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How to make a budget

30.07.2021

By Beehive Money

How to make a budget
We know that dealing with money can be stressful at times - we're all trying to figure out where it should be best spent. Having a solid financial plan and setting long-term goals is a great place to start. Below, we go into more detail about how you can budget and reveal some effective ways you can save money each month. 

Understanding your finances 

Calculating monthly outgoings 

One benefit of calculating your monthly spending is that it can feel like you have more control over your money. You’ll be able to track your spending habits and prioritise your monthly spending. Ultimately, budgeting organises your money and gives you the opportunity to create a plan for the future.  

The easiest way to calculate your monthly expenses is by finding any previous bank statements or spending records over the last year. Thanks to online and mobile banking, you can easily and quickly access bank statements and transactions. 

Once you’ve found all the information you need, you’re then able to work out your average spend. Add up the amount of money you’ve spent over the past 12 months and divide by 12. This will then provide you with an average of how much has been spent per month.

Making a money saving to-do list

How to make a budget spreadsheet 

  1. Open Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets and choose a template - most versions include a personal budget template, which will have categories, design, and formulas that are ready to use. 
  2. Alternatively, you could use the Beehive Money downloadable budget planner. It has handy categories of outgoings and savings already set up so you don’t forget anything. Or if you prefer to calculate your numbers digitally, use our online budget planner. Finally, there's an option to bullet journal your budgeting if you're super creative, check out the examples linked. 
  3. In each of the boxes or cells, enter figures from bills, bank statements, and any other documents that show how much you’ve spent in that particular month.
  4. You’ll also need to enter the amounts for your monthly expenses, both necessary and discretional spending such as mobile bills, gas bills, restaurant meals, gym fees, etc.
  5. Once you’ve entered all of the info, the template or online planner will calculate the results for you to look at.

Eliminating unnecessary spending from your list

When it comes to money, it can be easy to fall into poor spending habits. From expensive coffee runs to regularly eating out. Cutting back on these monthly expenses could increase your savings and help you afford the things that matter to you. 

The key to removing unnecessary spending is to think of cheaper alternatives. For instance, if you’re someone who frequently eats out or orders takeaways, try cooking at least three times a week, you can even recreate your favourite dishes using ‘fakeaways’ recipes online. Likewise, with buying coffees, cutting out this small expense every week could potentially save you hundreds of pounds each year. Check out some more of our tips to cutting your food spend.

On top of that, inspect any monthly subscriptions and memberships. With so many music and entertainment services available they can often build up and increase your monthly outgoings. Check your standing orders via mobile banking, and consider cancelling any subscriptions or memberships you rarely use.

Following through with your to-do list

Refining your budget over time

Remember, no one is perfect at budgeting. Personal circumstances and priorities are always changing which means your budget will too. Whether you’re saving for a mortgage or a new car, you may tweak your budget plan and find that you can save money in other areas that are more suited to your needs. 

Sticking to your list may be the most difficult aspect of budgeting, though eventually you become more responsible with your spending and contemplate big purchases.

For more money saving tips, take a look at our guide on saving money fast. Once you have created your budget, check out our range of savings accounts to help you reach your savings goal and stay in control of your money.