deductions on our bank statements…only bills and weekly cash withdrawals. Doing that has been a game changer for sure!
    Currently the most challenging part of having a strict budget is tempering my “giving spirit”. I used to pay for everyone’s lunch or pick up a random gift for a friend or buy fresh flowers…so it’s been hard for me to give *some* of those habits up.
    Ally King recently posted…Dealing with Difficult MomsMy Profile

  2. We try to keep a budget but for us the income flow is the hardest thing to try to deal with. I work at a school so for 10 months I do get some what of a steady pay. Then the summer hits. My husband is in law enforcement and well it is hard to budget meals and stuff because all of a sudden he can be thrown on a day shift and there is a meal out that we weren’t anticipating.
    Kand recently posted…Am I Worthy?My Profile

  3. You are right! I wish I would have been financial responsible in my earlier years. However, I learned from experience and I now am a Davy Ramsey fan too.

  4. I’m not obsessive with my budget but we do better when I keep an eye on it throughout the month. If I find myself wondering, “How much do I have left for food this month?” then I know I’ve been neglecting it. ESPECIALLY if I bought groceries before checking!
    Pamela recently posted…Good Girls Bully TooMy Profile

  5. I think quick purchases from “convenient” would be the easiest and most meaningful thing to cut out. If I prepare lunch ahead of time, make sure we have snacks for long distances then we don’t make this unnecessary purchases. It all comes back to preparing in advance.
    Renee Kinlaw recently posted…NO NEED TO FIGHT…My Profile

  6. We do use a budget. We actually both work at a school as well, but he works year around while I only work 10 months, so summer is very hard. I actually developed our own program on Excel. We have one for first pay check of the month and one for the second. We have columns for the Expense Name(gas, electric, water, mortgage), Beginning balance(for things that may have that such as credit cards or loans), Budgeted amount, Paid amount, date paid, Check or Bank Online ID number and Final Balance. At the bottom lists the income total, bills total and cash back.

  7. We keep very close tabs on our budget. I often joke with my hubby that he knows when I have made a purchase somewhere before I do! 🙂 But in all honest, I love that he is so on top of our finances. We have a monthly budget with line items and he records every purchase into each category. If we get within half of the allotted money from each category being used he’ll email me a heads up. Such a sweetie.
    Brandi @ penguinsinpink.com recently posted…Exciting News From the Generation Good CommunityMy Profile

  8. Budgeting is a crucial step to building wealth and can be a great way for you to cut back your spending! Great job explaining how to make a budget and there were some great resources listed! People need to understand how freeing it can be when trying to create a budget since you get to tell your money where to go!
    Steve @ MyFamilyOnABudget recently posted…Why I Decided To Pay Off DebtMy Profile

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