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I have been on a wicked sweet budget for about 5 years now, and have helped quite a few others get on one as well. Over the years, our budget has flexed and changed with our life stages, and has grown into a fully mature budget, with savings buckets, seasonal budgeted categories, and filters to see how we do in each category. It’s been a fun ride, and it’s really cool to look back at my old “budgets” from back when I was “tracking” my income and watching my money disappear. After starting to put together budgets for others, I have really started to see some trends in how certain categories are handled, and have been able to save people some serious cash but really diving deep into certain ones. So I’ve decided to put together the Ultimate Budget Series to do just that; A deep dive into each budget category, dedicating an entire post to each category in your budget!
How Will It Work?
Since there are at least 30 budget categories that I will be going through, I wanted to set up some common criteria for analysis and commentary so that each post has a bit of structure to it. I mean, yes, I could rant for pages and pages on how to buy a used car, but that wouldn’t do anyone any good. So here’s how I’m going to break it down:
Category Description. Most categories are pretty self-explanatory, but I want to break it down into a simple description so we know what we ARE talking about, and what we’re NOT talking about.
How Much You Should Budget? There are tons of “percentage” budgets out there that have you plug in your income and it automatically splits it out into each category based on a pre-defined percentage. I get the idea and all, but I’m more of a hard numbers guy. Just like I’m no so much into theory on how a person might save money, I like to spell out how to save money with real numbers! I’m going to tell you how much you should budget for each category, based on a married couple with two kids. You can add and subtract based on life circumstance.
Common Ways People Blow This Category. There are common hang-ups in every budget category. Whether it’s listening to too much advertising, being lazy, or just not knowing any better, I would venture to say that 99% of the budgets I come across are wasting hundreds of dollars per month. I’m going to show you the most common ways that you could be losing money in each category.
Best Ways To Save Money. Now that I’ve gotten you all depressed exposing all the holes in your budget, let’s bust out the mud and paint and PATCH THOSE BAD BOYS! You can check out my How To Save Money section for a few tips, but each category is going to have its own list of awesome ways to ROCK THE BUDGET! There are tons and tons of ways to save cash, enough so, that thousands of people write about them on blogs just like this one in hopes to help a few people out. I’ll write down the most practical and valuable ways for each category here.
Whatever Else I Feel Like Writing. Maybe I’ll write something more, maybe I won’t! I’m going to leave this section for any extras that spill out of my brain.
When Can We Expect Updates?
Whenever I feel like it, gosh! (said in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice). No, but seriously, it may not be on a regular schedule. I hope to post once a week, but it may be more or less. It will be a regular series here, and who knows, it may never end!
How Can The Readers Help?
I’m going to put together the initial master list of categories, and if there’s something you think should be in there, LET ME KNOW! I want to stick to common categories, and not stuff like “my pencil shaving collection”. But if I’ve missed something, definitely give me a shout out.
Comments: What do you think? Are you “OMG JUSTIN BIEBER IS AT THE SAME SAFEWAY AS ME!!!” excited for this?! I know I am. I hope you stick around and enjoy the budgeting goodness that is about to happen!