Learning how to budget can take a while. But it doesn’t have to! Learn how to budget your life in under an hour with this nifty printable budgeting worksheet.
This guide makes tracking your monthly expenses seem like a walk in the park. It’s so simple, you’ll be done in a flash!
Before you get started, here’s a little hint: Not every category will apply to you, so don’t be shy about writing in zeroes where appropriate. The more the merrier!
Step 1: Calculate Your Monthly Income
After taxes, how much money do you have coming in each month?
Tip: Include income from pension, savings and investments.
Step 2: Housing Costs
There are several factors that go into housing, not just rent. Make sure to include all of the following:
- Phone (landline/mobile)
- TV (cable/satellite)
- Council Tax
- Other (second mortgage, home repairs, etc.)
Step 3: Transport Costs
Make sure you take your normal commute into account, plus an estimate for transit done to and from social events.
- Car payments/maintenance
- Public transit
- Other (bike maintenance, etc.)
Step 4: Insurance Costs
Insurance is a great way to ensure your budget doesn’t get thrown off by high emergency expenses.
- Other (disability, life, etc.)
Step 5: Personal and Household Costs
This inventory should include things you need on a monthly basis.
- Cleaning supplies
- Other (haircuts, dry cleaning, etc.)
Step 6: Family Costs
Include items that are required to run your household or provide for your children’s needs.
- School tuition/fees
- Day care/nanny
- Pet supplies/vet Bills
- Other (child support, children’s extracurricular activities, etc.)
Step 7: Leisure Costs
Everyone needs a little fun once in a while — make sure you account for it in your budget!
- Dining out
- Shows (cinema, sports, concerts, theatre, etc.)
- Other (music, books, holidays, etc.)
Step 8: Debt Payments
Take an inventory of all debts and any outstanding balances you have that aren’t included in the above categories.
- Credit card 1
- Credit card 2
- Other loans
Step 9: Calculate the Totals
Add up all of your expenses from step two through eight. Take that total and subtract it from your monthly income (calculated in the first step). The formula will look like this:
Monthly income (step one) — Total Expenses (total from step two through eight) = Discretionary Income.
If You’re in the Black…
Brilliant! You manage your money responsibly and even have a few extra pounds left over for savings. Keep up the good work. If you need help developing your savings plan, check out this infographic to guide you.
If You’re in the Red…
You took the first important step toward recognising the overall deficit in your budget. The next step is to adjust accordingly and start making your way into the black (or positive) zone. Take a moment to reflect and examine the budget you just outlined — are there things on your list that you want but don’t need? Eliminate those and see where you’re at. If you need additional budgeting tips, try integrating these good financial habits into your routine and start taking the next steps toward a positive budget!