8th December 2019

These posts were originally posted on the MoneySavingForums (a UK money management site), I am moving my journals across to WordPress to have them in chronological order. I’m not sure how much of other people’s words I’m allowed to copy across from one site to another, so in some sections I may summarise conversations.

I’m playing with some numbers for my 2020 budget, still got a few weeks to go to tweak the plan if I need to.

So my average salary as it hits my bank account seems to be £1279.94
This all adds up to £1271.64 so far – I know YNAB’s philosophy is assign every dollar a job, but I’ll be able to put that £8 somewhere each month

So here’s my current plan for 2020, including how I’m going to break down the categories in the budget:

Weekly Spends
Groceries – £150 per month
Household – £25 per month (this is for things like laundry baskets or irons, one off purchases, not washing up liquid)
Social Spends – £80 per month
Clothes – £10 per month (this… could probably be higher. But maybe this is where that £8 goes? or maybe I only buy clothes every other month)
Human Groom – £15 per month
Takeout – I don’t assign a set amount to this category each month, I just move money here as needed
Online Shopping – I don’t assign a set amount to this category each month, I just move money here as needed
Birthday of the month – £25 per month
Stuff to budget for – £25 per month
Work Miscellaneous – £5 per month

Remaining Debts
Staff Credit Card – £100 per month (Pay off £900 in 2020) (Goal by September)

Immediate Obligations
Credit Card Fee – £3 per month
Bus Card – £55 per month
Rent – £395 per month
Amazon Prime – £7.99 per month
02 – £47.47 per month (When I pay off the phone part of the contract, I intend to pay only for the airtime for a few years and save up to buy my next phone outright. This is a ridiculous amount to pay but I can’t pay this much on the contract and save up for the next one at the same time)
HP Instant Ink – £1.99 per month
New Laptop – £50 per month (To my brother at first until I reach £500 and then keep saving for as long as I can. I’ve asked for some money towards this for Christmas so hopefully that can buy me a few months breathing space)

Dog Food and Treats – £10 per month
Dog Groom – £25 per month
Dog Vet Plan – £14 per month
Dog Insurance – £30.13 per month

Savings Pots
Subscription – £4.17 (£50 by Jan ’21)
YNAB – £9 (£90 by Nov ’19)
H2B ISA – £25 (I would like this to be higher, but when I pay off my debts I can bring this payment up)
Emergency Savings – £25 per month (I would like this to be higher, but when I pay off my debts I can bring this payment up)
Divorce – £45 (This is lower than I need it to be to reach £1000 by Feb ’21, but it’s better than nothing)
Christmas Gifts Family – £10 per month
Christmas Gifts Friends – £5 per month
Christmas Socials – £5 per month
Pride Savings – £10 per month
Dad Birthday Present – £25 per month (I want £150 by February, then £150 again by some point later in the year, but we haven’t been given a defined date yet)
Financial Advisor Diploma – £25 per month
Celebratory Nice Whiskey – £8.89 (There’s a particular bottle of whiskey I want to buy as a celebration for being Debt Free. It costs £80 though so I’ll take a few months to save up)

So that’s what I’m thinking of for 2020. I’m splitting my Christmas savings into three chunks next year so I can better see what I’m saving up for and have a better idea of what I can afford. I’ve seen some budgets where they have a whole master category called Christmas and then the sub-categories are by each person like:
Dad – £X
Mum – £X
Little Timmy – £X
Grandma – £X
and so on. I’m not quite doing that, although I can see the appeal, I would just like a better idea of if I can afford friends gifts as well. This year I had more in my Christmas savings than last year but I told people I could only afford gifts for immediate family, even though that probably wasn’t true this year. I just didn’t know. I’m hoping this will help for next year.

I also have a Wishlist of things to starting savings for once I’m debt free. There’s a binder from a particular company (upwards of £75), updating my passport to my new name (£90), or even Canal Boar Lessons (£500), but I’ve got like a dozen things on there. My priority though should be increasing my Emergency Savings contribution. We’ll revisit that in September I guess.

A commenter was uncertain on the value of organising a Christmas budget like that, but liked how detailed the budget was

Thanks 🙂  I’m a little unsure about the Christmas categories as well, but there’s a first time for everything. Previously I just put aside what I thought I could afford and come December tried to divide that by the number of people. Then, I made up the gap between that and what I spent w credit cards or overdraft debt. This year I set aside a little bit more but not enough once you take into account Christmas socials, I’m going to need to dip into a savings pot before next payday. I’ve also confused myself a little by changing my mind on how many people I can split the gift money between. I’ve seen this type of budget work for other people so I thought I’d give it a try.

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