Today, I'm going to show you how I save at least $2,050 every month.
In addition to saving $2,050 every month.
How did I increase my savings by 105% in 1 hour? The Bulk Budgeting Technique (BBT). And in this case study, I'm going to show you exactly how I did it, step-by-step.
The Bulk Budgeting Technique: How I Increased My Savings by 105%
After executing The Bulk Budgeting Technique, I increased my 401(k) contribution to 20%!
Most importantly, I reduced my shopping trips by 50% because I bulk shop and buy enough to last me three months.
And my favorite...I tripled my No Spend Days!
All the zeros you see on my sheet are my no spend days. In March 2022, I had 23 no spend days!
The best part?
You can do the same thing for your budget. You don't have to earn six figures a year or deprive yourself of your favorite things to significantly increase your savings.
The 3-Steps to Using "The Bulk Budgeting Technique" To Dramatically Increase Your Savings
There are 3 steps to The Bulk Budgeting Technique.
Step 1: Understand Savings Potential
Step 2: Consolidate Budgeting Months & Shopping Trips
Step 3: Track Your Progress Daily
Here’s why this technique works so well.
You prioritize saving right from the beginning.
You don’t save what remains. You spend what remains after saving.
You focus on bulk spending which means you buy enough to last you a few months rather than a few days or weeks.
The Bulk Budgeting technique is not limiting; it's freeing.
Step #1: Understand Savings Potential
The first step in The Bulk Budgeting Technique is to understand your saving potential.
What does that mean?
It means you take the time to understand how much you can save each month.
It’s great to say you want to save $1,000 each month but what if you can’t?
The foundation of any successful budget is setting realistic expectations.
That being said, most people underestimate how much they can save.
It’s not until they crunch some numbers that they see the true potential.
To understand your saving potential, follow the seven money management steps.
Here's a short video that explains each step.
1. Confirm Monthly Income
The first step is to confirm how much you make each month.
If your income varies from month to month, your task is to understand the minimum amount you earn each month.
If you get paid a few times a month, list each paycheck amount and sum the total.
2. Set Aside Money for Fixed Expenses
The second step is understanding how much you have to spend on bills each month.
Fixed expenses are the bills you have to pay each month.
They include your rent or mortgage, utilities, car insurance, gas or public transportation, cell phone, etc.
Make a list of your fixed expenses, and sum the total.
3. Set Aside Money for Debt
The third step is understanding how much you have to spend on consumer debt each month.
Consumer debt includes student, car, and credit card debt.
This is the perfect opportunity to zero in on your debt and understand your total payment.
Make a list of your debt expenses, and sum the total.
4. Confirm Fixed Plus Debt Expenses Total
The fourth step is simply adding your fixed and debt expenses.
I call these mandatory expenses because they are the bills you have to pay each month.
At this point, you understand the total dollar amount that you have to spend each month.
Your mandatory expenses total is a very important number to understand. Whether good or bad. If you are spending more than you want, at least you are aware of that now!
5. Set Aside Money for Savings
The fifth step is where you get the opportunity to prioritize your savings!
Remember, it is not about saving what remains after spending.
It's about spending what remains after saving.
First, confirm your remaining income (=Income - Mandatory Expenses) after setting aside money for mandatory expenses.
Next, choose the amount you want to save.
Lastly, the remainder (=Income - Mandatory Expenses - Savings) is what you will spend on variable expenses.
How do you know what remains is enough for your variable expenses?
You won't know exactly but you can do your best to make it work.
What remains is spent on categories that are under your control.
You get to choose how much you spend on groceries, eating out, clothes, streaming and subscription services, accessories, etc.
If you're at a point in your life where not a lot remains after setting aside money for mandatory expenses, please know that understanding that is the first step to choosing to change it.
Understanding my savings potential is what helped me increase my savings by 105% in 1 hour.
Before, I was saving $1,000 a month. Now, I save $2,050 every month.
It's that simple step of understanding your savings potential and then choosing how much you want to save before you spend on anything else that's life-changing.
Most people don't see saving that way but they should.
Find the best High-Yield savings accounts for you below:
6. Confirm Variable Expenses Budget
The total is your monthly budget moving forward!
Your monthly budget will be spent on:
The list above does not represent categories.
It's a list of expenses that are paid with your variable budget.
7. Choose Categories and Assign a Budget
The seventh and final step is to choose your variable categories and assign each a budget.
Do your best to simplify your categories.
There's no right or wrong number of categories but there's a high probability you don't need 10.
Start with the essentials such as groceries, household, personal, and fun.
Yes, everyone should have a fun category!
Make a list of your variable categories, and sum the total. The total should equal your monthly budget.
I encourage you to save for future expenses in the form of sinking funds.
If you do, a sinking fund becomes one of your categories.
A sinking fund (or savings fund) is a future expense that you save for each month. You typically put aside a little each month until you've achieved your goal.
Common sinking funds include Christmas, Vacation, Back to School, etc.
After successfully prioritizing your savings and understanding your monthly budget moving forward, it's time to learn how to stick to both goals.
Here is a recap of all seven money management steps using my real numbers:
Let's move on to step 2 in The Bulk Budgeting Technique!
Step #2: Consolidate Budgeting Months & Shopping Trips
The second step in The Bulk Budgeting Technique is to consolidate your budgeting months and shopping trips.
Instead of looking at a monthly budget, you look at a three month budget.
The amount does not change however the way you look at it does.
When you follow The Bulk Budgeting Technique, you don't spend the same amount of money on variable expenses each month and you shouldn't.
The goal is to consolidate the months and do the spending for all three months in a handful of shopping trips. Which typically happen at the beginning of the three month budgeting period.
The main goal is to buy enough to last you three months which you can do for categories that include non-perishable items.
Here is why consolidating your budgeting months makes sense.
My monthly budget is $400. Here's the breakdown by category:
As you can see, my monthly household budget is $50.
My household budget includes cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, sponges, Brita filters, Kleenex, hand soap, and more.
When you look at my monthly household budget, you're probably thinking, how is $50 enough?
Well, because I implement The Bulk Budgeting Technique, I see my household budget as $150 ($50 x 3) and not $50.
When my three month budgeting period begins, I bulk shop and buy enough to last me three months.
Also, I don't have to buy everything every three months because some items like toilet paper, paper towels, and dish soap last me longer than three months.
Here's a breakdown of my new budget when I implement The Bulk Budgeting Technique:
The numbers look a lot better, right?
Let's move on to the last step, step 3.
Step #3: Track Your Progress Every Day
Step three in The Bulk Budgeting Technique is just as important (if not more) as the first and second steps.
Tracking your progress every day is crucial to successfully implementing The Bulk Budgeting Technique.
Tracking your progress will take you less than three minutes on most days.
How is that possible?
Because on most days, you don't have to spend any money.
You can expect to track your progress using four different resources.
You will update your monthly calendar every day.
I recommend keeping track of two things, a category that you struggle with spending too much and your no spend days.
For example, I track my grocery shopping and no spend days.
Grocery shopping has always been a little bit of a challenge for me.
If I've gone to the grocery store three times in one week, there's a problem. It usually means I haven't meal planned and I need to slow down on my grocery spending.
It's a great way of understanding what you need to change.
As I said, tracking your progress will take you less than three minutes on most days.
On most days, you won't have to spend any money so you'll have a lot of zeros.
These are my calendars during my three month budgeting from January 2022 to March 2022:
As you can see, there are a lot of zeros!
Monthly Variable Spending by Day
You will update your monthly variable spending tracker every day.
In The Bulk Budgeting Technique, you only have to track your variable spending every day.
Variable expenses include groceries, household, toiletries, eating out, clothes, accessories, etc.
You don't have to track fixed expenses every day as those typically stay the same from month to month and the amount does not change.
Fixed expenses include mortgage or rent, car insurance, cell phone, utilities, gas, HOA, health insurance, etc.
The monthly variable spending by day tracker will help you stay within your budget!
Here is my January 2022 variable expenses by day tracker:
As you can see from the picture above, I keep track of my total variable spending by day, running total, and balance.
Again, there are a few zeros because I don't need to spend money every day but when I do, I can immediately see how it has impacted my average monthly budget.
In January 2022, my total variable spending was $580. My monthly variable budget is $400 but because I use The Bulk Budgeting Technique and budget in three month intervals, my total variable budget is $1,200 ($400x3).
I knew January was going to be higher than my average $400 monthly budget because, at the beginning of my three month budgeting period, I bought most of my non-perishable items.
My total variable spending in February 2022 was $273.96 and March 2022 was $312.89.
When you add all three months ($580+$273.96+$312.89), the total variable spending was $1,166.41 and that's right around my $1,200 budget.
I was actually under budget by $33.59!
Here are my February and March 2022 variable expenses by day trackers:
On most days, you won't have to update your Google spreadsheet.
You'll use your spreadsheet to keep track of your transactions by category.
And once again, you won't have to spend money every day so there will be no transactions to add.
Here is a close up of my expense tracker during my January to March 2022 budgeting period:
If you look closely, you'll notice I went over my Groceries budget by $59.13. But, I was under my Going Out budget by $118.37.
That's important for me to understand going into my next budgeting period which will be from April to June 2022 however if you look at my totals (column A). I had $33.59 remaining in this budgeting period so I'm actually under budget!
I love this spreadsheet because it helps me see the big picture in terms of my three month budgeting period.
The monthly recap sheet is filled out once a month.
You'll wait until the end of the month to fill it out because that's when you will know your totals (i.e., how much you spent on groceries).
Here is my January 2022 monthly recap sheet:
I know exactly how much I earned, spent on fixed expenses, saved, spent on variable expenses, and how much of my income remained.
This sheet is a fantastic way of keeping track of your progress month by month! And who doesn't love a good pie chart?!
Here are my February and March 2022 monthly recap sheets:
The Bulk Budgeting Technique Summary
I hope you feel motivated and look forward to implementing The Bulk Budgeting Technique in your money management routine!
You only have to follow three steps to start implementing this technique:
Step 1: Understand Savings Potential
Step 2: Consolidate Budgeting Months & Shopping Trips
Step 3: Track Your Progress Daily
If you are excited to understand YOUR savings potential, leave a comment below!