01/06/12: Is your New Year’s resolution to create and live by a budget? Have you tried it before and failed? Have no fear because we can help you succeed. Below you can download a free spreadsheet that will help you create a budget with ease. All you have to do is type in your expenses and it will add each category up and give you a total monthly summary.
Get this mind-set for success:
To help you stay on your budge, you need to understand that a budget serves as a road map for your spending, helping you find ways to save more money for your financial goals. For a one-month period, keep track of every dollar you spend, whether by cash, check, or credit card. Enter the amounts on the spreadsheet and look at the totals. Are you surprised by how much small expenditures add up over a month? Did you realize how much you were spending on things like dining out, clothing, and impulse purchases?
- Use spending categories that make sense for your spending patterns.
- Use all the categories that you can to give you a good feel for your spending patterns.
- Do not feel compelled to use the ones that don’t apply to your life so that it becomes difficult and time consuming to monitor your progress.
- Include nonrecurring items in your budget, such as gifts, tuition, insurance premiums, property taxes, etc.
- Monthly compare your Total Expenses to your Total Income in the Monthly Budget Summary to find out where you are having problems.
- While everyone in the family should have some cash that can be spent without accounting for it, don’t make the amount so large that it detracts from your savings efforts.
- Include savings in your budget and make sure you actually save that amount every month.
- While at times a budget may not seem worth the effort, remember that it is a tool to help you accomplish your financial goals. Remain committed and stick with it.
Feel free to share this spreadsheet with your friends and if you have any questions, please call us or email us here. We would be glad to talk with you on how you can make 2012 a great year for you financially.
Click HERE to download the “Monthly Budget” spreadsheet.