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Budgeting for Baby-Boomers
As a Baby-Boomer who’s never had a lot of money, I’ve had to scrape by and pinch pennies. Major holidays, like Christmas, or my daughter’s birthday would be a huge financial strain until I learned how to budget for larger expenses.
We all know that Christmas comes on December 25th every year. And my daughter’s birthday is just three weeks later in mid-January. Before I learned how to budget, this was a very stressful time of year instead of a time of celebration.
It was actually my daughter who suggested to me that it would be less stressful to put a little money aside each month into an envelope rather than have to find a way to stretch my work pay cheque or disability income over the holidays. She was right. I’ve been allocating a specific amount each month for different annual expenses such as:
- Christmas gifts ($20 – $30)
- BC Hydro top up (on annual ‘equal payment’ installments – usually my usage goes up in the winter and I will end up owing at my anniversary date. So I watch my monthly consumption and when I notice my payments are less than consumption, I start a ‘top up’ envelope of $5 – $25/month to cover the difference at the anniversary date.)
- Costco membership ($5/month) the longer I’m a member at Costco, the more I find ways to take advantage of their prices… I only buy products that I would normally buy and only in quantities that I can manage. However, I do occasionally buy family packs of meat or things, but I portion them down to single-servings.
- My Goals ($20) this is for things I’d like to buy – it could be saving for a new juicer, or food processor, or buying something ‘just because’ during the month.
I am well-known at my bank for asking for specific amounts and denominations to put in my designated envelopes each month!
There are many programs for budgeting out there, including QuickBooks, Simply Accounting, and Quicken. As far as how I record my budget, I just use a very simple Microsoft Excel template recording the Date, Description, Amount and a running balance.
I know it is suggested that one is supposed to budget: 10% ‘self/spend’, 10% savings, 10% give away/tithe, 10% education, 10% for passive income and live off the 50% balance, I just don’t have enough income to practice this principle at this time. I started out using the 5-Envelope concept only on ‘unexpected’ income, and in 2017 I started implementing the 5-envelopes with a dollar a month in each of the 5-envelopes from my disability income. As my income increases, I’ve been able to increase the monthly amount in the envelopes. Intention creates!!
How do YOU budget? Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share with our readers? Leave your comments here:
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