Work Your Way Into Budgeting Using This Daily Spending Tracker
When starting with budgeting I often find the best way to track expenses is manual with a Spending Tracker.
Not everyone is comfortable using a spending spreadsheet which I offer my readers for free in excel.
At the end of this blog post, you will get access to the Free Daily Spending Tracker printable and see where our money went in July.
Mindful Spending With A Daily Spending Tracker
The idea around my CBB excel spending tracker is similar to that of the printable Spending Tracker.
Both budget tracking systems act as visual motivation as it adds up daily expenses by category.
The only difference is that one is manual and the other is done using formulas created in an excel spreadsheet.
When I created this budget binder printable the first thing Mrs. CBB said was that she’d use it if I weren’t around.
See, she does need me. Haha!
The reason for that is she’s not comfortable using Excel and the printable budget binder is more up her alley.
She’s all for using a basic budget printable or the excel spreadsheet budget without formulas that she’d likely mess up.
How The Daily Spending Tracker Works
The printable Spending Tracker is quite simple to use however the tricky part is remembering to ask for receipts.
Without the receipts or a way to find out where you spent money throughout the day, you have no tracking system.
Using the printable version allows you to highlight each expense on the Spending Tracker so you have visual motivation.
What you would do is using coloured highlighters to create a colour legend for wants and needs.
There’s no method to the colour madness when it comes to using colours and tracking what you want to track.
Just keep it simple and if there are budget categories that you want to pay close attention to use colour.
I keep a green, yellow, orange, pink, blue, and purple highlighter set in my office as they come in handy with budgeting.
Especially if you are using budget printable sheets you may have colour code based on personal reference needs.
Motivation and Mindful Spending Awareness
Highlighting expenses on the Spending Tracker allows the user to visually see areas they are over-doing any unplanned spending for the month.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing a bad job at budgeting it simply means you need to be mindful of where the money is going.
Often we have unplanned expenses that we simply can’t forecast and they fall under the miscellaneous or unplanned category.
We won’t necessarily call these emergency expenses either otherwise the money would be coming from that category.
Emotional spending is also at its highest especially during Covid-19 where consumers may be prone to online shopping.
It’s so easy to open an app and start online shopping and next thing you know you’ve added an expense to your budget.
When we become bored and window shop it can be a dangerous route to added debt or using up cash reserves.
This could also mean overspending on a credit card that you can’t pay at the end of the month.
Using The Spending Tracker With Budget Systems
Print one or two copies of the Spending Tracker printable and keep it with your budgeting system.
If you’re the type of person who needs a reminder to use the Spending Tracker perhaps hang it somewhere at eye level.
For example, if you are in and out of the refrigerator during the day put a magnet on the Spending Tracker.
Keep highlighters next to your folder of receipts you need to track if the kitchen is where you will complete the task.
If you use a home office or dedicated space where you work on your budget plan a time to complete the task.
For example, if you are home in the evenings take 10-15 minutes before you go to bed to fill in your Spending Tracker.
If you work the night shift perhaps when you get home and are wired use that time and jot down your expenses for the day.
I find if we get into a routine with our budget binder to fill out the printable budget sheets it helps us tremendously.
If you have a smartphone you could always set a Spending Tracker alert to motivate you to get to the tracking area.
In today’s busy world whether you have kids or not setting calendar alerts is great as long as you pick the right alert tone.
Picking something you find happy or laughable can significantly increase the likelihood that you complete the task rather than put it off.
If you find you are continually coming up with excuses or failing to fill in your Spending Tracker then perhaps you need a better alert system.
Hands-On Visual Motivation
The great thing about a printable monthly budget binder is the visual aspect that I find different from a mobile budget app.
Yes, you get a visual with a mobile app but using a pencil and eraser is comparable to the get your hand’s dirty work ethic rather than utilizing the convenience of an app.
Consider whether the in your face approach is right for you or the app that only gets used if you open it up.
I’m terrible with using a smartphone even though I now own one and probably won’t ever use anything but our excel spreadsheet and printables.
Building Finance Experience
Overall, if you use the daily Spending Tracker you’ll either find that it motivates you to spend less or that you’re ready to move on to my free excel budget spreadsheet.
You can find both my Free excel budget spreadsheet and Spending Tracker printables on the Free Budget Printables Page.
Discussion: Would you benefit from tracking your daily expenses and colour coding your wants vs. needs?
Leave me your comments below and feedback if you use the free printable.
Home Budget Income Report July 2020
Where did the money go?
Hi CBB readers,
We bought a roll of membrane that I needed to finish off the insulation in the basement as well as wood from Home Depot.
The membrane alone cost us $300 and I had to jump through hoops to find it as none of the stores in our area carried it.
Our grocery budget is over for July as we did a couple of things outside of the ordinary.
When we went shopping at Costco we doubled up on some of the items we had on our list because they were on sale.
Also, Mrs. CBB found some keto products on Amazon for a lightning deal which was over 50% off.
This is the Organika Bone Broth that she keeps on hand for times that we don’t have keto bone broth prepared in the freezer.
She also takes it with us when we travel out of town as it’s easier to transport and get her bone broth fix.
Other categories we spent over budget were:
- My Allowance went over budget because I stocked up on alcohol for our cabinet and bought extra beer. I needed a bottle of vodka to experiment with making soft Keto ice-cream. The beer was a want that went over budget.
- Prescriptions were higher this month because of Mrs. CBB needing extra medications for a health problem she’s dealing with. She also picked up migraine medication and the price tag was shocking. Thankfully my benefits covered 85% of the near $300 for 9 pills.
- Kids category went way over because we bought our little guy a jeep to ride around in as well for Switch video games.
- Health and Beauty skyrocketed as we did a 20x the points shop to stock up on Mrs. CBB’s skincare products that were on sale too. She also purchased SkinCeuticals Sunscreen from her dermatologist. We also purchased new electric toothbrushes from Costco that cost us $150 – $30 rebate.
- Not in the budget was purchasing a new Swordfish UK Air Treatment System that kills molds, viruses, and fungus in the indoor air. We have had one for years and it had done it’s time which I was not expecting this year. The bulbs alone are just over $50 with taxes.
Home Budget Percentages
Our savings of 44.32 % include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $7899.29.
We save money in our projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months.
All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that we accounted for all of the income in July 2020.
This type of budget is a zero-based budget where all of the money has a home.
Monthly Home Budget Expenses
Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial.
- Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
- Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
- Monthly Budgeted Total: $6,392.68
- Monthly Net Income Total: $10,039.13
- (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $852.91
- Total Expenses Paid Out: $7275.98
Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $10,039.13 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) –$1910.24 (savings to emergency fund) = $7275.98
- Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10,039.13 (total monthly net income) – $7275.98 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = –$1910.24
Monthly Budget and Actual Budget
Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget.
This budget represents 2 adults and a pre-schooler, plus retirement investments.
Budget colour chart: If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense.
Since May 2014 we’ve been mortgage-free so much of our money will be directed at savings, investments, and renovations.
I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers as our situations are all unique.
Spending less than we earn and budgeting has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.
Monthly Home Budget Actual Expenses
CBB Home Budget Updates Month By Month
Just in case you missed our budget updates from 2012- present I’ve compiled them all on one handy page: monthly budgets.
2020 Home Budget Challenge
July Update: We are still 2 players in for the Budget Challenge 2020.
These two budget challengers are going to ride it out until the end of 2020.
Let’s have a look at what happened with their monthly budgets in July.
Budget Challenger #1
July has been about a Canada Day grocery splurge and a hefty ($2,100.00) unexpected medical expense recommended by my cardiologist.
Our groceries were 5 party platters (bagels, deli meats & cheese, vegetables, deviled eggs, and prawns) and four (4) packages of dried green lentils (900g bags @ $1.53 ea).
The grocery costs were higher than usual but necessary because health issues affected my physical ability, mental acuity, and emotional ability to cope with meal preparation this month.
Hubby had three paydays this month instead of his usual two so we have set aside his entire 3rd cheque towards his 2021 RRSP contribution.
We did the same thing back in January so we now have his funds all ready to rock and roll!
The medical expense recommendation came on the heels of having just paid our annual property taxes and whisking away all of our savings account balances into GICs last month. Sigh.
Our Future Payments Account was running on empty so thank goodness for our EMERGENCY ACCOUNT!
What I did was put the medical purchase thru on a CASHBACK VISA so at least we’ll get about $20 cashback come November.
It’s not much but it’s better than a kick in the pants! LOL
Our focus is now on SAVING to replace the funds we temporarily borrowed from our EMERGENCY ACCOUNT before the next emergency arrives!
It appears there may be another $5,000 medical purchase coming depending on the results of some testing that I am having done.
Getting older sure sucks in terms of medical costs!
Budget Challenger #2
Good morning Mr. CBB and all,
July brought back more expenses as it was the month I returned to work.
We also had my boyfriend’s father stay with us and one idiotic moment where I bought groceries at a farmers market.
Unfortunately, the products didn’t have prices on them and ended up paying twice as much as I normally would.
I’ve bought from her in past years, but her prices have gone up and I’ll have to look elsewhere from now on.
- transportation 18.02%
- life 21.74%
- Short term savings 6.90%
- household 2.05%
As you can see, my total doesn’t come to 100%.
I leave money in my account for a few months in case I have a rough month, and then I move that excess money to a long- term savings plan.
Currently having no mortgage is helping me save money, and not being able to book vacations is helping with that too!
Things to be mindful of this month
Groceries were up as there was an extra person in the house (and my overspend on that farmer’s market)
Transportation costs have gone up since I am now back to working in my office (and my income has dropped slightly since I am not traveling to other offices for work and no longer getting travel mileage)
Fast food is back up to its normal amount as I hate cooking and find myself eating out a lot during my lunches.
I also purchased lunch for 3 people over the month.
Power bill was super low as they didn’t read the meter last month and did a very high guestimate (it was only $10.62!!!!)
- Land tax next month
- Firewood either August or September
- Small travel bubble vacation in September
- Chimney cleaning
- Car inspection and expected awful repairs to go along with it
It’s weird being back at work, and I need to try to get back into the swing of things in ways that will save me money.
Though it hasn’t saved me a ton, I’m playing the Rock Paper Prizes game on both my personal and work phone.
When you win it texts your codes for free or discounted products at Irving, and a few times I have been lucky enough to win discounts on fuel.
Well, I hope everyone had a good July and has something fun they are planning for when things get back to ‘normal’!