KLE 25: The One Time Budget

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Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1849
English novelist (1812 – 1870)

You may already be in debt up to your eyeballs, or just starting on the road to financial freedom …

… in either case, the steps that I am about to outline will take you further than you ever thought possible and – more importantly – stop you from slipping back.

All good financial strategies begin with a budget, but I hate budgets!

Fortunately, the ‘budget’ that I am about to describe is a one time budget … it’s exactly what it says: it’s a type of budgeting exercise that you only need to do once, over the next month, starting today.

And, it’s not really even a budget in the traditional sense; it’s more of a budget-recording exercise: your ‘budget’ will become self-evident from the outcome.

Here’s how it works:

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Reader Comments

I am doing this for 3 years. It’s “difficult” in the beginning now it’s a habit. Every cash-expense in cash is noted so I keep track of all my expenses.This gives a clear insight where the money is flowing. If friends question you why you always ask for a receipt say its for your company its tax-deductable. Especially if you are living on a low budget its almost imperative to do so!

Back in early Dec – I did this one time budget. I’m now understanding what I waste my $ on. I’m actually proud of the fact I actually went a whole month of doing this. In the past, I would have done this for a week and let it go for whatever reason.

I’m proud of this. It’s step forward.

Use http://www.mint.com and save yourself a bunch of time. That’s what I do and I see my spending broken down by category with very little work compared to writing it all down by hand.

That’s a good tip, Chris. For those who never intend to keep a budget (including me!), writing down by hand for JUST ONE MONTH isn’t a bad second choice 😉

Thanks for the tip Chris. Since this is a ONE-TIME budget (although, you may still choose to budget every month … I don’t), there’s nothing like WRITING DOWN EVERY SINGLE EXPENSE to really feel what your spending is like. It’s only for one month 😉