I have been doing my budget every month for the past ten years almost, I have refined my dashboard to the point all I need to do is update it with my latest spend records from my bank account.
I’d like to share what I do and how I do it, and what results it usually come up with in terms of spending habits.
In order to do so, I usually download an Excel extract from a .csv format which is usually enough to work from and need very little work to copy-paste directly into my spreadsheet. I also update my spreadsheet manually, just adding a new line for each expense record I want to insert.
Here are the budget categories I use, I have used them for quite a while and find it simple and convenient enough.
You can always store more details in your own spreadsheets especially about sundry items but the final breakdown is always this one :
Salary : do I need to explain this one ? unless you have reached Financial Independance and you are retired, this is your main source of income I guess.
Other income : I put here REITs income stream, and other one off things that may come in in cash, like garage sale money for instance.
Real Estate : anything coming from my real estate portfolio other than REITs
Transfer : Money transfered from current acount to savings account
Sundries : all sort of expenses than doesn’t fall in other categories from clothing to eating out and more
Bank : yearly fees, transfer fees, transaction fees if you’re buying stocks, etc…
Taxes : the money you give to institutions of your country so they can spend it better than you would do on things you don’t always need but makes you feel better.
Phone : monthly paiment for your 3G/4G connection, Internet box get lodged in Accommodation spending
Transport : all the money you spend on your car, from buying to maintenance, paytolls, plane tickets, train tickets, gas, etc…
Food : Grocery shopping, eating out for lunch during the week
Accomodation : Rent, gas bill, electricity bill, everything home related, Internet bill; also included: hotel or hostel nights during trips
Expenses : Professional expenses not yet reimbursed by your employer; or personal business / side hustle spend
Savings : everything that is transfered to your saving accounts, Life insurance contracts, REITs buy-in, crowdlending, in order to build your Portfolio of investments
Your balance is the difference between Income and Expenses, not yet allocated to one of your savings category.