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How to restart your budget in 5 Simple Steps - Your Comprehensive Guide.

Procrastinating, the sudden desire to clean out your cutlery drawer instead of opening up your banking app to start your fresh new budget...

When sorting out your cupboards is preferable to sorting out your money you know it's been too long.

If it feels chaotic, stressful & you don't know how to untangle it so that you can create a plan that works, it's time to sit down & figure out your spending vs what you're earning.

You need a plan for your money because you're sick of wasting so much, it's time to stop.

You've got lifestyle plans & none of them will come to fruition if you don't sort this out.

So, how to restart your budget when you've been putting it off for months?

Courage, the right bit of kit & a couple of hours.

You're going to be fine I'll look after you.

I've taught over 1000 students in a mixture of group workshops and 1:1 sessions so far.

This might give you everything you need to know & I'll be super happy it does. Please share the link!

Or you might need a bit of extra support.

Having the right template planner that you rinse & repeat every month, every year will be invaluable.

Having someone to help you do it once & check back in on you = almost priceless!

I offer all of these.

Amazing value for money planners

1-1 Mentoring

Bonus Free training = this & other comprehensive guides & video tutorials

TIP: Use a toolkit that fits you perfectly, not one that makes you cry with frustration.

You'll never put your numbers into one of these without knowing what it's telling you & none of them look like The Matrix!

(I don't know how accountants & bookkeepers do it, all those numbers 🫣)

And try these 5 steps - they always work for me.

N° 1 - Have all my things ready to go, like a TV Chef all prepped to perfection!

I like to have my computer on with my bank account logged in, my spreadsheet open in Google Sheets ready to go, my Paypal account logged in, notepad & pencil & any paper bills or statements on my desk/kitchen table

My diary & family calendar are up to date so I can refer to those for what I need to plan ahead for.

Oh & a nice pot of coffee, always!

I don't like background noise while I'm concentrating but if I do have a playlist on, it's something gentle & instrumental so I don't get distracted.

I allow 90 minutes for this, if it gets stressful I step away & come back to it later or the next day.

I don't leave it unfinished!

If this feels like it could be too much, commit to ONE of the steps and take a break.

Do this with your partner or best friend.

Take the next step, feel amazing that you've done another one & take a break.

Do not reward yourself with a glass of wine until you have finished!

Wine & budgeting are not good friends, there will be a fallout & tears, trust me!

The first thing to get right on the spreadsheet is your income.

It might be coming from various sources, be it a static salary or variable.

You might get child benefit & other income support to factor in.

I like to copy-paste what I know, all the way along the 12 months, it doesn't have to be a January start.

Just start with the month you're in.

So salary for example £2500, £2500, £2500 on repeat all the way along.

Bump it if you know you get a bonus or likely seasonal overtime.

If there is a variable element, self-employment, freelancing or whatever, put your best guestimate in. If you've no idea what you're likely to bring in, leave it blank and treat it as an extra when you get it until you get the feel for it. Do log it when you've got it though so you keep track.

When you know how much you're invoicing for & when you'll receive payment, you can add it in to your template.

Don't forget, you'll be needing to do your self-assessment tax return & be liable for paying tax.

Put enough away based on your tax allowance, into a separate account each month so that when you do your return you've got your payment ready to go.

A basic rate taxpayer earning from £12,571 - £50,270 (2023/2024) means you are taxed on your self-employment profits at the rate of 20%.

Business bookkeeping is essential.

Now I've got my yearly income in front of me it's opened up my eyes to forward planning possibilities.

N° 2 - Starting at the 1st of the month check off each outgoing regular expense

3rd = Mortgage £875 ✔

4th = Car Insurance £38 ✔

7th = Home Insurance £22 ✔

10th = Loan repayment £100 ✔

And so on.

I assume that these will be my expenses for the next 12 months so I copy-paste them all the way along on the spreadsheet so I get a yearly total much like with income.

When I look back over the month at the end of each,, I adjust the spreadsheet with what things actually cost if they differed so my year remains accurate. My mortgage goes up again next month so I can increase that on the spreadsheet now so I can see the effect it has for the year ahead.

N° 3 - For all those variable things like supermarket shopping & random purchases

Here's where it can feel chaotic as there's probably 40 or more transactions here each month compared to the 12 'ish regular expenses.

Check off line by line as you just did.

Things I buy frequently like diesel, I add up on my desk notepad as I go through my bank statement until I've got the final amount which then goes onto the spreadsheet.

I tend to spend about £25 each time I put diesel in, I don't use my car loads, so if it says Tesco or Asda £25 'ish, it's likely it's that rather than shopping.

You can't deeply audit it all unless you've got all day, so pick one thing that is making you swear a lot & spend a bit of time digging.

For instance, for a few weeks, I audited my Tesco shopping to see what I was really buying. Yes, I crossed off my receipt line-by-line colour coding as I went.

"Hey Alexa, add colouring pens to my shopping list"

You did, didn't you?!

Food = £x

Stationery (newspapers, mags, books, birthday cards) =£x

Toiletries, cleaning stuff, pet food, booze and all those end-of-aisle offers I hadn't planned on; bathroom towels, candles etc = £x

So when I say I spend £100 a week on FOOD, I don't.

I spend that in Tesco's but not only on food.

And for us, eating out is often spontaneous. No takeaways but we'll nip out for brunch on a whim which is lovely but needs to be factored in somehow, or at least recorded so we know where the money went.

It's not judgemental it's just sensibly logging it so we're in control.

I find using Notes on my iPhone to log roughly what I'm buying & how much I've spent is really easy.

You might love using your banking app or Hyperjar/Emma/Plum to set up Pots so you can see how much you've been spending each week.

When you have a weekly picture, this gives you visibility for the month - which shows you exactly where your money is going for the quarter and year...

It's the not knowing that causes most of the problems.

So, on the spreadsheet, you can see what you have left over once your essentials have come out & you can decide how you want to plan the rest.

EG. £2500 in

Essentials £1600 out

Leftover = £900 to be split into saving some & spending some.

TIP: Your priority savings account is an "Emergency Savings" fund. Does what it says on the tin.

A sale in The White Company does NOT constitute an emergency.

TIP: How about you put the spending budget into a separate account - and only use that?

It will be crystal clear how much you have available to spend until next month.

Checking everything instead of sleepwalking through each month is my simple secret.

N° 4 - Setting myself mini budgets

Not for everything because that is bloody tedious, but for one particular category that is causing you pain.

Or you might want to create mini budgets for all key categories to get yourself in better financial shape.

You can set these up in many bank accounts now so that you get notifications if you're near your chosen spending limit. Does your bank offer this?

Or keep it simple & stick with just one or two.

You might like to have a "Self Care" mini-budget.

Or a "New clothes this season" mini-budget.

Note the season not the month.

This is more powerful I find than a monthly allowance because it offers a zoomed-out flexible approach.

Forward planning your money so you're not living paycheck to paycheck opens your financial world, living hand to mouth can be debilitating even if you've got a very large income to outgoing ratio.

We tend to live to our (or just above our) means, don't we?

You might decide on a £300 budget for new Autumn/ Winter clothes.

This means September, October & November, you put aside this money in a way that makes sense to you or use your savings if that's what they're there for. Regular savings means you can do this instead of the never-decreasing cycle of credit cards.

By creating your mini budget, you have zero need to feel guilty about spending it!

It's already been allocated - its very purpose is to give you pleasure with some new threads.

Keep track of how much you've spent so when you see something else you HAVE to have, you know if you can afford it or not.

If you overspend, so be it.

Just log it, and adjust your budget so it caters for your overspend.

Do you need to underspend elsewhere to balance the books?

It is YOUR CHOICE, your decision on how to spend your money. You earned it.

But you will need to balance your accounts or you'll be in a mess which is what you DON'T want.

I love taking photos of my new clothes hanging up on my wardrobe doors so I can really feel appreciative of them & it serves as a great reminder of when I bought something & how many lovely things I've got. Prevents duplication too - except for stripey T's I can never have too many.

Ok, so you've got your income each month planned out for a year.

Your essential outgoings each month are planned for a year.

Your savings (auto-save using standing orders) are planned out each month for a year.

You can now see what you have left over to spend as you wish, each month, FOR A YEAR!!!

How powerful is that?

You can leverage month to month as you need to, as curve balls hit or as your needs & desires change.

You do not have to live paycheck to paycheck.

NB: If your income & outgoings are so similar, that your margin is too lean, that is a different kettle of fish.

I'd suggest going to this page for more resources: Budgeting for debt support even if you don't have any debt yet, it's likely that one unexpected expense will knock you for 6.

N° 5 - Time for a quick check-in on your expectations & desires - planning your life by design.

Are you heading in the right direction? Are you paying off your debt at a rate that is right for you?

Are you putting away savings for short & mid-term goals?

Are you doing the best you can? Have you been spending lately without much of an idea of how much & on what?

What do you want to change about your spending habits?

If you’re stumped at any stage that’s ok!! It's very normal. Doing this on your own or if the two of you aren't confident or competent it feels bloody awful!

That’s what I’m here for. You’ve got access to ebooks, freebies & digital toolkits to carry you on your journey

You get a complimentary template with your session so you don't even need to worry about which one to choose!

Briefly how it works & what you get:

You complete your budget whilst screen sharing with me, I'll challenge you from time to time, share ideas & you'll leave our chat with your budget all sorted with the confidence to tweak it to suit your changing lifestyle needs.

We'll even book in a follow-up chat in several week's time all included in the price.

I won't keep your personal data which is one reason why you complete your own budget planner

Feel reassured our conversations are all confidential.

Has this been super useful learning how to restart your budget?

Please show your support by sharing this on your social pages, and giving it a star rating so Google can show it to more people. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See you soon, new blogs are out each Monday.

Love from

Lucy x

A woman making notes whilst using her laptop

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Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Excellent information and guidance.

Thank you

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Lucy Wallington
Lucy Wallington
04 oct 2023
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Thank you 😊

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02 oct 2023
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Thank you so helpful

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Lucy Wallington
Lucy Wallington
04 oct 2023
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Thank you 😊

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