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Writing out my budget is probably my favorite post because it forces me to sit down and look at the numbers so I can be financially prepared for the month ahead.  I'm going to have financial posts on most Fridays this year and I plan to post next week about sinking funds and planning for the entire year in January.  For now, I'm just sharing my monthly zero based budget.



I love to track things but I also suck at math, so I use my own spreadsheet. Here's what I have planned for January:


One of my main goals this year is to save 75% of my take home income (or $75,000, which is slightly higher).  Which means January will be the first of a few no spend months.  It's, in my opinion, one of the easier months in which to do this since there are no major holidays and only my mom's birthday, which she never wants gifts for.  It's also too cold for any out of the house entertainment.  A perfect hibernating month, so as long as we can manage the food budget well (I'm doing Whole30 at the moment with Tara!), we should be in good shape to not spend anything extra.

Since the bills are steady, this is what most months will look like, with the exception of sinking funds and savings.  Normally I put money away each month for sinking funds, but I decided to front load them this year. So I will being using the two January paychecks to fund these sinking funds in the amounts I think I will spend during the entire year.  Some categories are right on (pet expenses) and some are either a guess (car expenses) or will be a real push to stay within, giving me an extra challenge (Halloween, gifts.)

What was left I put towards my Roth IRA, which I need to put $6,000 in for the year.  I'll finish funding that in February. After that, everything will get funneled into that '2020 Extra Savings' line item.

FAQ - This is just my money and my budget.  John's is separate.  He makes the same in a year as I do but has very different spending habits and doesn't track things well so it's easier for our sanity to keep things separate.  He pays the mortgage.

What's your January looking like?  Will you be doing a no spend?