Every year I create a forecast for what I think the next year will hold when it comes to expenses. It isn't the end of my budgeting journey for the year though, rather the beginning. Creating a forecast allows me to determine if my template (the amount I put into my budget in each category every month standardly) is going to work for my anticipated income as well as decide what goals are feasible for the year. Whether I can do the landscaping project I want to do in this calendar year or have to wait until next year for instance- if I do it this year then I will have to give up other things that are important to me, or at least cut back spending on them. It lets me focus my priorities and set attainable (as well as stretch) goals for my year.
There is a template below if you would like to create your own yearly forecast. It is fairly simple in design so feel free to let me know of any tweaks you would like to see for future versions.
Until next time,
Each year I go through a few steps to make sure that my budget isn't unnecessarily weighted down. Generally, I check that I have the best pricing for all my variable bills, look at upcoming goals, and check my template for the upcoming year. I just finished this process for the year and ended up saving some money on my electric bill and updating the amounts for several categories in my budget template as I was either putting too much or too little in on a monthly basis based on my past year of spending history. Finally, I took a look at my financial goals and made sure that my template aligned with what I had set as those goals. I did forget to discuss pulling your credit report, sorry about that! You get one free credit report each year from each of the bureaus to verify accuracy. This is always best practice to make sure that there are no mistakes or fraudulent activity on your reports. What do you do on an regular basis to make sure your budget it helping you towards your goals?
Until next time,
As it is now officially Open Enrollment season it was time this weekend to make my annual insurance elections. As I try to bring you guys along with me on all my big financial decisions... and $2,000-5,000 annually for a single person plan certainly falls into that I would imagine. Today we're looking at the how and why on my elections for insurance in 2021. Let me know if you are interested in a deeper dive into different types of plans and etc. and I will try to get them slated onto the schedule for next year! I do intend to do a Benefits series next year but its always nice to know exactly where people have the most questions so that I can put more focus in those areas.
Until next time,
I have shared my event budgets over the last year but I haven't shown how to do the same thing in YNAB exclusively just yet so thought this week was a great time to do so. The same concept works for both events and large projects such as renovations, large vacations, and etc. Generally I have been using spreadsheets for event budgets but works just as well in YNAB directly, potentially even better. The reason I haven't been doing them on YNAB directly but rather having an overall category and then using a spreadsheet to break down the budget is purely for ease of use on videos. I already have so many category groups it made more sense to just throw all the event budgets into one category and do spreadsheet breakdowns for them to save time and confusion for viewers.
If you want to try out YNAB with me they have a free trial. That's how I got hooked haha. Use this link to get a free month for you and I'll get one too if you end up loving it as much as I do.
Until Next Time,
Feeling a little bored of your home’s design and décor? Want to freshen up the interior and add some new features? As you decide what to include in your remodeling plans, keep your health in mind. Certain renovation projects can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. Some of these projects will likely require you to hire a contractor, but for some renovations, you can go the DIY route. Here are a few projects that can help you create a healthy home, along with tips for vetting contractors and selecting the most qualified tradespeople to work on your house.
Before you start calling local contractors, think about which remodeling projects you could take on by yourself. You’ll need to get a basic toolkit together — for example, you should have a tape measure, screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, nails, and screws. If this sounds expensive, then you’ll need to look for ways to save money, such as looking online for special deals or waiting until seasonal or holiday sales. For example, you could possibly use Cyber Monday coupons to help save money on the supplies you’ll need to get started.
What can you accomplish with some standard tools and a little elbow grease? You can grab a few buckets of paint and spruce up your walls for about $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot — cool colors like blues and greens can influence your mood and make you feel calmer. Installing ceiling fans will help you stay cool on hot days, and if you know your way around electrical wiring, you can do it without a contractor for about $75.
Central Air Conditioning
If your area sees high temperatures every summer, you might want to take things a step further than a DIY ceiling fan installation and have professionals set up your home with a central air conditioning system. Shop around for HVAC technicians by running background checks, verifying their permits and licenses, and getting cost estimates to compare.
The cost of a central air conditioning system can vary depending on where you live. It can get pricey, but central air conditioning provides a wide range of health benefits when the temperature rises. It can lower your risk of dealing with conditions like heat stroke, and it filters the air in your home, resulting in better air quality.
Want to get a few more workouts into your usual routine without going to the gym? Consider splurging on an in-ground pool. According to Active, swimming is a great full-body workout that will increase your endurance, strength, and flexibility.
Installing an in-ground pool isn’t a quick and cheap upgrade. And you will also have additional costs, including utilities and increased insurance prices. Before selecting a contractor for the project, ask them which subcontractors they like to work with; building an in-ground pool will require a bigger team, so you want to make sure that you approve of everyone involved.
Have you ever had the opportunity to relax in a sauna and found yourself wishing that you could do it more often? Sauna sessions can help you recover after intense workouts and even improve your cardiovascular health, and according to Cost Owl, you can install an infrared sauna in your home for about $1,500 to $3,000, plus the cost of labor. Make sure to look at the portfolios of any potential contractors; saunas aren’t the most common home fixture, so you’ll need someone with the right experience.
If you feel like your home needs a new aesthetic, keep your health in mind as you make your budget and outline your plans. Carefully screening contractors and getting the right tools for DIY projects is the key to making it happen. Outfitting your home with the features you need to improve your well-being can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
October was an expensive month to be sure, and the amount of red cells certainly shows that this month. Eek! But all in all it was a good month: I got to see my love, made a little progress towards my goals and even started going back into the office more frequently which has helped my mental health quite a bit. Next month I'll be working on my One Year Forecast for 2021 and will have an estimate on (hopefully) getting out of credit card debt completely.
Until next time,