Money Loves Me: Budgeting & A Financial System for Angelic Industry Girls

Money Loves Me: Budgeting & A Financial System for Angelic Industry Girls

NOTE on PDF Links: You have to download all linked sheets for them to print correctly! If you try to print them online right after clicking the link, they print weird and sad. Download them first <3

The Financial System for Angelic Industry Girls is:

  1. Track your Income: Click link for Income Tracker Sheets & info on this!

  2. Expenses: Organize & Track

  3. Monthly Budget: Create your base budget 3a. Annual Expenses Log

  4. Sinking Funds/Savings: Organize & Track

  5. Debt Tracker: Organize & Track

  6. Monthly Budget: Add in items from 4 & 5 to your budget

  7. Set Goals
  • Here is a Google Sheet with Links to all sheets if you prefer this over PDFs. See tabs at bottom. DO NOT EDIT OR USE THESE! This is a public document! Make sure you are signed into a Gmail account then click "File", then "Make a Copy." This will make an exact copy the entire contents of of this sheet in your Google Drive, which you can edit and personalize! If you try to copy and paset, it will work, but the formatting wont copy and you'll have to resize all the rows and columns (annoying). If you do File > Make Copy, then it copies properly formatted.

  • I usually do my first drafts in handwriting, and then go make neater copies in Sheets to print out that include all info that isn’t likely to change right away. 

This blog is going into detail about 2. Expenses & 3. Monthly Budget

The next blog will go into detail about 4 & 5, but we've linked the sheets in case you want to get started on those now!

We are focusing on creating a Monthly Budget and tracking all expenses monthly, since most bills are due monthly.

What counts as an Expense?

An expense is anything you spend money on. I mean ANY and EVERY thing you spend money on. 

Use this Expense Organizer sheet (Don't worry about being neat! This sheet is meant to get messy and help organize during the initial chaotic phase!) to help you organize your expenses into:

Fixed Expenses (always the same amount) vs. Variable Expenses (different amount each month)

and 

Essential (core expense related to your basic needs) vs. Non Essential (can reduce or remove from budget, as goals and circumstances change)

Start by putting down everything you can think of, then pull up or print out your last 3 months of bank statements and statements of any credit cards you use. Look through them to note exact amounts, check dates auto payments clear, and see anything you forgot about.

Estimate for things you pay in cash and don't have exact records for. If get your nails done twice a month, how much is it usually? That amount x 2 = the monthly budget amount. If you buy groceries in cash, multiply how many times per month you grocery shop by how much you spend on average. (More on finding averages later). Once you start tracking your actual expenses, you’ll be able to adjust your budget using real numbers. But estimates are totally fine to start!

Fixed Expenses are ones that are the same amount each month. These usually include stuff like:

          Essential

  • Rent/Mortgage Payment

  • Car Loan Payment

  • Car Insurance Payment 

  • Other Insurance Payments, like Renters or Health or Life Insurance

  • Internet

  • Phone Bill

  • Credit Card Minimum Payments (sometimes these vary)

  • Monthly Med Refills

  • Daycare 

           Non Essential

  • Apps and Subscription Services

  • Streaming Services

  • Memberships, like Gyms

Note all of your fixed expenses  on the sheet. Then move on to:

Variable Expenses are ones that vary each month, or that you don’t necessarily pay every month. You want to create categories for these, which we go into detail about in a minute. 

Some examples are:

Variable Expenses:

       Essential 

  • Groceries

  • Utility Bills (Electric, Gas, Water)

  • Cleaning Supplies / Household Necessities

  • Pets

  • Gas / Tolls / Car Maintenance if you have a car

  • Ubers / Public Transport Cost if you don’t

  • Miscellaneous / Unexpected Fees such as parking tickets

  • Babysitters / Kid’s events expenses if you have children

  • Clothing, Essential

  • Fees like late fees, overdraft fees, cc interest

          Non Essential

  • Delivery / Takeout

  • Gifts

  • Entertainment / Social

  • Home Decor

  • Pets Non Essential (stuff like outfits for them)

  • Clothing, Non Essential

  • Beauty Products / Makeup 

  • Luxe Skincare 

  • Nails

  • Hair Salon

  • MedSpa (Botox/Fillers/Facials)

  • Massages

  • Car Customizations

  • Travel / Vacations

  • Donations / Communal Aid

  • Monthly Amount towards Savings

  • Monthly Amount towards Debt Pay Off

  • Monthly Amount towards Investments

  • Any expenses related to specific hobbies or interests you have

How to Categorize your Variable Expenses:

Doing this is not a perfect science, but the best way I've found is to think about what was the INTENTION behind spending the money? 

For example: Groceries, grabbing Thai takeout after work, and going out to eat at Tao for your friend’s birthday could all technically be categorized as “food.” But that is too vague to be helpful, and doesn’t give us a true picture of your spending.

An example of how to categorize these, plus some more examples, are here:

 

A big reason I have not liked using budgeting apps or online programs is that they don't allow you to subcategorize to the extent that I want to. But please feel free to drop a comment if there's an app or program you love!

The above example in blue, Beauty related stuff, is a good example of how expense categorizing can look for different people. The general category of "Beauty" could work *if* doing these things is very rare for the person, and their total spend per month wasn't enough to warrant sub categorizing. For someone who does their own nails, trims their hair at home, and spends minimally on makeup/luxurious beauty products, "Beauty" is fine. For a man who works on an oil rig in Alaska and only buys basic hygiene items, a Beauty category isn't needed.

By comparison, my current beauty related categories are: 

  • Nails

  • Botox/Fillers/Facials

  • Luxe Makeup/Skincare/Beauty Shopping

  • Hair Salon

And you could even sub-categorize these further! If you love makeup and enjoy buying new products, “Makeup” should be its own category. (Noting that I don’t consider bare essential hygiene things like body wash/razor blades/shampoo and stuff as beauty. I put those under “Household Essentials,” along with cleaning supplies and stuff.)

The point is that expense categories should be a true reflection of your life and how you spend your money. You should sub-categorize as much as necessary to get the most accurate picture of where your money is going!

Also, these categories are not an end all be all. They are dynamic, and will change as your circumstances and goals do. Every few months you can compare what you have actually spent vs. the categories you set up and see if they still make sense. 

For example, I just did my 2023 budget. Some changes I made to the way I categorize / track my expenses:

  • Combined Makeup/Skincare/Beauty Shopping into one category. I used to spend a lot more on makeup because I'd do it 4-5 days a week for the club, but now it doesn’t need its own category since I spend very little on it

  • Decreased my monthly budget for takeout/delivery (CALL ME MRS. THERES FOOD AT HOME ALL 2023), and increased my budget for groceries, being that I was very shocked and appalled at my monthly average spend on takeout in 2022

  • Will start categorizing Ubers I take when going out/meeting friends under "Social/Entertaiment," as that cost makes more sense there.

Once you know your categories, separate them into: Essential vs. Nonessential.

Certain things don't fit neatly into one or the other. Clothing, for example.

Some clothing is an essential expense. Back to school clothing if you have kids, new basics every year or so, work uniforms to an extent (taking a moment here to shamelessly plug that AC fits are TAX DEDUCTIBLE for Industry Babesss, baby). Me buying a System of a Down shirt at Hot Topic the other day is an example of a NON Essential Clothing purchase. Just do your best! 

I’d like to take a moment here to clarify that NON ESSENTIAL VARIABLE EXPENSES are NOT THE BAD GUY. One of the reasons I can’t relate to many IG Budget Personalities is because their message is so focused on lack and living on the bare minimum. And yes, getting financially stable often requires sacrifices and cutting back on non essential spending. You may also choose to severely limit your non essential spending in times where you are working to pay off debt or reach a savings goals. But a lot of people have such a weird high and mighty, bitter attitude about the fact that THEY don't spend money on bath bombs or BMWs.

People being like “WELL I’VE!!! Been eating nothing but saltine crackers and drive a 1762 Toyota that runs off of SEWER WATER. I sleep on the FLOOR with a tattered sheet and ration ONE GATORADE per week , I don’t need all this extra stuff!” And that’s great or whatever, but not me babe. You'll never catch me pretending that the world is somehow a better place because I choose to live like a Spartan.

Tracking my income, expenses, and savings  taught me to truly value my money, so that when I buy things I want- I really adore and appreciate them. 

(I keep seeing a post on an explore page that's some guy being like, “My neighbor spends $700 a month on their car, and my car is paid off so I get to invest what I’d be spending on a car…” And like.. I get his point. You'll go broke keeping up with the Joneses, that lifestyle creep is bad, blah blah. But some people can easily afford $700 a month for a car note. I can’t help but think “Ok well maybe if you stopped pocket watching your neighbor and focused, you too could afford a cool car” LOL)

It is okay and healthy to spend money on things that bring you joy and make your life feel fulfilling.

But, these “non essential variable expenses” do tend to be where we overspend when we don’t have a plan or goals for our money (none of us are like, oh wow I have an extra $500 let me go pre pay my light bill LOL). Setting a budget for them allows us to enjoy them without the guilt of overspending or “splurging."

Tracking our spending in non essential categories allows us to identify if there are areas we spend emotionally or out of boredom even though it isn't fulfilling, and lets us put that money somewhere more beneficial. 

So now that we've discussed categorizing variable expenses at length, it is time. Categorize your Variable Expenses in the Expense Tracker (in the pink spaces to the left!) Try to keep Essentials listed first, followed by Non Essentials.

I believe in you *holds you up to the sun like Rafiki does to Baby Simba in The Lion King* Here is a link to a list of my current variable expenses, if it helps to see. (this does not include Angel Candy expenses, she is her own animal and has a whole bookkeeper whew.) Use the list of examples above as well!

Now, we need to find monthly averages for your variable expenses. Don’t let this scare you! It is OKAY TO ESTIMATE for things you don’t have exact figures for. Please see the below:

If the idea of meticulously calculating everything like in example 2 scares you, don't do it. Estimate everything. I am a very precise person, so I like getting exact numbers whenever possible- but please do not let that stop you from starting this process if the idea of it stresses you out. In 3 months from now, you'll have 3 months of actual, accurate figures either way and can adjust your budget as needed.

Go down the list of ALL your Variable Expenses until you have a monthly average for each, and put this in the category all the way to the left “PREV. AVG.” This means ‘previous average amount spent per month.” You are using the previous average to make decisions about the benchmark you want to set for the current month: were you over spending in that category?  If you notice you spent an average of $300/month at Sephora and don’t even like most of the stuff you got, that is a good indicator that you may be emotionally spending on that stuff, and to cut back. Most of us have a category like this (for me it was eating out/going out/social stuff).  Or, you may be in a situation where you are willing to spend more money to have more free time. For example, if you just started working 5 shifts vs. 3 per week, it might make sense to increase your Delivery / Takeout budget, and decrease Groceries.

Under “MONTH LIMIT,” list the amount you are allocating to that category THIS month. This is the maximum of what you'd like to spend over the month on that category. It is important to be realistic, and not cut everything at once. This often leads to a big splurge. 

There are 5 columns called “DATE / AMOUNT / SOURCE ”. This is where you fill out the amount spent, date you spent it on, and if you want a little note. I usually note where I paid it from- cash, debit card, Amex, etc., or a note to remind me specifically what it was.

After the last day of the month, you add up each category and enter totals into "MONTH TOTAL," and fill out the OVER / UNDER AMOUNT with the amount you were under or over budget in that category. The fun part of budgeting is when you come in under budget, because now you can decide what to do with that money. I usually split it between investments / a treat myself thing. 

Here is an example of the Variable Expense Tracker Filled out! 

OK YALL WHEW. Now Finally, OUR MONTHLY BUDGET!  I really like having it set up in a long list, but if you prefer a box calendar view, there are a bunch of sheets online! Google “free calendar budget sheets” and terms like that until you find one you like. 

Setting it up as a list helped me alot having variable income/ making cash, because it was easy to see when I needed to deposit what. 

NOTE: I usually fill out my monthly budget by hand as a first draft, and then  open the blank PDF in Canva and add text boxes 

Here are all of the things you should add to your Monthly Budget:

  • Fixed Expenses, Essential: Write a description in the date it falls on, the exact amount, and then fill out the “SOURCE/ PAID FROM” column. Source= is this something you have to manually go pay, or is it auto pay? Paid From= where does the $ for this come from? Your Chase Debit, your Amex, Cash?

  • Fixed Expenses, Non Essential: Same as above, but note  anything that you can cancel immediately to save money- things like apps you don’t even use, Hulu because it sucks ass now, a gym membership in a town you moved away from 6 months ago. Things that you obviously don’t want or need for the moment. Put it on your to-do list to spend a few hours canceling all of that stuff, like, ASAP. (We will be putting out a separate blog later about more in depth ways to save money on your budget, like refinancing loans and stuff, but it’s good to take action and cancel unused stuff now as you’re in the thick of things.)

 

  • Variable Expenses that have due/set dates, like Utility Bills or Med Refill Dates
  •  

    • Annual Expenses: Fill out this sheet and keep it in your finance binder (I cut mine out and tape it to the inside of the front cover). When a new month starts, check the annual fee log and see if anything is charges this month. If so, add it into your monthly budget for that month. 

    Examples of common annual expenses:

    1. Yearly Memberships (Gyms, Clubs)

    2. Subscriptions / Services paid annually (creative stuff like photoshop, domains, annual app fees)

    3. DMV Car Registration renewal

    4. License renewals (driving or dancing or fishing licenses, whatever)

    5. Safe Deposit Box / PO Box Fees

    • Credit Card Due Dates/ Pay By Dates

    • Dates you need to deposit X amount by to cover all expenses

      Add up the total of all fixed expenses for the month. 

      Now, go back to your Variable Expense Tracker that we just filled out. 

      Add up everything in the column MONTH LIMIT. Find the total, and add it to your total fixed expenses.

      This is the monthly amount you need to cover at your current budget.

      Take this total and divide it by 4. This is how much you need to cover per week. 

      Here's an example!

      Knowing this number, look at your budget and see what bills are due when. How much do you have on auto pay? How much do you pay in cash? Figure out how much you need to deposit during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week of the month to cover your expenses and avoid fees and add a note on the dates you need to deposit cash.

      Whew, ok! In our next Finance blog, we will go over the Savings Tracker and Debt Tracker in detail, but feel free to print these out and start using them now! The Savings Tracker works very similarly to the Variable Expense Tracker :)

      I will be posting some stories to our private IG as well showing how to set up your finance binder! Getting these first three steps under control is ESSENTIAL to your long term financial health. I know it is a lot, and it's okay to move through these steps as you are ready! 

      Please comment any questions and we'll do our best to reply <3

      XOXO, AC

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