Fixed costs overview provides insight and control over your money

Your fixed costs cost you a large part of your income. It is therefore important to have these properly listed. But how do you do that? It is precisely those amounts that do not recur every month, but regularly throughout the year, that cause confusion. This causes many people to drop out. If you follow the steps in this article, you will now know what to expect in fixed costs every month. That gives insight, and insight gives a calm feeling. So do it!

Contents:

  • What use is a fixed costs overview for me?
  • Which program to use: Excel
  • Columns in Excel
  • Monthly fixed costs
  • Other fixed costs
  • Beautifying the overview
  • Use of the fixed costs overview
  • Plan expenses
  • Surplus to savings account
  • Spread payments
  • Save money on energy consumption
  • Save money with your house: rent out a room and pay off your mortgage
  • Finally

What use is a fixed costs overview for me?

Creating a ‘Fixed Expenses Overview’ is not difficult and will take you about two to three hours. What a job, you may think, maybe you should first look for motivation? The result is extremely useful: you have insight into what expenses await you in the coming months. It’s surprising how few people have a good understanding of this. And while these amounts return monthly or annually and they determine how much you have left for other expenses, which usually fall into the category ‘ fun or luxury expenses ‘. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s nice to know in which month they don’t come out as well! The overview also offers you a good starting point to consider whether you can also save money. More about that at the end of this article. Because by using your money wisely you can do more fun things, because you save yourself a lot of money so you can do what makes your life even better!

Which program to use: Excel

You can use various programs to create your overview. But Excel works best for a calculation overview. This can automatically add up the amounts for each month . In this article we assume that you use Excel.

Columns in Excel

Start a new Excel document, or a new worksheet (tab) on an existing document. Create the following columns and headings:

date

Who

what

kind

amount

         
         

Monthly fixed costs

We start by making an inventory of the fixed costs that must be paid every month. These are usually: gas, water, electricity, mortgage/rent, telephone , internet, petrol (on average), monthly paid insurance. Take the statements of the checking account(s) used for these types of payments. It is best to look back at the past full 12 months. Go through all the items and consider whether they appear monthly. It is also useful to mark the transfer line with an M for monthly mail, or O for other fixed costs. Skip the variable expenses. Now enter the monthly recurring fixed costs in lines under the created headings. Go through all the months. Put a total count at the bottom. You then get the following:

date

Who

what

kind

amount

1

petrol

gasoline/month average

car

180

1

feed supplier

horse food

horse

50

6

Nuon

electricity

house

45

13

KPN

internet

internet

20

28

Mortgage bank

mortgage

house

800

         
 

TOTAL:

   

[sum formula]

Other fixed costs

You will now list the items that you marked with an O – other fixed costs. These are, for example, payments for which you have agreed a payment arrangement that does not cover all months of the year. But also, for example, the annual vaccinations of your pet(s), farrier for your horse once every 2 months, annual contribution from ANWB, Vereniging Eigen Huis and sports club. But also the annual MOT (periodic inspection of your car). Copy the headings. It is best to place 2 next to each other. Include the names of the months below. So January and February on 1 line, March and April on 1 line, etc. On the same lines in the Amount column, write down a formula for the total count for that month. You then get this:

date

Who

what

kind

amount

 

date

Who

what

kind

amount

                     

JANUARY

     

[sum formula]

 

FEBRUARY

     

[sum formula]

5

veterinary surgeon

cat vaccinations

pets

50

 

10

sports club

 

sport

80

17

TV newspaper

tv guide subscription/2yr

tv

21

           
                     

MARCH

     

[as formula]

 

APRIL

     

[as formula]

                     
                     
                     

MAY

     

[as formula]

 

JUNE

     

[as formula]

                     
                     

(complete the overview with all months) Then complete all months with the other fixed costs. For clarity, you can also state the frequency : 2x/year, quarter, 2 months (2-monthly), etc. Finally, take a good look at the entire overview of monthly fixed costs and other fixed costs per month. Have you overlooked any posts? Also consider cash payments of fixed costs, which also belong in this overview. And in December the Sinterklaas and Christmas presents. On a separate line you can state that you expect a refund from, for example, your energy supplier in a certain month. Do not enter an amount here. After all: you have no idea how much this will be, and without counting it it is really an extra.

Beautifying the overview

You can make your overview even more beautiful by making headings bold and adding lines or frames. You can also indicate conditional formatting in Excel. This means that the appearance, for example the color of certain text, depends on the contents of the cell. For example, a total count of one month is displayed in green and bold up to an amount of 500 euros, and above that in red. Then you can immediately see which month is extra expensive and which requires less of your income.

Use of the fixed costs overview

Once you are completely satisfied with your overview, it is ready for use. You will see that you will consult it more and more often . After all, you now have a good insight into what you can expect financially. You’re probably even wondering why you didn’t do this sooner, and that spending money may have been a bit like Russian roulette before!

Plan expenses

For example, if you plan to make an expensive expense , first check your overview . Is this or next month an expensive one? Then you can consider making this expense the following month. Now that’s how you handle your expenses wisely!

Surplus to savings account

A good habit is to check how much money you had left this month at the end of the month, as soon as your new salary has been paid. This money can go to your savings account. But first take a look at your overview. If next month will be very expensive, it is more convenient to leave the surplus (or part of it) in your checking account. Then you avoid being overdrawn , which in turn saves on interest payments.

Spread payments

When you look at your statement, you may notice an item for a large amount. You could then check whether you can spread this expense over several months or the entire year by making a payment arrangement. More and more insurance companies, municipalities and suppliers are encouraging this. After all: they would rather you be able to pay the money than not. It gives you a more even spending pattern and that can be pleasant. A disadvantage may be that a one-off payment gives a slightly discount on the amount than a spread payment. So ask carefully whether this is the case and what the difference in money is. Then consider whether you have this extra amount to spread your fixed costs.

Save money on energy consumption

The ‘fixed expenses overview’ gives you a lot of insight into which expenses recur each month. On the Nibud.nl website you can compare whether you spend a lot of money on energy such as gas and electricity. Most households can save money by comparing energy suppliers. By also keeping track of your meter readings, you gain more insight into your energy consumption peaks. But you also save money by installing solar panels on your roof. It is an investment that immediately earns you money.

Save money with your house: rent out a room and pay off your mortgage

If you own a home, you can also use it wisely to earn money. Consider paying off your mortgage more quickly, so that you pay less interest every month. But you can also make money by renting out a room. Few people know that this is usually tax-free, but this makes it very attractive. Just give it a try.

Finally

Do not forget to regularly adjust the overview with increases in amounts and new items. Good luck with your Fixed Expenses overview and your insight into your financial situation!

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