Budgeting 101 - Whimsical Wife Style + Winner

Money - isn't that what makes the world go round?... apparently anyway. This post is a bit different to the normal crafty, cooking and nice photo posts that I put up but I felt that it might be of help to some one out there to talk a little bit about budgeting and handling finances on a one wage income.

Since we are now on one wage things are a little bit different to what we are use to in the finance department. We have been a two wage couple for the whole 6 years of our marriage and to adjust to the change is going to take a little getting use to... to say the least.

Recently on facebook I had a bit of a discussion going on about budgeting and how to go about it. A few people wanted some tips on how we as a couple go about doing things and I thought I would reveal all and give you the heads up on how we budget our finances. We have had a budget from day 1 of our marriage and even before that when we were planning our wedding. My husband is the finance man and I am blessed that he is such a good budgeter.  I have always known where we stood in the finance department in regards to bills, spending, savings, holiday funds etc - and this has eased any financial worries that generally crop up in daily living.

The main reason why we budget it to help reach our financial goals, reduce financial stress in our marriage, have an idea of where our money is going and to be wise with the money we have.

If you haven't lived with a budget before it may take a few months of getting use to but I find living without a budget can cause a lot of stress in a relationship as money is generally one of the most fought about topics in a marriage. If your getting married, newly married, been married for a while or even if your single. You may might just benefit from implementing a budget into your daily life.  I will say on the other hand some people just don't like budgeting and live just fine with out it but if you think you may benefit from budgeting I hope this post will help give you a bit of direction of how to go about it.

I will try and keep the break down of our budget simple and uncomplicated so it doesn't become confusing for you. I owe this budget format to hubby so I really can't take much credit for it.

Budgeting 101 - Whimsical Wife Style

If your handy with a computer you can set up your budget in a excel spreadsheet or go old school and write it down on some paper.
  • Step 1: Figure out what format your budget will be in - (Eg. weekly, fortnightly, monthly)  Take a cue from your pay weeks. We get paid fortnightly so worked our budget out on a fortnightly basis.

  • Step 2: Calculate your Total Income for your budget format (E.g Total fornightly wage) Remember to calculate your "in the hand" wage not the wage you get before tax is taken out.
Example: Total Income $1300
  • Step 3:  Calculate Expense Amount such as bills, mortgage, utilities and essentials for the whole year. If you don't the the exact cost give an approximation and adjust the budget accordingly once you know how much it is.
An easy way to break it down would be to put the outgoing money under the following headings and  sub-headings -

Mortgage Repayments
Always pay that little bit more on your mortgage if you can.
House Insurance
 *Maintainence/Renovations - 
Put an amount aside for your "fornightly" budget if you
 have plans to renovate or to have money put aside for unforseen house repairs


Car Repayments
RACQ Membership
*Maintainence (New tyres, repairs) - 
an approximate costing can be calculated by previous repairs etc. 
If you are unsure just give an approximate and adjust accordingly.*

School/Day Care:
School/Daycare fees
School Uniforms

Groceries, Meat, Vegetables
Gym Membership
Pet Registration
Health Insurance
*Medical Expenses -
 this is a hard one to calculate but if you know you have 
large medical expenses coming up make sure you calculate this into your 
budget or if you don't simply put a amount aside for the year.*

Example: Total Expense Amount = $750.00

  • Step 4: Once you have calcuated the total cost of each sub-heading for the entire year divide each down to the budget format you have decided upon (eg - "Fortnightly) Add all the fortnightly expense amounts together and this will give you the amount you need to put aside each fortnight for these bills. 

Example: Fortnightly Budget
 Car Insurance = $800/year. 
Divide into 26 (fortnights in a year): $30.75/fortnight

By putting aside money for your bills each fortnight you reduce the stress and worry about trying to find the "lump" sum of that bill each time it comes round. You will know you have put the money aside and it will be there to pay the bill when needed. I recommend setting up a separate sub-bank account to put this money into so that it does not sit in your normal spending account.

  • Step 5: Subtract your total fortnightly Expense Amount, which we worked out above from your fortnightly Total Income. You will then know how much you will have left to work with for stage 2 of the budget. - savings and spending.
  Total Income - $1300
Expense Amount - $750
= $550 (For savings & spendings)
  • Step 6: The hard part of budgeting is done - the bills and expenses are now figured out. It is time to figure out what monies you have left over to put aside for the "un-essentials". Repeat the process above with the following headings and subheading:
*Christmas -
A great way to save for christmas is to set up a Christmas 
Club account with your local bank. This allows you to put money into 
the "untouchable" account each "fortnight" which will accumulate for the end of the
 year and then will be release close to christmas.

Date Night/Eating Out
"Pocket" money for each spouse -
I find this very important for a good relationship. It gives each person 
their own spending money to do with what they will and not having to worry 
about each spouse spending money you don't have to spend.

Total Savings = $300/fortnight
Total Spendings = $200/fortnight
  • Step 7: Repeat the process of calculating the Total Savings & Total Spending amount for the year and divide down to your budget format. Subtract this from the amount you had leftover and this will leave you with how much "extra" you have left - if your lucky!

Total Income = $1300/fortnight
Expense Amount  = $750/fortnight
*Total Left =$550 

Total Savings = $300/fortnight
Total Spending = $200/fortnight
*Total Left = $550/fortnight 
= $50 Leftover for the fortnight.

If you have anything "extra" leftover in your fortnightly budget I would reccommend leaving it in your spendings account. Things pop up that you may not of accounted for and it's good to know you have a little bit of le-way in case something like that happens. Just don't be tempted to spend it knowing you have it there! :-) 

I can't recommend enough about creating "sub" bank accounts to put each lot of money into such as a "holiday account", "savings account", "bill account" etc. This helps you recognize where each lot of money is going and what you have available for that particular thing.

I hope this has helped some of you in working our how to budget. Everyone has their own way of doing it and there is now wrong or right way of going about it. If you have any questions about what I have talked about above I would love to hear from you!

Happy Budgeting!


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