Budgeting is more than just an efficient way of spending your money, it is a discipline, a habit, and a lifestyle. If you ever find yourself overspending your income, then it might be high time to reevaluate your spending choices and consider planning your expenditures with a budget worksheet.
Essentially, a budget worksheet is an itemized list of expected income and expenses that help you plan how your money will be spent or saved. May it is for a planned out leisure or unexpected splurge, a budget worksheet is a great tool so you can have an accurate insight in your spending habits. It can cover for a week, a month, or a year. This article, however, will only be covering the making of a monthly budget worksheet, as it is the most common and efficient time period for a budget sheet.
1. Earnings: This is composed of your monthly income after taxes (not to be confused with your gross income) and can include your loans, financial aids, allowances, and other methods that nets you with monetary gain.
2. Expenses: These refers to the cost incurred for spending on activities, events, product, and services that are essential in your monthly living. In your monthly budget worksheet, there are expenses by category and total expenses.
3. Budget Categories: These are the categories that comprise the breakdown of your expenses. Most common categories that are in a monthly budget worksheet are food, housing, transportation, education, health, and personal expenses. Credit card spending, investments, and emergency funds are classified under miscellaneous spending
4. Savings: At the bottom of your monthly budget worksheet, you will have to subtract your expenses from your earnings. If this nets into a positive amount, then the difference is a surplus or savings. It is always desirable to have savings from your expenses, no matter how small it is.
5. Deficit: Following the same process as above, when you subtract your expenses from your earnings and it yields a negative amount, then the difference is a deficit. Your expenses are larger than your income, so it might be time to evaluate your spending habits and tweak some aspects of your lifestyle.
1. Gather all your financial statements: By all, we mean ALL of your receipts, basic pay stubs, credit card bills, and all the other financial paper you may have that will help you in coming up with an accurate income statement. Know how much you make every month using these papers, don’t forget to factor in the deductions from income tax and contributions, as this will create for an inflated figure when left out of the equation.
2. Categorize your spending: Determine which expenses are fixed and which are variable. Fixed expenses are those that have a definite amount you need to pay every month such as car payments, student loans, house bills, etc. Variable expenses, meanwhile, are those their have fluctuating cost every month or those that only need to be paid every few months or so.
3. Determine your savings: Now that you have kept track of your spending, it is now easier to have a fairly accurate figure to how much you can save. Always try to set aside an amount, preferably at least 10 percent of your total savings. If you have trouble in procuring an amount to save, then analyze your spending habits and know which ones need a budget cut.
4. Create a spreadsheet: Open your favorite spreadsheet program and create a blank budget sheet where you can summarize your income and expenses. Determine the difference between the two and you will be able to see if you have enough to save or if you are currently in a financial hole. Have a column where you can tally your “Monthly Budget Amount” and another column for “Monthly Actual Amount.” For now, you can only fill out the former column as this is where you will indicate your budget projections.
5. Set your goals: Creating a budget worksheet is not an activity that you do just because you are curious about knowing about your numbers. You must have a goal in mind that pushed you to create one. Keep this goal in mind and take a look at your worksheet. Are there areas where you think you are spending too much? What are your priorities?
6. Review your budget regularly: At the end of each month, you will have to return to your worksheet and input your how much you have really spent for the month on the Monthly Actual Amount column. Compute the difference between your projections and your actual. You will be able to get a clearer picture regarding your financial health. Update your worksheet regularly based on your adjustments.
The following monthly budget worksheet types are classified according to the methods of budgeting they employ. Read each one and determine which works best to your financial situation.
Monthly budget worksheets are printed on documents with sizes of 8.5 inches by 11 inches (US Letter), 8.5 inches by 14 inches (US Legal), or 8.27 inches by 11.69 inches (A4). These sheet templates can be vertically oriented (portrait) or horizontally oriented (landscape), depending on what fits well with the contents of the worksheet.
Microsoft Excel continues to be the most popular budget planner there is. Alternatives also exist, such as Mint, a smartphone-based budgeting program, Level Money, a budgeting software that employs the envelope type of budgeting, Pear Budget, a web app that mimics Excel, and GNUCash, a budgeting program that is available across a variety of operating systems. Meanwhile, Template.net also offers a wide variety of budget worksheet templates that have been laid out beforehand so you will only have to plug in your figures and you will be good to go.
“Rainy day” fund is another term for an emergency fund used when there is a disruption or unexpected events that push you to spend more than your projected expenses. When coming up with your monthly budget worksheet, always set a small percentage of your savings for your rainy day fund.
Make your monthly budget worksheet simple and easy-to-follow, as a complicated one will only sway you away from sticking to it and using it. Remember to list all your sources of income against your expenditures, and have it as accurate as possible. Having a clear solid picture of your monthly cash flow allows you to make sound financial decisions.