Budget Rhythm

I break our budget down into three categories: fixed (costs that stay consistent month to month and/or have a deadline), future (things for which we save), and fluctuating (costs that vary week to week and don’t have a payment deadline).

For the fixed category, I insert the total amount we owe for that month. Then each week put 1/4 of the total aside and check off the brackets as I go. I use the asterisk to note the due date for payment. I also write the due dates directly into my calendar.

For the future category, I insert the goal amount that we put aside each month. I then check off each bracket as I save 1/4 of that goal each week.

For the fluctuating category, I simply document what I spend weekly for each item. Then I total it up at the end of the month. The purpose of this is mainly to keep track of spending rather than to stay within a goal. We pay for fluctuating costs with what is left after fixed and future so it’s naturally limiting.

F I X E D:

+ mortgage/rent

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ insurance (house/renters)

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ car payment

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ insurance (car/health/other)

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ internet

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ electric

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ cell

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ water

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ bank fees

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ debts

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ tithe/donations

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

+ subscriptions

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] *____/____

F U T U R E:

+ general savings

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

+ clothes/shoes

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

+ health expenses

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

+ vet bills

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

+ gifts

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

+ taxes

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

+ house costs

$__________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

F L U C T U A T I N G:

+ groceries

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________

+ personal care (salon visits, etc)

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________

+ gas

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________

+ dining out

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________

+ kids’ activities

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________

+ entertainment/books

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________

+ household items

[$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] [$_____ ] = $________