In order to plan a mini financial budget, one must know what they are already spending money on. It’s best to sit down and write out what you would normally do and buy within a month. Then you need to make a list of what is a fixed expense and what is not a fixed expense. Out of the fixed expenses, you want to divide it into different categories. Things that cannot be changed and things that can be changed. For example, you need to buy groceries, but is there a way for you to cut down the amount to the minimum requirements? This would mean, forget those sales and stocking up for another time. Basic food requirements is all that is required.
You would do meal planning and entertainment planning for a week. Figure out how much money you will have and divide it into 7 days for each week. You will be planning each and every day that you possibly can. You will have to have an emergency plan for unexpected things and what to do if they happen. For instance if your car breaks down, is there someone you can car pool with until you get the money to fix it? Also for going to do your errands such as; bills, banking and getting groceries, is there someone who you can car pool with to save yourself some money if required?
As a rule of thumb, if your planning on making any kind of career change, you may need to save up to at least one month of bills. This would mean all your fixed expenses plus the non fixed expenses and savings. If you can save 3 to 6 months, even better. Most jobs have a waiting period for you to receive your first pay check, it will be minimum 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how the payroll is done at that company.
Your house payments, car payments and insurance payments are a fixed expense. As for utilities, see if you can go on a monthly billing where it is the same amount for you, it’s easier to budget this way. You have a set limit of money that has to be paid out for certain bills, deduct that amount first. The rest will have to be divided out of your Groceries, gas money, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses. Figure out what you will need for each month that you need it to. You can always modify it, once you’ve started your new job.
When your looking for work, make sure you know what base pay you need and also think about travel expenses to and from the job. If you can walk to a job, take the bus or car pool, this will save you a lot of money. You can also map out the area that you will be going to, that if it’s out of town, it may be cheaper for you to relocate to a closer area for that job. It all depends on what you plan to do.
For the list of not fixed expenses, you need to number them from one to the end of your list. Number one is the important thing. For membership fees and things, this could be put under fixed expenses, because it’s a monthly bill. However make a note, if it can be canceled to save money then put a star beside it and keep that on a list of things I can put on hold for now. You also want to designate some money for savings. You will need to figure out what you need for next month’s budget and put that away in savings if possible. Or figure out a way to carry yourself over until the next pay check arrives.
On your list of unfixed expenses, keep it to what has to be done, and cross off, what is just pure enjoyment. Now try and find things that you can do that won’t cost you anything. Like going hiking, or getting movies and music and books from the local library. Look up the tourist events for your city on the Internet. There is always free entertainment somewhere. Try and plan events with your family and friends, so that a group of you do things together. Do some car pooling and putting food together for picnics or barbeque’s. It will be like having a night out for dinner if you have a potluck supper with a bunch of other people.
So the five things you have to figure out are; Make a list of everything you are spending your money on. List the fixed expenses. List the non fixed expenses. Figure out what your new job expenses will be. Last of all, figure out how much money needs to be saved to carry you over to the next paycheck, which can be 2 to 4 weeks away!