New to the Live Richer Challenge? Learn more about it HERE and sign-up.



Week 2: Implementation & Automation

Today’s Easy Financial Task: Create a budget using the first chapter of my book The One Week Budget.

How to Rock This Task:

  • Grab Day 1 of The One Week Budget
  • Read the first chapter to learn how to create a Money List (a.k.a. budget).
  • Fill out your Money List using the templates below.
  • Write down how much you spend monthly on each expense on your Money List
  • Add up your expenses and subtract the amount from your monthly take-home pay. This will show you if have any money left over to save. (If you’re not saving at all, it’s okay; you’ll learn how to save more money tomorrow.)


Today we have another video! Woop woop!

This is the most important day of the Challenge. I repeat: TODAY is the most important day of the Live Richer Challenge: Savings Edition.

How much money you save rests upon your ability to properly budget. It’s so critical that I’m going to walk you through creating a basic budget step-by-step here and in a video. You can watch my video at below.


But first, get excited!

Creating your budget may feel overwhelming at first, but I’m here to guide you through the process. Before you watch the video, please read the three steps in Day 1 of my bestselling book The One Week Budget (it won’t take you very long). Click HERE for your free copy.

If you don’t have much time, here’s a condensed version of the steps for you in case you want to get started now:

Step 1 Create a List of your Spending Habits: a Money List.

Create a Money List by writing down all of your expenses.

Step 2 Show me the money.

Write the monthly cost of each expense on your Money List. Put your Monthly Take Home Pay on the top of your Money List.

Step 3 Money in the Bank: Savings

Calculate your Savings by adding up your Monthly Spending and subtracting it from your Monthly Take Home Pay. Fill in the amounts for Monthly Spending, Savings and Total.


I explain how to do this today’s video here:


For today, fill out the full Money List sheet provided except the Reduced Monthly Amount column. Leave that blank. We’ll tackle that later on in the Challenge.

Get your Money List templates here:

Screenshot 2016-01-12 00.34.51

Click here for the PDF version of The Money List: my money List (updated).pdf

Click here for the Excel version of both templates: My Money and Debt List (in Excel with formulas)


Remember to share the budgeting skills you’ve learned with me in the comments vs. emailing me.

Today is really critical so make sure you connect with your accountability partner(s) today. Did they create their budget. Are they having trouble? Do they need help? If so, you both can get assistance in the Dream Catchers in the LIVE RICHER Forum.


Before you go, share what you’re doing today on Twitter.

Today I'm reading the One Week Budget by the Budgetnista Day 9: #LiveRicherChallenge. Click To Tweet


Remember, you can always find me here too:

Twitter: @thebudgetnista

Instagram: @thebudgetnista

Facebook: The Budgetnista

Forum: Dream Catchers  (if you’re not already a member.)

Live richer,

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche

A Freebie:
Have you saved and printed the Live Richer Starter Kit yet? It’s full of awesome freebies. Click the picture to get your kit.

Copy of 2016 LRC Starter Kit

Want to work through the Live Richer Challenge: Savings Edition in a workbook? It’s already an Amazon Bestseller!
Click the link below and get your copy.
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  • Domoni Anika Alexander

    Thank you so much for this budget sheet, it is plain, simple and to the point. Just what I need, I have been looking all over for something like this.

  • Rhonda

    Good morning, grateful I did today’s challenge when I first signed up. Gives me the opportunity to make up for yesterday. I made the mistake of not checking in before i started my day and had already bought lottery tix, not sure if that was not a necessity(lol) a muffin and something for a friend. So what else I did was go buy groceries on lunch so I can “kick non-essential spending to the curb” frfr

    • @disqus_Jjsqv2YZzr:disqus, that’s great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Harris

    Good morning! I’m so excited to receive the first day of your book: The One Week Budget! I have it in my Amazon basket but am waiting to purchase it when it fits my budget🙌🏾 I have made these kind of lists since young adulthood. My mom always made them. I have a $100 drafted each month out of my checking and placed in my personal savings along with $10 a week into the online banking ‘piggy bank’

    • Thanks for sharing @disqus_0iucrpKWxu:disqus! You are well on your way to richer living!

  • Laterra Jones

    Good Morning,
    I have been working on this task since the challenge started I was really surprise at how much unnecessary spending I have been doing. however I have taken baby steps to save and i’m very excited about the amount how much I can save this year…

    • Thanks for sharing @laterrajones:disqus! I’m excited for you!

  • Nicole Jackson

    I have created a budget and I have a surplus of $17.00. My challenge is the due date for most of my bills are at the beginning of the month. So I’m always paying late fees. How do I decide what to pay bi-weekly to break even? I’m always negative but the spreadsheet has an overage. I don’t spend on unnecessary items because all bills are automated and I never have money left over after two days of receiving my check.

  • Viva Lewis-Harris

    Good Morning,
    After doing the budget, I do have a surplus..HOWEVER, because of the way I get paid, my bills are 1. either always late and/or 2. my accounts are overdrafted due to paying the bills (overdraft protection fee of $500.00). So when my check hits the back again, it automatically goes to the overdraft plan as opposed to another bill. This is what has caused the issue because truth be told, and extra $1000.00 is going to the banks per month,, AND my bills are still in arrears. ARGHHHH!! Any suggestions???

    • trivia

      You may want to see if you can change the date the bills are do to line up with your pay period to avoid overdraft charges.

    • Amie Petway

      You also may want to look and see if you can pay a little more each month. I had the same issue. I called and talked a customer service rep to see if I could pay a payment and 1/3 of a payment or a Payment and 1/4 of a payment. When I paid a payment and 1/3 I had another payment after 3 months which caught me up. (a payment and 1/4 would give me a payment after 4 months)

    • Keep up with the challenge tasks and read others’ comments for ideas @Viva Lewis-Harris!

  • LaBrenda Breezy Slayton

    After creating my money list I have a Beginning savings amount of $85.91. I did realize that I am giving away $351.00 a year in late fees for my rent that comes due on the 1st but late after the 5th because normally my pay day always falls a couple days after. I am constantly finding I am having only 30.00 to 40.00 to last me from one payday to the next.

    • Now that you see what you have and where everything goes, I hope the upcoming challenge tasks will help you get to your goals @labrendabreezyslayton:disqus!

  • Tonya

    I have tried to use a budget for years but could never stick to it. But thank Goodness for this challenge that is helping to discipline myself, keep me on track and having wonderful people to help along the way with great idea #TEAMWROK makes the #DREAMWORK. I started on the budget at the beginning of the Challenge and it simply blew me away that I should be saving anywhere from $400-$600 a month w/ paying my debt and depending on how my utilities and grocery list run as well as trips home to see my family since I live out of state. But what I noticed is that my problem is I have a very bad habit of swipe, swipe, swipe and not keeping up with those total amts. I would just make sure the money was there. I will now stick to a strict budget (which looks that I have no choice at this point, (lol) and definitely cut out the non-essential purchase with the exception of one pampering such as my hair but I have found inexpensive ways to do my own hair vs. going to my hair dresser until I get my finances back on track. I will continue to use the money list sheet throughout and beyond the 22 week challenge.

    • YES, that’s the power of a budget (writing it out) @Tonya! Thanks for sharing!

  • Tandala Kidd

    This is going to be a difficult start for me since my hours were recently cut 50%. So budgeting is going to be a must and savings . . well. . . let’s get this party started. I’m ready to be debt free and live a fuller life without money worries.

    • That’s right @tandalakidd:disqus, start where you are, move & you’ll go somewhere – live richer!

  • Nicole

    It is interesting how I started doing a money list for all of my expenses before I even knew about this challenge. So all I have to do is transfer the information to the list. I do weekly buegeting, because I get paid weekly. I like to see how much money I have, need to pay out, and have extra for the week, month, etc. I like budgeting! You can only do what you can do!

    • That’s right, you can only do what you can do @Nicole! It’s great that you have the habit of doing your budget weekly!

  • Kerisha

    So I just did a week assessment of by budget’s fairly basic … but I’m over budget.. savings will be hard.. what suggesting do you have for people who are over budget or cutting it cloes?

    • Keep your eyes on the upcoming challenge tasks @kerishalarae:disqus!

  • Cassandra T

    It’s really interesting to sit down and look at the money I have left over….I just started my first salaried job in September coming from working hourly jobs and getting a living stipend from AmeriCorps last year so I am still getting used to making more money on a consistent basis. When I first started working, it felt like I was spending so much money on my bills and the basics, and it still does feel that way at times but doing this activity has helped me see that I actually do have a good amount of money left over that can be used for savings and my goals which is very exciting. This also doesn’t take into account the extra check I get a couple months out of the year since I am paid weekly which leaves me really optimistic about saving! 🙂

    • @disqus_yuWupAGwbn:disqus, I’m so glad that it has helped you! YES – stay optimistic, living richer is worth that!

  • Ania Otto

    I created a budget today and I have $668 left over for the month for savings. I was very surprised that I have this much left over to save. Because of my lack of budgeting and horrible spending habits I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck and my account is often in overdraft. I am going to read the first chapter of your book today and will be purchasing it as soon.

    • Michelle

      Unfortunately this is me as well! Change is coming!

    • Making a budget helps you to tell your money where you want it to go – money is a tool. Thanks for the support @aniaotto:disqus! I’m glad this task is helpful!

      • Ohara

        Same for me! I’m surprised of how much I have left over. I’m beginning to love you Tiffany! You’re heaven sent! How can I find a easier way to manage the money if certain bills are due different times of the month? Example rent the 1st.. Gym & other bills the 20th? I do not want to lose track of the money and have it all over the place because of different due dates. Is creating a different account specifically for bills the best way?

        • Dollars4Dee

          Hi, @Ohara12:disqus and @disqus_WRf6Jisv4N:disqus. I know you asked @thebudgetnista:disqus for help, but I wanted to offer suggestions, too. I was in the same spot a few years ago. Consider
          these tips:

          1) Place your due dates in order, so you know which paycheck covers what. I use a Google spreadsheet. You could use The Budgetnista’s My Money and Debt Excel
          list and filter the “Due Date” column to quickly place them in order. I get paid bi-monthly (twice a month). I pay bills due the 1st-14th with my check on the 30th/31st. Then I pay for items due the 15th-30th/31st with my check on the 15th. (Also, I include savings, retirement contributions, extra insurance premiums, and irregular expenses like the annual AAA renewal as bills.)

          I’ve set up automatic withdrawals or transfers so bills are paid the same day or 1-3 days after payday. Otherwise, I might look at my account and say, “I’m rich!” Then I’d forget about a bill and risk overdrafts/late payments/pulling my hair out/etc. by spending bill money on potato chips and karaoke night. Ha! The spreadsheet easily shows me how much goes toward bills and how much I can spend.

          Paying a bill on its exact due date or every other day isn’t efficient, I’ve found. Doing it on two days—1st and 15th—works for me. Automation rocks! Plus paying bills early never hurts.

          If you find that one paycheck gets drained quicker than the other, then….

          2) Call some of the companies/lenders/businesses and ask them to change your date to something more manageable. This actually works sometimes. Move the car note from the 13th to the 26th, for example. This will help even out what you spend per paycheck.

          For example:

          OLD, UNEVEN PLAN: $1200 for Paycheck 1 (Rent, phone bill, utility bill, CAR NOTE) and $500 for Paycheck 2 (credit card payment, student loan).

          NEW, MORE BALANCED PLAN: $900 for Paycheck 1 (Rent, phone bill, utility bill) and $800 for Paycheck 2 (CAR NOTE, credit card payment, student loan).

          3) If you can’t alter your due dates, then look ahead. This is where a separate bills account comes in handy. For example, I have student loan payments due during the 1st-14th period. The due dates can’t be changed.

          I would regularly pay bills due 1st-14th out of my paycheck received on the 30th/31st. But for these bills with fixed dates, I go ahead and take that money out of the paycheck received on the 15th and transfer it to an online savings account marked for just those bills so I
          don’t spend the money on anything else. Then I create automatic payments with those lenders to withdraw the money on the fixed due dates. (I get a interest rate reduction by doing the direct debt, by the way. SCORE!) I change my Google spreadsheet to reflect what comes out of Paycheck 1 and Paycheck 2.

          4) I pay bills out of two accounts, but you could separate your bill money and spending money from the jump. The Budgnetnista suggested that in the 2015 Live Richer Challenge, I believe.

          Hope this helps, ladies.

          Best wishes,

          • Ona B

            Thank you for that break down!! Very informative!!!

    • Tonya

      Same for me! It’s pretty shocking once you do the math. I look back and think if I only did this 10 years or so ago. But my issue was swipe, swipe, swipe and lack of budgeting those small purchases that actually add up as one big purchase! But now we know! When we know better we do better! Let’s do this and become financially free and LIVE RICH.

  • Latoya

    My actual monthly expenses would not be bad if I could catch up on them and not had to worry about my past debt. Do you have any suggestions for that? Otherwise I can see light at the end of the tunnel but until I catch up I keep digging myself further and further in debt with late charges.

  • Iman E.

    For alot of people whom have commented on having pay days that fall after your payment due date (thus causing late fees) – check with your providers ( loans, utilities, etc) to see if you can change your due date. Communication with them is received a lot better when you give them a heads up. Alternatively, adjusting your bills so that you can somewhat divide the bills you have between your pay periods to know what you can pay at the beginning of the month and then again in the 2nd half of a month.

    I am looking forward to this challenge today! Every 2-3 months I do an assessment of how well my spending habits line up with the budget I have planned for myself. Right now I am in the throngs of planning a wedding PLUS attempting to paydown student loan debt. So budgeting is hard. Basically my student loan payments take up 50% of my income right now and I want to be done. As in… I’m over paying these bills and want financial freedom.

    How should/would I factor the ‘wedding spending’ into my budget?

    • Thanks for sharing this information @Iman E.! You would need to do what works for your situation. Have you considered any ways to increase your income to help with your wedding planning? Downsizing aspects of the wedding – DIY? Just suggestions! You’re already doing great!

  • Janet Montgomery

    Hello Tiffany, I was able to do a budget and now have four different savings buckets. Can’t wait to get to automation! I need to understand where do you suggest putting the money that is reserved for future usage like homeowners dues at the end of month or car insurance due mid-year. Maybe this is part of your automation upcoming lessons????

  • Michelle

    I was surprised to see that I have a surplus, but not happy that I squander it each month. I need help to focus. Automation is definitely needed!

    • YES, I love automation! Stay tuned to the upcoming tasks @disqus_WRf6Jisv4N:disqus!

  • Selena Nash-Mcbride

    I have a question. What if your take home pay varies? Should we round to the nearest number?

  • Clarice Meredith

    Feel a headache coming on *sigh!*

    • No, @claricemeredith:disqus, it’s awareness. You can do this!

      • Clarice Meredith

        I can & will do this!

        • natisha jeffers

          Yes you will, we will succeed at being financially secure and savvy

          • Clarice Meredith

            I’m so thankful to have an AP/friend on the same page at the same time 🙂 YES we will! & once we’re there… Drinks are definitely ON YOU!… LOL!

  • Michelle

    I created my budget today and I am sad to report that I OVERSPEND! Instead of having a balance left over after subtracting my spends from my take home pay, I had a negative amount. Most of it was from unnecessary purchases such as eating out. Creating a budget was definitely an eye opener! Time to make some cuts. I will be setting another goal of no more non-essential items including clothes, shoes, eating out, etc. I have no need for more of those items as my daughter and I have more than enough clothing and food at home. I am so disappointed in myself but this has taught me a valuable lesson! Financial freedom here I come!

    • Janiece Lartman

      Wasnt it eye-opening? albeit we are spending way to much money??!?!?!?

    • @Michelle, It’s not great that you overspend, but it’s great that you know, now! And now you know how to tackle making those changes! I’m glad this task was helpful for you! Let’s live richer!

    • Kami

      I just realized that even though I pay all my debts/bills on time, I turn around and charge the cards back up to cover the miscellaneous stuff (hair, dry cleaners, groceries, clothes, etc.)

      • Nona

        I do the same thing which inhibit me to actually pay off the whole balance. Maybe I should cut the card so I wont use it.

    • DeDe Jenkins

      Yes eating out affect my budget too. I spent $11 at the market last night on salad ingredients and a few essentials. I was going to spend it on two meals from subway but what I bought will go much further so watching my food budget is something i’m working on.

  • Lauren Wilson

    Oh well!!! Time to get a glass of wine and some tissue for the tears. Budgeting and coming to the reality of what I bring in vs what I pay out is depressing for me 😞

    • It can be difficult to accept the awareness that a budget reveals but don’t dwell there – use that information and take action to make it change according to your financial goals @disqus_Cn99pKHR0o:disqus!

  • saving money

    Good evening! After completing the budget sheet, I discovered that I am in the negative each month by about $150! I receive child support monthly, which I use towards my daughter’s tuition, but didn’t add that money because it’s not pay and I don’t want to depend on income which may not be consistent. I’m hoping to be learn how to pay expenses (including my daughter’s) without the support. I love this challenge!

    • I’m so glad the Money List helped you @saving money! Consider saving that money (when child support is paid) for your daughter. Keep living richer!

  • Janiece Lartman

    I was proactive and encouraged by my partner to do a budget last week. I did and saw that we are in overhead. On the flip side I have seen that we are spending wayyyyyyyyyyyy to much on healthcare (900.00) so hubby has a meeting this Thursday at his company about healthcare, we should be dropping that bill down half. I’m so excited about what I have learned!
    Excited to learn more

    • I’m so excited that this task has helped you @janiecelartman:disqus!!!

  • Cassandra Newton

    I made my money list today. I have $475 left over at the end of the month to save (excluding money spent to go out/ social gatherings). How much should I allot myself for personal money to go out to eat, movies, etc. per month? I am struggling with this. I want to save and also be able to live life and enjoy it!

    • @Cassandra Newton:disqus, remember the need it, love it, like it, want it task? What are your loves? After you’ve taken care of your (needs) responsibilities/bills – your budget gives you clarity of how much you can spend on your (loves/likes/wants). Prioritize and proceed.

  • Nikiesha London

    I created my budget and was surprised to see that I should have approximately $1k left over. I think I’m missing some things because I don’t include expenses my company reimburses for, including daily meals. Not sure where the money goes though I was paying back rent from when I was out of work; guess now I will increase my savings allotment.

    • That’s the power of a budget, thanks for sharing @Nikiesha London:disqus!

  • K.Diane

    Four years ago, I created (and use faithfully) a budget from a library borrowed copy of The One-Week Budget. The budget has helped me pay my bills early and the money saved I have use for a debt snowball. I am working diligently to become totally debt-free (including home) in about three years!!! I have since purchased my own copy of The One-Week Budget and cherish it! It was the only book that clearly explained the budget process to me and I am reaping the benefits!

    • Thanks so much for sharing @K.Diane! I’m so grateful that the book has been such an asset to you! Live richer!

  • Michelle

    This assignment says money is left over -so I truly need to see how because I don’t see it in my hands

    • Work through it @Michelle:disqus! Do the calculations and check statements to see where your money is going.

      • Michelle

        It’s going to unnecessary items(cable and cellphone plan) that I need to cut back on-I have started bring my lunch and my daughter is taking hers to school as well–i have not
        Purchased anything new so far

      • Michelle

        Actually it’s negative I recheck so now I calling to get bills reduced
        One bill is finished in April so that helps

  • Simone Godsprincess

    I have created budgets in the past — didn’t follow. However, as I am in a NEW mindset – I reviewed my budget, made some changes and truly feeling good about where I am going. Don’t have a lot to save, yet I do have something to save. Also loving the Digit app which is creating a savings account for me also.

  • Charmaine Glover

    Hello Budgetnista, I have created my money list and it amazes me that I never knew that I only had $201.65 to spend for the month after expenses and that is what I am piecing together to generate my savings with. It could be more but I also have loans that I have to pay back to myself through my job. Well a girl’s got to do what a girl got to do. Thank you in advance.

    • You’re welcome @charmaineglover:disqus! Do with what you have.

  • Tamera

    I have $558 left over too save but I’m living paycheck to paycheck trying to figure out why, but now I know, unnecessary spending!

    • It’s good to know and change to suit our goals @disqus_rhcf0jfrOd:disqus!

  • LaToya Campbell

    I did the budget sheets and notice I have $685.00 leftover. Honestly, I use to see it but in the last 6 months it’s seems that I have been living paycheck to paycheck. With this tool, I am going to manage my bill based on my paycheck and then work with the rest. Spend what is neccessary

  • Valerie

    How best to account for those items that aren’t bills? How do I find those items to include in what I spend?

    • After your bills, you can designate other line items as ‘cash’ or ‘spending’ or ‘savings’, ‘giving’, etc. I hope this helps.

  • tommithetiger

    I started making simple budgets a few months ago to keep track of my money but this money list is way more in depth. The reading was very useful to me. Can’t wait to fill in my money list as soon as I can. One question if my bank automatically takes $25 dollars out for my savings should I list that as an item in my list or just include it in with my current savings amount?

    • Include it in your current savings amount @tommithetiger:disqus! I’m glad the reading was helpful for you.

  • Shahmet Gordon

    Well, this is problematic because according to this, I currently have a deficit of $15, which will increase by $500 next month when my student loans come out of forbearance. 🙁

    • Lon Donson

      Hi Shahmet!
      You’ve got to get creative and trim the fat. As an example I combed through my budget to see where I can cut because I have a huge savings goal this year. I was able to cut the following from my budget…
      Mthly wine club = $39.99
      Mthly car wash club = $19.99
      Daily lunch purchases = $200
      Mthly Gifts + Events = $150+
      Gym membership = $20
      To save $5,000 from my job income I must save $385 monthly. Now I have my savings simply by trimming the fat.

      Good luck! You can do it!

  • Brandi Deere

    I have been created my budget and I save money. The best thing that helped me was to create a separate online savings account where I can’t easily access my money that’s left kver from paying bills. Thanks for these tips!

  • Michelle Sutton

    I did my budget today, and I realize I over spend on eating out. I also realize that I have things on auto pay that I forget about and then my account has a negative balance because I forgot that it was coming out. I see some areas that I can cut back on for instance I do not use HULU Plus at all, so I canceled my subscription to that. I also terminated my Julep monthly make up box since I do not really use the products anyway. Definitely non essential items on my list will be eating out. I have spent as much as 150 bucks on eating out the month before last. It is a real eye opener.

    • I’m glad this task has helped you @disqus_XU0W1KK9eh:disqus!

  • Hrshys

    Money is TRULY magical. I honestly didn’t think I would have any money left to put into savings, but I do. That is, if I can stop the unnecessary spending and track my money more expediently (which I WILL do). One area I definitely need to track is the multiple trips to the grocery store. My refrigerator is the standard size so my freezer is quite small and cannot hold much. Hence, I end up making multiple trips to the grocery store! Ugh!!!!

  • Lon Donson

    Hello! I have a spending plan that I set up for the full year ahead, so I’ll use what works for me. My challenge last year was not tracking because I had so much going on. NOW I track daily/weekly spending. I assign every dollar so I really don’t have to refer to my sheet everyday because I pay bills from one checking account and living expenses from another and I only keep the amount needed to cover those items in the accounts.

  • Karen Mills

    I created my budget this morning, and for the first time I actually know how much money I spend eating out and wasteful spending. According to my budget I can put up $800. a month. I got a reduction in my gym membership and now I am going to call my cable/internet company I can’t continue to give them $250 a month for television shows that I barely watch and I am prepared to cut the service off and move to watching regular tv. My cellphone bill is $236. time to cut my grown daughter off of my bill, she’s 26 I don’t know why I have been paying her bill for 2 years, Thank you, thank you, thank you. Eye opening

    • I’m glad this task was helpful for you @disqus_mnvbc23QtV:disqus!!!

  • Anissa

    I know that I overspend. I know it before I ever did the budget because I’m still paying the same things as I was paying when I was working with less money coming in. I have lots of changes to make. I’m retired & have limited income but need to save, pay back credit card debt & I have my daughter & granddaughter still living home. The money I have in savings is dwindling & I try to keep it built up.

    • Take one thing at a time @Anissa_45:disqus! You can do this! Take your time.

  • lakesia

    I have created my budget and expense list. I have more than I thought to save(that is because I live with my parents). I have no excuse not to meet my monthly goals. I wrote down all my debt and the amount that I owe them. At this moment I am at work, but when I do get a chance I will begin calling them starting with the least to negotiate a discount and payment plan. I did do the Obama student loan debt. I have to make two payments of $173.25, then they will begin to process my application. I feel good knowing that I have others like you all in this group who motivates one another. Have a bless day everyone.

  • Tanya W

    OMG….I’m at a major deficit….I knew I was but this is heartbreaking😢….I have some serious work to do!!!!

    • You can do the work @tanya_ward:disqus! Take one expense at a time.

  • Virginia Johnson

    I created my budget and sadly, SMH, I am negative $500; which explains why I am always making withdrawals from my savings. The largest part of the expenses stem from impulse/indulgent purchases. Indeed, I was a Hilton wannabe.

    • Now that you know, you can work on decreasing those expenses and transferring that amount to savings, if desired @disqus_Kyj3yDI3LJ:disqus!

  • Lauren Wilson

    I am negative $700 (approximately)

    • You can work on cutting things/decreasing expenses to balance your budget @disqus_Cn99pKHR0o:disqus!

  • Pingback: LIVE RICHER Challenge Day 16: Add Abundance to Your Budget - The Budgetnista Blog()

  • I was a little scared to look at my spending habits and really was lazy about going through adding every thing up if I must be honest lol. So I am just now doing the budgeting part to continue with the challenge and I must say I have a whole lot of money that I could be saving! By staying with my parents, I save on rent + utilities and my mom always said if I just buckled down and did some hardcore saving I could have a secure savings. By doing the budget for this challenge and seeing I am actually able to meet my goal, I feel more motivated than when I first started.

    • Awesome @disqus_lAkqw6QKm2:disqus! I’m sure you’ll meet your goal in no time!

  • Channa Comer

    I keep track of all of my spending, but never analyze it or calculate monthly spending. I have a very small positive balance for true savings, but definitely need to shave spending. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

  • Vermeille Oliver

    I’m behind on my daily challenges because I wanted to be sure I had every expense. Lord this challenge was so eye opening. It helped that already had a budget created but I really used it to make sure my bills were paid on time but to see I make really good money but not know how to manage it is just so disappointing. Meh….

    • I’m glad the challenge is eye opening for you @vermeilleoliver:disqus!

  • Tikerrah

    Making a budget is always the easy part for me it’s the savings that’s an issue! But I made my 2016 year budget and ran through it multiple times and typed up everything yesterday

  • Lakesha Lee

    How do I create a budget if my income is not currently consistent…steady?

  • DeDe Jenkins

    Created my budget today, wasn’t surprised i’m over budget with nothing left over monthly. I’m paying too much for rent but living in California with high rents that understandable. I’ve got much work to do. I’ll start with being consistent in saving toward my goals i’ve set in Day 1 and watching my needless spending. I figure small steps will help.

  • Tanisha Reed

    I am a HUGE believers in budgets so this one is already completed. I use the Dave Ramsey budget sheets for my main monthly budget in my family folder. I also have the Mint app on my phone to keep up with it on the go. Finally i have a bill check off list at my desk so that i always stay on top of my bill paying. The biggest challange to my budget is eating out. My husband loves eating out and i tend to sway his way on this. But we are trying to cut back, and after our last month’s budget busters, we definitely are going to adjust the allocated amount for eating out. I was going over my budget for March and seen there were some areas we could cut back on, leaving us $200 extra to put in savings a month!!!

  • Raven Short

    I just did my list and I am just like wow. I can see where I can cut back on some things especially I need to increase my savings withdrawal and pay off some of the credit cards faster by increasing the payment. #truthhurts

  • Sharon Lewis

    I created my budget and discovered I do have money leftover. I now have money to save and add a little more to my credit card payments and still be okay…winning. This was a wonderful way to see where my money was going and answer the burning question of “Where is my money going?” Now I know.

  • Alitha Hawkins

    Well I just redid the money list and I have nothing to save…Since I did it last week, when I had some money left over but there were some things that were missing/unaccounted for. I am over budget by $200.00. I see where I can cut some things out and this is just using my income, not my husband’s income. I have been looking into cutting insurance costs on the vehicles and that could save about 60.00 a month. Not happy at all.

  • Sharon Familia

    I’m playing catching and have to do 6-10. I’ve created my budget. On to lesson 10

  • Felicia Laws

    I just completed my “Money List” and am sitting here in awe. If I didn’t know before I definitely know now that God’s favor and grace are what has been and is keeping me afloat. That is one thing I know for sure!! Wow, becoming more aware of my money and viewing the full scope of my financial situation is truly an eye opener and just a bit overwhelming as Tiffany “The Budgetnista” explained it would be. I really appreciate my fiscal situation now that I am looking at it in physical form.

    Now that I have taken the painful step of fully disclosing my current fiscal status it has presented the opportunity for me to rebuild my financial future and become financially successful. Pressure and transparency are pushing me into my promise and destiny!!

  • AM

    I created my budget today and I eat out to much and by little things I don’t need. So all of that will stop!

  • Jennifer Fresquez

    Thanks for the tools.

  • Charlene D. Slaughter

    I created my budget and have been physically ill ever since. I had a list of bills that I pay, but wasn’t putting down everything. And I was not subtracting from my take home pay. I am way over. This one task has been life changing.

  • Carma Rhodes-Gates

    Did my money list , just realize I am riddled with debt moreso then before … Reality has hit home and I understand I live paycheck to paycheck which is so discouraging and disgruntlement:( the only amazing thing I do with my check is CONSISTENTLY TITHE 😇

  • Keisha Norris

    This just opened my eyes to how much money I spend eating at restaurants and shopping for non-essentials at Wal-Mart! I’m going broke buying fast food…this was definitely an eye opener for me. I knew I eat out too much but this is ridiculous. Thank you!

  • Amy Tyler

    i just finished my budget and I already knew that I overspend each month. It was literally SCARY to see how much I am overspending. Definitely time to get this under control. I am loving the challenge!

  • Mika Roberts

    I’ve start on my money list. But I have a question. How do I calculate my monthly income after taxes and deductions if the amount they take out changes every month

  • Mika Roberts

    I have completed my list and I overspend!! The overspending came from unnecessary stuff I have agreed to cut down on

  • Liz Prince

    For about 4 years we have had a money list, spending and etc. My husband and I perfected it. But now we have a student loan for one of our kids and a car note for him. It seems we are taking a detour. So I want to help us get it together. Ultimately I want us to be debt free.

  • Dallas Freeman

    before starting the challenge I came across the money list and saw that the budget I already had, was pretty much laid out the same way. How much I make each month(its consistent), how much of my check goes into my savings, each expense, the total cost of those expenses together, and then the money I have leftover for like gas and groceries. Since I get paid bi weekly it’s two different charts for the bills at the beginning and end of the month.

  • Monica

    I am in the red. However, I do see change coming soon. I must reduce my debt and adjust my goals to work the plan effectively. My interest rate on my 2014 coupled with my below 600 score is hindering progress but it is changing as I do. I am 14 points away from the 600 score it will happen soon.

  • Mahkeba Unique Vanzant

    I completed this task multiple times before and I always come out with a surplus, which is good for me, but interesting that I have been able to stay within my means after 10 years in the military.

  • Jes

    I saw yesterday that taking the toll road to work because I’m running late leaving out the house don’t really help me because it’s costing big time. Then today going to get breakfast in the morning wasn’t helping either. I will have more money in my account if I just cut the unnecessary spending.

  • Sabrina

    I created my budget today and I am pleasantly surprised, my savings wasn’t negative….student loans are taking most of my excess. I guess they will be my main target as I move forward toward financial dominance.

  • Catharine Freeman

    I created my money list. I am in the black. However I could see why I have a credit card habit. Everything I do outside of my budget, I charge it, and deal with the consequences later. That then is eating up my potential savings.

  • Dizexhaled

    Wow, this task was really tough for me to do. I put it off for a little over a week, but I finally got it done. This was very enlightening & helps me understand why I’m always struggling. I’m single with no kids & it’s so much easier to just grab food on the way home, instead of cooking it. After this exercise, i realized I spent $300 on fast food last month. And that doesnt include anything I paid cash for. That’s just ridiculous & unacceptable. Change is coming!!! I’m upset, but also encouraged!

    On a side note, i have’nt necessarily been doing the savings challenge each day, but I’m committed to doing each day fully & completely before moving on to the next. I’ve already seen a change in my thinking from the 1st weeks activities & I wanted to say thank you for this. I feel so encouraged!

  • Vanessa

    Just finished this. It was startling to realize that I make more than enough money to pay my bills and save. ::sigh:: I got some work to do.

  • Nekia Brown

    I’m in the red but not for long

  • Laurie Pierre

    i’ve been holding on to day 9 for 4 days now and I see why. I’ve learned how much i’m really overspending and that i need to make alot of changes. It’s a large negative amount and contributes to why my credit score is so low. the next few tasks are going to hurt my feelings but im ready because i’m tired of the instability.

  • Shawndolyn Hampton

    I realized that in my head and in my Bills Monitor app, I wasn’t including ALL of my monthly expenses, like gas, grocery, pampering, etc. Now that I have done that, I added these extras to my app and on paper. Now, I can get a clearer idea of how much money I really have leftover and what I can save and allocate towards paying off debt.

  • Monique Brooks

    Completing this budget was eye opening I already knew I never had enough money at the end of the month but it looks like my bills are more than my income. I dont eat out. I dont shop every week. I just dont make enough money to fit my normal biils. How do you begin to tackle that and try to save. Thats the depressing part.

    • Tina Riley

      Monique, I have the same issue. I have three budgets. The actual, the ideal, and the business(I am starting a business). I live off a disability income which is not enough to handle all the necessary bills therefore there are some categories that are not in my budget- like personal, entertainment, car maintenance, dry cleaning and the like. I do include those categories in the ‘ideal’ budget (I am planning my business income to help me get there) and eventually my actual budget will become the ideal budget and include vacations and charitable giving etc.. For now I make ends meet by visiting the local food pantry, asking for financial assistance at gym, hospitals, dr. offices. I ask for rate reductions for phone, cable etc. I barter for home and lawn maintenance(I have a physical disability so I cannot do it myself). I tithe and I save (it is a mindset) no matter what. I do these two things first every month. You just begin. I started with only saving $5 a month in one account and now the monthly amount is increased and I now save in two accounts (my HDF-housing development fund-never know when that hot water heater will need replacing -lol) Now I do make the sacrifice of putting on more layers of clothes in the house to keep my utility bill lower because a lower bill is the only place in my budget that I can create disposable income. With the extra money from what I allot monthly for utilities I am able to fill in the gaps. I still have missing categories from my budget, but savings is not one of them. Monique, I am so glad that this was an eye opener for you and that you shared your situation. Please do not feel defeated. You are more aware now and that is the first step to changing the situation. Hopefully, my sharing what I do can be of some help to you just to get you thinking of some ideas to make your bills fit your income. Also, I find that I just need more money…I took my skills and started marketing them. I teach acting at the local parks and rec a few times a year, I write resumes, I mend clothing for my non-sewing friends. Beware of scams, but those one day serving as a mock juror pay well(I did one and got enough money for a car repair). And so does the local school board elections(made enough to pay off a bill). Happy brainstorming! DO NOT give up…you got this.

  • M Collins Smith

    Hello, I update my budget about every three months. I earn a good portion of my income by commission. I am also a part timer because I am a stay at home mom…mompreneuer. So my biggest problem is just earning enough to pay monthly expenses this is why I wasn’t saving money initially. Thanks to all of theses steps I now see it is totally a mindset. I wil be working hard to save regardless to how the numbers add up. I can start saving something and just build on it. I am excited to learn!

  • Cheryl

    I completed my budget today and currently over budget and trying to get rid of that deficit. However, I don’t see where I can do it. Will keep checking to see if I can decrease some items. Decreased food and gas however, I don’t spend money on fast food and things like that. Most of my expenses are bills. Any suggestion on cutting back. Thanks

  • Atheena B.

    I completed my budget today and I’m not over budget but I don’t like where I’m currently at..savings wise.

  • LaKisha Liggins

    Wow!!! I bank with Bank of America (BOA), and they have tools that track your net income, spending, and savings for you…and help you set goals to save!!! I just recently became familiar with it after banking with this for SO long!!! I’m still thankful I found out because it i better late thank never.

    I thought I was doing well until I really analyzed how much I am actually spending spending.After reviewing my budget from the BOA tool, I realized instead of having a balance left over after subtracting my expenses from my net income, I had a negative amount. My top 5 high purchases are: checks (for high rent, doctor bills, etc), mortgage expenses (I own a condo that I rent out but pay partial expenses on), car expenses (my partner and I both have car notes, gas, maintenance), ATM/cash withdrawals (my partner takes money out frequently for miscellaneous things), and restaurant and dining. In knowing this now, I have already set goals and action steps on how to reduce these expenses. As for the rent, my partner and I are trying to buy a home and our mortgage will be much cheaper than the rent we currently pay. We have already agreed to cook at home more versus eating out.

    This has really opened my eyes and I plan to share this information with my partner this evening!!! I am glad I have decided to make saving money on a weekly basis one of my goals so that I can get a handle on my spending!! As I continue to use this tool, I want to see the amount of money left over at the end of the month change from negative to positive!!

  • Layla

    The Money List is sooooo helpful! It gives an overview into what I’m spending and where all my money is going lol. Plus it’s a great resource to refer to and can easily be changed.

  • Danamichelle

    Today I completed my money/budget list and I can actually see where I need to check for savings. This is an excellent tool and a great way to see where once’s money goes, lol.

  • Bjoy Ihavepeace Edwards

    I was soooo shocked to see that my negative balance was lower than what I expected it to be. But It did show me where I def need to cut back and where I need to prioritize. I love this Financial Journey that I am on, I feel more financially confident that I will make my goal by August 11th, 2017!!! I have done budgets before but def not this in depth. I never considered things like snacks to be included in my budget. It really shed some good light on my spending habits. But I’m glad that I did it!!

  • Carynne Haye

    By using this budget tool I am definitely grasping where my money is going each month. There are definitely things I can cut down on and even cut out. However, its a bit more difficult when your mostly pay isn’t in lump sum but broken down by bi-weekly pay. So I figured I could split my monthly savings in half and save that amount from each check.