I like to call this method my hybrid budget. I follow so many different blogs, resources and methods and have mashed all my favourite parts into one. Ones that work for me. Saying that…some parts of the budget remain the same across anyone’s personal finances. I research many money saving sites and one of my favourite programmes is extreme couponing. I WISH we had that kind of thing here in the UK. I mean we get coupons but not to the scale and benefit the people in the US get them.
Our personal finance stories are just that – personal. However, I want to share my journey to becoming a debt free and frugal budget buster 😉
I have taken some of the concepts in other budgeting methods and tweaked them to suit my personal circumstances. Creating my Hybrid Budget.
I want to point out that when I had made the conscious decision to tackle the budget, I started off slow. We can easily overwhelm ourselves when it comes to sorting out bills, paperwork, sifting through debt letters and trying to stay in control of it all. Usually in the past, for myself, my fight or flight would have well and truly kicked in after the first five minutes and I would end up spending the rest of my time trying to avoid it all. I was burying my head in the sand and losing control of my finances.
Then 2020 happened. I don’t really need to go into detail as we all know what happened and is still happening. Our finances were effected majorly and there were times that I had to swallow my pride and use the local food bank. Which I am very grateful for.
I needed to face that overwhelming fear and actually begin creating our budget. I set myself the task of sitting for only 30 minutes and writing down the bill dates (that I could remember) onto my calendar that I had printed specifically to use for finances.
Yes … that was all for step one of my journey. I did it to limit the overwhelm and frustration.
The next day I went back to it and began sifting through the paperwork. I had already added the dates that I could remember but this allowed me to find any that I had forgotten about. That was step two and three complete.
Step four consisted of me looking at my banking apps and going through my statements to find any memberships or subscriptions and see the dates and payment amounts to add to my calendar.
So let’s recap and break it down quickly.
Step One – I write the bill dates and payment amounts on the calendar that I know of.
Step Two – I begin sorting through the paperwork and breaking it into four categories. The categories were Bills, Important Miscellaneous Paperwork, Debt and Collections Letters and the Shredding/Rubbish Pile.
Step Three – I set three of the paperwork categories aside and focused on the bills pile. I began to look through it all to find any payments and dates that I had missed while also ‘unloading’ it. When I unload I only keep the most recent bills for example; I keep the past 3 months bills if they are monthly, the past 3 if they are quarterly and the past 2 if they are annual bills. I then organise in to date and priority order.
Step Four – I scan through my banking apps to find any memberships or subscriptions. To see dates and payment amounts and add those to my calendar. I took this opportunity to cancel any that I didn’t want, need or use as well which cuts down my expenses a little.
So that was it. My first week working on my hybrid budget. My first week of tasks spread out so that I didn’t feel the pressure. I didn’t get frustrated, upset or overwhelmed. If at any time I felt any stress building I would simply step away from the task for a few minutes to clear my mind.
By week two, I had began to form a little bit of a habit and creating a pattern of tackling one small task per day.
Some may feel that they could do more and some will feel like they would need to do less and that’s OK! Our journeys are unique to us. I had to allow myself to go slow and pace myself. Not just to clear the overwhelm but because of my health and my busy home-life too.
Is it time that you begin to regain control of your finances?