Hello everyone! Welcome to another blog post. Today I will be sharing how my standard method for budgeting each of my nursing paychecks. I have been budgeting like this since my very first part-time job during college and wanted to share.
Please keep in mind I am not a financial advisor or accountant. Always consult a financial professional for sound advice. This post is only meant to share a personal technique. This may not work for everyone.
ITEMS I USE
- I received this planner as a gift when I was back in school for being a student leader. There are a lot of dotted grid pages in the back of the planner that I use for biweeekly paycheck budgeting and spending tracking.
- I always jot things in pencil first when crunching numbers. This allows me to make changes if needed.
- The black gel pen “finalizes” things and the red pen is simply used to track spending if I feel like using a red pen.
MY BUDGET ROUTINE
The first thing I do is lookup how much will be deposited into my account. My deposit “hits” every other Thursday and my paystub is released every other Wednesday. Each Wednesday I will log into my job’s system/app to see my paystub. I will jot both the gross and net amount down.
2. Automatic Costs
After writing these two numbers down, I begin to address my first set of costs. The things I account for are all of my “automatic costs”. These are just things that are regular costs/scheduled bills. These include:
- Gym Draft
- Storage Unit
- Phone Bill
The only scheduled payments I have are my gym fee and cellular phone bill. My other required payment: storage unit is not. Scheduling my phone bill acutally helped me save about $10 extra dollars in addition to my discount for being a nurse. This does require very strict planning, but it works well for me.
The next thing I do is calculate plan how much I should put towards savings. This is usually determined by my savings tracker in the back of my planner. Here are a few examples of things I am currently saving for/towards:
- 403(b) Retirement Account – automatic take out before direct desposit
- Emergency Fund
- Savings Account #2 (for future endeavors)
- Travel Fund
- Auto (new car downpayment of 10k)
4. Cash Out
The last thing I determine is how much cash I will have to withdraw from my account. I usually type a quick note in my phone to remind me of how much I need out and if I need it broken up a certain way. A good trick is to always take cash out for groceries and stick that in an envelope. This helps stick to a firm limit. As far as gas, I will always swipe my bank card as I never spend more than $20.00.
The last thing I do is figure out about how much I will have left in my account. I will usually use some of this money for Sunday dinner twice a month (treat), small gifts and purchasing a new clothing item or two. I have some clothes that are really old because I have not grown since I was about ten years old (no joke), so I’ve slowly been switching closet items out. I have also been making some solid gains in the gym so clothes don’t really fit anymore, which is fine by me!
6. Track. Track. Track.
The last thing but perhaps the most important thing I do throughout the week is track everything that comes out of the account. Thsi allows me to keep a running total of how much I have been spending towards different things. Writing this out helps you see places where you might be losing money. You might be suprised!
That is how I budget as you can see I am a huge saver! I don’t have a fancy system or anything, but this is what has worked for me since receiving stipend checks from my internship. I like to live on just what I need and am grateful to be able to do that. Feel free to share how you budget.