What Is A Personal Budget Spreadsheet?
Are your finances not in the best place right now? You probably know you need to budget but either don’t yet have the discipline or the right tools to go about it. Fortunately, the answer can be as easy as creating a personal budget spreadsheet to keep track of your income and expenditures. This is helpful because it gives you a very accurate picture of your finances so you can react accordingly. You can see where you should be cutting down and where you need to be budgeting more money. It’s pretty simple to set up a budget spreadsheet and customize it to your unique situation, although it can take some trial and error to get the budgeting process right.
Tips For Creating A Personal Budget Spreadsheet
When putting together a personal budget spreadsheet, keep the following in mind:
- Always start by adding up your regular income into a concrete number.
- Put regular, necessary expenditures in the budget first, such as monthly bills.
- Look at past expenditures to guess how much you will spend on other necessities each month, such as groceries.
- Always be sure to budget as much as you can into savings accounts of various natures.
- Remember to include everything. Forgetting something will throw your budget off.
- The difference between your expenditures and your income is a number to pay close attention to. If you are in the red, you will have to find things to cut out of your budget. If you are in the black, then you should be all set. The key at that point is to actually adhering to the budget spreadsheet you’ve created.
- Also remember to shift values around if you have budgeted too much into one category at the expense of another.
- Be sure to update your budget sheet regularly with any changes.
- Include a column for both the projected total of expenses and the actual total from that month. This will help you keep track of how well you are adhering to the budget.
- Ensure that everyone who is going to be adhering to the budget gets a copy and has no objections.
- If other people are going to be adhering to the budget, involve them in the creation process.
- Use formulas if you would like or if they will make the process easier.
The Process Of Using A Good Personal Budget Spreadsheet
When sitting down to create your personal budget spreadsheet, the first thing you should do is take into account your stable income. Write down how much at the bottom of the sheet you earn per month, including both regular income from a job and any additional income, such as selling items on eBay. Your goal is obviously to budget your monthly expenditures for less than that amount.
The next step is to look at all necessary expenditures. Carefully review your finances for the last few months and include all bills that need to be paid monthly, such as rent, electricity, mortgage payments, etc. These payments should have set amounts, but it gets trickier when expenses don’t have a set amount, such as gas, credit card bills and groceries. For these expenses, you will have to guess, based on previous totals, how much you will spend on them per month.
Budgeting for savings is the next important step. Many Americans do not have a significant savings account and that is a substantial problem. You never know when an emergency will happen and you will need a financial cushion. So after inputting all regular expenditures, take a significant amount of the remaining money and budget it for savings. In addition to a regular savings account, you might also put money into other savings accounts such as for healthcare costs and retirement savings.
Leave some disposable income available to you if possible. Also, keep track of unplanned expenditures so you will have an idea of how much to expect for those every month.
You can then use formulas to easily add everything up to be left with a total. Comparing that number with the amount of your regular income will tell you how much else you will have available per month to do with as you wish. Be sure to actually adhere to the amounts you’ve budgeted for each thing and you should be fine.
Examples Of Content
Monthly Expected Budget:
Car Payment: $XXX
Car Insurance: $XXX
Cell Phone: $XXX
Credit Card #1 Payment: $XXX
Credit Card #2 Payment: $XXX
Pet Supplies: $XXX
Health Insurance Payment: $XXX
Dining Out: $XXX
Streaming Services: $XXX
(Add any unplanned expenditures here later)
Income Total (Expected): $XXX
Income Total (Actual): $XXX
Expenditures (Expected): $XXX
Expenditures (Actual): $XXX
Example Using Template
Monthly Expected Budget:
Car Payment: $200
Car Insurance: $57
Cell Phone: $110
Credit Card #1 Payment: $500
Credit Card #2 Payment: $100
Pet Supplies: $50
Health Insurance Payment: $250
Dining Out: $100
Streaming Services: $24
Vet bill: $75
Car Repair: $80
Income Total (Expected): $4,086
Income (Actual): $4,086
Expenditures (Expected): $3,428
Expenditures (Actual): $3,583
_____________________________, (list names of family members)
I just wanted to let all of you know that starting this month our family will be adhering to a stricter budget than before.
Particularly of interest to you is the fact that we’re cutting the cord by getting rid of our cable subscription and subscribing solely to Netflix and HBO NOW (for a total of $24). This budget also allows us to eat out occasionally, but no more than twice a month, or fast food four to five times a month. Mary and Dean in particular have stated they want to work on their cooking skills, so this will be a good opportunity for the two of you to practice cooking dinner every now and again.
I’ve decided to begin budgeting a little more strictly because of Mom’s healthcare costs, as well as some hefty vet bills that will be coming our way because our animals are aging. We’ve also been eating out a lot and are paying for premium cable service that we don’t really use. It will be better for our health and our bank account if we cook our own meals at home. If anyone is interested in getting a gym membership, I am more than happy to include that in the budget as well.
I’ve attached the full budget to this e-mail and I want you to come to me if you have any questions or don’t agree with something. Also let me know if I missed something important. We’ll do our best to work things out. I understand this might be a difficult time for all of us but I wholly believe we’ll be okay. Fiscal responsibility is important and I want everyone to do their part. Think of it as a useful lesson for when you have to manage a household budget for yourself someday.