Sticking to a monthly budget is a sure way of getting your finances back on track. But, unfortunately, it's something a lot of us are not disciplined enough to follow!
What makes it even worse, is that your actual budget and projected budget barely ever match! We previously shared a super simple monthly budgeting tool with you. If you've used that (or any other budgeting tool), it's time to see how well your budget meets your actual spending amounts.
To do this, you can use the cash flow tool we shared with you to see what your actual cash flow came down to. Below we share all the steps you need to follow see the difference in your actual spending of the past month! It's a few simple steps to help you make better financial decisions!
You can get it here and then follow the steps below.
First of all...
Follow the general instructions very clearly! This is very important as it will ensure you have a great experience that is accurate. Make sure you copy or download the file to your own device. Requesting access is not the answer :-)
Setting up your budget
If you haven't set up a budget in the past, now is the perfect time to get started. If you do have another budget set up, just shift the amounts to this sheet to use its comparison function.
INCOME SECTION You simply enter the amounts you think will be coming into your accounts in this section. You will only put in amounts in the "Projected" Column.
EXPENSE SECTION You simply enter the amounts you think will be going out of your accounts in this section. You will only put in amounts in the "Projected" Column.
"Auditing" your cash flow
Your next step is to keep a close eye on the money coming into your account and the money going out of your account!
You can either use our cash flow tool for this, or you can take a close look at your bank accounts.
The next VERY IMPORTANT step is to now start entering these amounts into the budget sheet exactly as you did when setting it up. BUT, now you enter them under the "Actual" Column. Do this for both income and expense sections.
Compare your actual amounts with planned amounts
The DIFFERENCE column will show you what the difference is between your project budget amount against what you actually earned or spent.
INCOME SECTION A positive difference will show you what you earned MORE than you planned to. This is a good thing!
A negative difference (displayed in brackets) means you earned LESS than you planned to. This is a bad thing!
INCOME SECTION A positive difference will show you what you spent MORE than you planned to. This is a bad thing!
A negative difference (displayed in brackets) means you spent LESS than you planned to. This is a good thing!
Why is important to compare it?
It's difficult to make better financial decisions and grow your financial future if you don't know where things are going wrong.
By comparing your projected budget against your actual budget, you can now see where you need to tailor your budget OR make better financial decisions. By doing this, you might find that extra R1,000 that can help you start a business or invest some money ;-)
Give it a go over the next 2 months and let us know how it goes!