My budget spreadsheet got a makeover this year. Specifically, it’s actually acting as a budget, whereas up until last December it was basically just where I tracked what I spent and prayed that my end-of-the-month number was smaller than my income.
Now I’m creating a monthly budget and am still trying to figure out the whole following it thing. Baby steps, right?
Basically, I simplified my budget spreadsheet, but the thing I’m most excited about is the addition I made. Hello goals tab.
Now, in lovely 2011, I’m tracking my savings goals – bridesmaid fund, e-fund and retirement contributions – and my goals for paying off my student loans ahead of schedule. I made a column for my planned and actual contribution to each fund and I set up the equations to show me what percentage of my goals I’ve reached. It makes it a lot easier to follow my budget because all the money I save goes to one of the funds. And now I know which one.
And when I pay for wedding-related things, I’ll know I’m spending the wedding money. And instead of pretending all of my money in my bank accounts in my e-fund, I will see when I actually meet my eight-month goal and be able to pad the fun part of my budget.
The uber-organization of the color-coded charts made my heart flutter a bit. Until I realized those funds suck.
Yes, I’m excited about being in two weddings and the time I get to spend with family and good friends during all the related festivities, the idea of fully-funded emergency and retirement accounts keeps me sleeping as snug as a bug in a rug and I’m planning a 24-hour happy dance-a-thon for when I finally pay off my student loans.
BUT…a girl’s gotta live, am I right?
So, I added one last goal. A wanderlust fund. It gets the least amount of
attention money, but the point is that it gets some. All work and no play makes MJ a sad girl. I love knowing that I’m putting aside money specifically to get on a plane and stay in a hotel and experience something totally new and wonderful. Even if I’m only at 1% of my total goal at this point. Again, baby steps.