For a few months, David and I have been using this budgeting template we created: Monthly Budget
I love this because we can set a savings goal and see how close we are to meeting it. We can quickly and easily keep up with our transactions, confirmation numbers, and vendor information. I no longer have to worry about my credit card transactions, I can quickly see if I really did spend $46 at Whole Foods on a random Wednesday (because if you are using it properly, ALL of your transactions will be right there).
I just wanted to give you an idea of how we are planning on using this on the road. For starters, we are going to try to create a template for every state (since we are planning on spending one or two months in each state). After researching campgrounds, fun stuff to do, and any hiking adventures, we will have an idea of how much we want to spend per state. Our goal is to try to save money in some less expensive states. This will give us a nice cushion in case we find an opportunity we can’t pass up, without having to dip into our hard-earned savings.
Below is a blank canvas for you to imagine your budgetary needs. If you go to the template, you will notice that it only wants you to edit certain areas. That is so you don’t override any formulas in place for that cell. As you go through your monthly needs, try to think of things you don’t spend money on every month, but still add up, like renters insurance for your apartment, or car insurance if you don’t pay it monthly. We created savings “buckets” with our bank for these categories, and pull them out each month like we are paying a bill. The more realistic you are with your budget, the better off you will be. We take whatever is left over and divide it as “fun” money, but rather than receiving one lump sum on the first of every month, we usually dole it out a week at a time while we are buying our groceries. This allows us to pay for anything that might come up throughout the month.
Below is the template. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to customize this for you. Colors, charts, fonts, etc. I will gladly set you up with something more your style. I love color, so I tried to incorporate that in to this template to make it a bit more fun, but I know that color isn’t for everyone. I hope that you find this useful and that it helps you reach your own form of financial freedom! Monthly Budget