Budgets

Setting up your zero-based budget in 4 easy steps!

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Are you tired of wondering where your money went?
Are you over the feeling you get when you hand the cashier your debit card and say a little prayer to the universe that there will be enough money in your account to cover it?
Are you ready to get intentional with your money?
Time for a zero-based budget!

We used a zero-based budget to help us pay off over $65000 last year. It allowed us to assign a job to every single dollar we made, and to track our spending throughout each month. I recommend using the EveryDollar website and app to help you keep track of your budget!

A zero-based budget (assigning all of your money a specific job) will not only help alleviate money stress but also allows you to get intentional with paying off debt or building your savings! Let’s do this!!

Seriously – four steps is all it takes to get your budget up and running.

1. Make a list and total up all your income.

  • paycheques
  • pension
  • child support
  • alimony
  • Child Tax Credit cheques

2. Make another list, this time of ALL of your monthly expenses. Start with your fixed expenses, and then move on to your flex expenses.

Fixed Expenses

These are expenses that don’t change (much) in any given month.

  • mortgage or rent
  • car registration
  • house and car insurance
  • property tax
  • utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.)
  • cable/internet/cell phones
  • subscriptions (Netflix, Audible, websites, etc.)
  • childcare
  • donations
  • sports fees
  • school fees
  • minimum payments on ALL debts

Flex Expenses

These are expenses that you have flexibility with. You can pay more or less on groceries and entertainment, depending on your choices.

  • groceries
  • gas
  • entertainment
  • eating out
  • miscellaneous

3. Make a list of your Financial Intentions.

These are the goals you have for your money. What you are going to focus your intention on to pay off or save for. I recommend doing them in the following order:

  • mini-Emergency Fund
  • paying off debt
  • full Emergency Fund
  • retirement
  • saving for travel, renovations, new (to you) cars
  • paying off your mortgage

4. Subtract all of your expenses from your income.

The plan for the surplus (extra money) when you subtract your expenses (step 2) from your income (step 1) should go towards your top Financial Intention (step 3)! If the numbers don’t quite balance out, that’s ok! Read about how to balance the budget here!

A hand writing on a large piece of paper with the quote a goal without a plan is just a wish
Using a zero-based budget helps you to plan for what is important.
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2 Comments

  • CapitalMom

    My biggest challenge is setting up my zero-based budget. Thank you for this article. Looking forward to giving it another go!

    • Katie

      If you have any questions, send them my way! It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang out it, it’s amazing what a difference it makes! 🙂

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