Budget Your Weekly Expenses

Edited by Timbuktu, Charmed, Innocent Yogo, Eng and 8 others

One common experience amongst workers regarding their salary is that even before the end of the second week, they've already run out of money. This experience forces them to borrow money from someone else. As such the salary that they will get from the next payday is already allocated to pay the debt. And this cycle goes on week after week, month after month.

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Are you working full time or part time? Do you get paid weekly or monthly? It does not matter which category you fall in between those, what matters is, it should satisfactorily should all expenses, right? If it's not, perhaps you need to tighten your rein on those "wants" and focus on needs? Perhaps you have more than enough but you just need a little reminder on how to properly manage your expenses.

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What to Check

  1. 1
    Bills and Daily Expenses..
    Make a list of all household bills: electricity, water, house rent, phone, internet and other subscriptions that you need to pay for a month. Add them all up. Compute or approximate the daily spending you make. This will include gas for the car, food, transportation fare and your children's allowances. Get the total and add them up with the total amount of bills. You can call this as your over-all expenses.
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  2. 2
    Compute your total net earnings for the month.
    This will also include any payments you receive outside your job like a part-time job or a royalty fee for something you made and any other additional earnings. From your over- all earnings, deduct your over-all expenses. What's left will be your savings.
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How to Manage Your Over-All Expenses.

  1. 1
    Electricity and Water Bills.
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    These two bills fluctuate. They don't have a fixed rate. The amount of reflected on your monthly bill will also reflect how much you use water and electricity. As such, you will have a general idea of how much per month you actually use up. When you allocate budget for these two bills, make sure that you project the largest amount you have incurred. This way when the bill comes, it will either be just enough or more than what you actually used.
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  2. 2
    Internet, Phone, House Rental, Other subscriptions.
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    These expenses have a fixed rate. Therefore, it would be easy for you to approximate how much money you will need to get them paid. In addition, it is also advisable not to skip payments on these fixed rate bills because they tend to accumulate.
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  3. 3
    Weekly Children's Allowance, Gas and Transportation Fare.
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    If you don't have a fixed amount that you give to your children, it's high time that you have now. This way, your children will learn how to handle their money and save up for future needs. Explain to children that an X amount of money is what defines their allowance. Anything that they need in school should be deducted from it except the tuition fees. This way, they will know that they need to save up if they want something. If someone commutes and does not ride with the family car, then perhaps adjustments can be made so that the money allocated for fare can be set aside for other necessities like food and clothes.
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  4. 4
    Purchase of Clothes.
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    Unless there's a special occasion that requires purchase of clothes, it is best that clothes be purchased on a monthly and case-to-case basis
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    Clothes should be taken care off. It doesn't hurt if the younger sister wears the hand-me-downs of the older sister. Clothes purchase can be made if the old ones doesn't fit anymore or if there is more than enough money. The savings can be divided into segments where purchasing new clothes will be a part of.
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  5. 5
    Food.
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    Planning for food should be done weekly. This will save you not just money, but time and energy, too. Sit down and plan the meal for the week. Planning the grocery will include all the required ingredients in cooking. By doing so, trips to the supermarket using the family car will be lesser, thus saving up on gas.
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Free Template Budget Worksheet

You can search the web for resources on managing your expenses or use this template: "VisiHow Budget Template. This is a tool that will help you monitor and plan your budget. A tutorial on how to use the template will be also discussed.

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How to use the VisiHow Budget Template

Before proceeding, take note that you can only fill in the green cells. Accepted values are numbers, so do not enter amounts in texts and words.

  1. 1
    Enter your income and any other income in the designated cells.
    If you have more than two sources of income, you can add them and put the total in other income. Total income is formulated to sum income and other income.
    PIC 1 HOWIKI GUIDE BUDGET TEMPLATEWITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE IT.PNG
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  2. 2
    Enter your expenses on the designated cells.
    Basic expenses are already in the template while you can edit "Other Expenses 1" to "Other Expenses 3" to suit any of your regular expenses not included in the template. Total Regular Expenses will sum up all of the expenses in your template.
    PIC 2 HOWIKI GUIDE BUDGET TEMPLATEWITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE IT.PNG
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  3. 3
    Enter your target savings.
    Savings should not be what's left of your income after expenses. Savings should be a fixed figure that you want to achieve. You can increase it depending on your target. However, it is not advisable that you manipulate it. If you do, you will be projecting a false budget and lose track of what your savings are for.
    PIC 3 HOWIKI GUIDE BUDGET TEMPLATEWITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE IT.PNG
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  4. 4
    You have completed filling up the needed data.
    The template will then compute the data and will give you results and suggestions:  
    1. If the template generated a break-even or reflects that your income is equal to your expenses plus savings, it will tell you that you do not have extra cash for other spending.
      PIC 4 HOWIKI GUIDE BUDGET TEMPLATEWITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE IT.PNG
    2. If it shows that you have a surplus amount or your income is greater than the sum of expenses and savings, it will show how much extra money you have and will also tell you that you can spend more on two expenses that you assigned with small amounts. It will also recommend you to add the surplus amount to your savings, showing you the total after adding it up. You can also use that extra cash to buy things that you want.
      PIC 5 HOWIKI GUIDE BUDGET TEMPLATEWITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE IT.PNG
    3. If the template reflects that your expenses are more than what you earned, it will suggest that you deduct an X amount of a lesser important expense to achieve a break-even. It is recommended that you do not manipulate the target savings, but in most cases, when it is required, you will need to consider postponing to purchase anything that is not in the list of necessities. It is better to save up the amount required before you plan to purchase something that is not included in the budget.
      PIC 6 HOWIKI GUIDE BUDGET TEMPLATEWITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE IT.PNG
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Weekly vs Monthly Expenses

How do you manage weekly or monthly expenses? Is it better to budget on a monthly or weekly basis? This will all depend on the schedule of the bills against your salary schedule. Weekly expenses are a lot easier to manage because you are able to set aside a budget for seven days. You also have the chance to adjust your savings, especially if you still have groceries left and you've already paid your bills the previous week. You could even plan for a special weekend every two weeks, knowing you already have settled your financial obligations.

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If you get paid on a monthly basis, it is ideal to always anticipate financial obligations a couple or a few weeks ahead. Once you receive your monthly salary, it would be best to set aside money for your bills first then do your grocery. What's good about planning your budget on a monthly basis is that, you can actually see how much money will be left for food and other stuff. You get to see how much you save for the month and plan for the next month ahead of time.

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At this time and age of technology, it is common to hear part time jobs aside from the primary work that you already have. Though you may earn more than what you require, it is always advisable to keep your head above the water – never overspend. Instead, save up for the future and emergency needs.

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Additional Tips:

  1. 1
    When buying your grocery items, it is best that you take note of the prices of the items that you frequently buy.
    By doing so, you can compare prices and opt for a lesser price with the same quality, or got to a store with a lesser price.
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  2. 2
    Keep track of how much money you have left after shopping.
    Do you have an extra?
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  3. 3
    It is advisable that you make sure you save up before making a purchase on something you want.
    If you think you cannot afford it at this time, wait until you have the required amount before making the purchase.
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  4. 4
    Use your credit card wisely.
    Do not overspend as this will cost you in the long run.
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  5. 5
    Always ask the question "Is this a necessity?" with the family.
    When you and the household members know the difference between a necessity and a luxury, money is spent wisely.
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Article Info

Categories : Business & Management

Recent edits by: Visihow Admin, Graeme, Olivia

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