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Reduce Your Expenses To Only 30% of Your Salary With This Budgeting Template

We’ve crossed the middle of the year again and if you’re as lucky as I am, you should have been informed of your salary increment for 2018.

This year, I got a small increment of $195 in my monthly payroll so that’s an additional 195 one-dollar soldiers awaiting for deployment every month!

I checked my Salary Allocation Budget that I update every year and it looks like there are no additional expenses incurred so far. That’s good news to me because all the 195 one-dollar soldiers will be deployed to investment wealth accumulation.

What’s a Salary Allocation Budget?

A Salary Allocation Budget is essentially just a budget plan.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

To plan how every dollar of my salary is used each month, I designed a Salary Allocation Budgeting template. I update my Salary Allocation Budget each year to ensure every dollar is put to good use.

Plan how much is Saved and how much is Spent

Personally, I strive to maintain a savings rate of around 50-70%. Having a budget helps me build a plan to achieve this.

To date, I’ve managed to maintain a savings rate of 61.3% to date for 2018. In my opinion, that’s a pretty decent achievement and I’m hoping to maintain the savings rate through the rest of the year.

I can’t say I would have achieved this result without proper planning and ensuring I do not overspend in each budget category.

Use this salary allocation budgeting template

In this article, I’m sharing my salary allocation budgeting template to help you plan your monthly budget.

To use my template, click here to open my salary allocation budgeting template and save a copy in your Google drive.

In my template, I’ve added a fake persona of someone to help you understand how the final budget should look like, with a monthly income of $6,000

I try to keep it super simple to use and not confuse myself with rocket science mathematics for budgets.

Here’s how you use them.

Step 1: Enter your monthly income

  • Enter your monthly salary income and other income sources, if any.
  • For self-employed individuals, I would suggest using an average of your annual income as a forecast.
Income$%
Salary$6000100%
Other Income$00%
Total Income$6000100%

Step 2: Input your CPF contributions and taxes

  • Before we pay ourselves, we have to pay the government first.
    – I’ve added CDAC and CPF contributions along with Income Tax and Property Tax here.
  • Other forms of taxes that you are paying, feel free to add them here.
Taxes$%
CDAC30.05
CPF$120020.02%
Income Tax$00%
Property Tax$300.5%

Step 3: Pay yourself first with savings

  • After paying the government, we then pay ourselves next.
    Here is where I pay myself first by chalking up my savings and trying to max out my tax deductions.
Savings$%
Stock Investments$70011.68%
SRS Contributions$127521.27%
CPF OA Top-Up (Self)$583.339.73%
CPF SA Top-Up (Self)$00%
CPF RA Top-UP (Family)$583.339.73%

Step 4: Identify necessary and discretionary expenses

I sorted my expenses into 2 expense categories:

  • Necessary expenses
  • Discretionary expenses

Necessary expenses are expenses that are necessary for living.

  • The ‘needs’ portion of my living expenses – food and transportation

I find that food and transportation form the bulk of my monthly necessary expenses whereas the rest are pretty standard and don’t change much.

Discretionary expenses are expenses that I don’t consider necessary for living.

  • The ‘wants’ portion of my living expenses – shopping, travel etc.

These are typically the monsters of my expenses and the ones that I have to rein in tight to prevent overspending.

Necessary Expenses$%
Food - Food Court$3005%
Food - Restaurants$2003.34%
Groceries$500.83%
Personal Insurance$2000%
Household Allowance$5009.73%
Public Transportation$500.83%
Utilities$1001.67%
Discretionary Expenses$%
Shopping$2003.34%
Entertainment$00%
Travel & Vacation$00%
Personal Care$200.33%
Personal Development$00%

Step 5: Validate your cash inflow and outflow for surplus/deficit budget

By looking at your surpluses or deficits, this is the final check to validate that you aren’t spending beyond your means.

A Tiny Surplus

  • Your Total Cash Outflow does not exceed the Total Cash Inflow

A High Surplus ($100 or more)

  • You could potentially save more money!

A Deficit

  • You need to adjust your savings or expenses to balance things up (because we don’t have huge cash reserves to operate on budget deficits).

You can also examine your Total Savings versus your Total Expenses to see if you are happy with how much you are saving (52.41% in this example) as compared to how much you are spending?

Step 6 (optional): Check your total taxable income for the year

If you hate paying unnecessary taxes to the government as much as I do, here’s a bonus item for you.

I’ve added

  • Income Tax Calculation to take into consideration the taxable income;
  • Tax deductions that I’m entitled to each year.

Most of these tax deduction items will make use of your Salary Allocation Budget to do the necessary computation.

The only items you need to manually change is Charity Donation. As this is not a full list of tax deductions available, feel free to add other tax deductions that you are entitled to.

I’ve been using my Salary Allocating Budgeting Template to plan my monthly budget for 2 years now and I’ve been consistently updating it to suit my needs.

I hope you find my template useful for your budget planning. Please share your thoughts on the comments below.

Seedly Contributor: Mickey at Retire By 50

Mickey J is the typical white collar Singaporean who works in a 9-5 desk job. With a goal to retire by the age of 50, he blogs about his personal finance experiences and thoughts on retirement planning.

He believes in keeping thing simple and automated to focus on the more important things in life.

Retire By 50 is all about personal finance and retirement planning in the Singapore context.

(Seedly Editors’ Note: Really liked what Mickey has done with his Salary Allocating Budgeting Template, would definitely try it out for myself. This article is really wholesome and would definitely use the Seedly app to refer to (because that’s really where all my expenses are tracked at). Anyway, I hope that we will all find it useful together! – Cherie)

While you are still here, do check out our blog for more unbiased content for your personal finance journey. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask away while you’re at it. Don’t worry, we are all here to learn!

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