It’s the last day of April, which means it’s time to do my April 2020 budget and debt wrap up! I tried so many different budgeting methods before I started using this system – nothing worked for me. Creating a budget wasn’t my problem, it was finding a way to stay motivated to stick to it. Let’s go over exactly how I did this month.
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Why I Budget Each Paycheck
I get paid on the 15th and the last day of every month. Because of this, I like to do my budget on a paycheck basis instead of a monthly basis. This means I do two budgets each month.
For me, it’s much easier to keep track of my spending and paying my bills for a few weeks instead of an entire month. I split some of my bills in half to make budgeting for them easier as well.
The Tools I Use
My absolute most important tool I use to manage my budget is my Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly planner. I would be totally lost without this planner! I have a full blog post that goes in depth on why I love this planner for budgeting, but here’s a quick run down:
- The monthly spreads and notes pages make it easy to track bills and set up my budget.
- The included year at a glance calendar is perfect for tracking sinking funds.
- The notes pages are great for tracking yearly income, expenses, and other important stats.
- There are a ton of customization options, which makes budgeting more fun for me!
- The planners are high quality and I haven’t had any issues with one lasting me an entire year.
I also create my own planner stickers, specifically designed to help me manage my budget. I actually have them for sale as a printable file, you can get them in my online shop! These stickers help me set up my budget, plan out my bills, and track my spending.
The last main tool I use for budgeting a set of Mildliner highlighters. I use these to color code my expense tracking instead of using stickers. I like the ease of just writing in and highlighting my expenses.
My Current Financial Goals
Right now I am working on paying off all my debt. At the beginning of April, I had one student loan left, a Best Buy credit card, my Discover card, and my car loan. My goal it to have everything except my car paid off by the end of 2020.
April Budget Update
I did a pretty bad job keeping up with my budget planner during April to be completely honest with you. I went through at the end of the month and updated all of my spending and made sure I didn’t forget anything. With all the weirdness going on in the world right now with Coronavirus, it’s been pretty easy for me to not spend any money.
The majority of my money during April went into my sinking fund savings accounts. If you’re unfamiliar with sinking funds, these are separate savings accounts I keep for specific purposes. These are things like Christmas, property tax, my vet fund, car maintenance, etc. I’m not really concerned about losing my job since my company is actually still hiring at the moment, but I still wanted to take advantage of less spending to add some extra money to savings.
I did receive a stimulus check during April. This money went straight to paying off debt!
April Debt Update
I’m excited to share some debt updates this month!
As of the end of April, I’m down to only THREE DEBTS LEFT! This month I paid off my Best Buy credit card! I used my stimulus check and some money from my business to get this card paid off for good!
My remaining debts include my last student loan, my Discover card, and my Mazda car loan.
My main goal for the month of May is to make enough money to completely pay off my last student loan. I would love to start off June with only two debts left!
Why Budgeting is Important
Creating a regular budget is absolutely crucial if you want to reach any sort of financial goals. So many people think budgeting is complicated or hard to do. A budget is just a plan for your money! It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Budgeting is going to enable me to pay off all my debt and have more options for my future!