In my country there is quiet a bit of economic turbulence so, it is difficult to know what next year will bring. However, that does not stop me from making a yearly budget and plan my savings.
How do I make my budget? I have a spreadsheet. Each month is a column and each row is either an income or an expense. I group the incomes on top of my columns. Each income ends up in a separate bank account so the rows are named in accordance with those banks. I also group the expenses in accordance with which banks they are on automated payment. This way, I can see at a glance whether I have enough money in a specific account for each expense.
My income sources are: Social Security, Rent and current job.
My expenses are:
Mortgage payment for apartment #3
Rent for the Studio apartment I reside in during the week
Debt taken over from a family member
Electricity, Heat, Water, Administration (Rented Apartment + Main Residence)
Insurance (Apartments 1,2 and 3 plus car)
Cell Phone (mine and mom's)
Cable TV (mine and mom's)
Credit Cards (2)
Personal Retirement Fund
In order to save for the future, I have a Turkish Lira Savings account, a USD saving account, a gold savings account and a Personal retirement fund along with a very small stock market portfolio. Oh and a few gold coins that I keep in a safe. All of them constitute my investment basket.
Each month I allocate funds over several investment categories. This morning I bought 7 grams of gold with some leftover money in one of my accounts. Come January, I will be depositing a large sum to my Personal Retirement Fund so that I get the 25% match from the Government sooner than later. I take that very seriously because who gives you 25% interest these days even for a limited amount of money?
The interest rate on TL is 10-11% and the interest rate on USD is 2.50% over here. So, when the Government matches my Personal Retirement Fund investment by 25%, it is practically a very high interest that money generates within a month.
The tricky item for next year is my vacation time. My boss is relocating overseas and I was hoping to give myself a nice vacation in the United States for my 50th birthday in June. I cannot be gone for very long when he is not here. So we will see what we will do about that.
I start making my budget usually by the end of November and keep tweaking it till the end of the year. This year I will have a very small amount of money allocated for house maintenance. I am planning something major in 2018 or may be even 2019.