Make a budget! Control where your money goes with a personal budget template. Creating a personal budget for the first time can be difficult. But don’t be panic. We will help you to set your monthly budget.
Having control over your money is important, both for your financial well-being and for your peace of mind. Creating a budget with the help of a template can help you feel you have more control over your finances and allow you to save more money for your short or long term goals.
The following strategies can help you put together your personal budget form.
Set your goals
Make a list of all the financial goals that you want to meet in the short and long term. Ask yourself basic questions about why these goals are your priorities, how you plan to achieve them, and how urgently you need to see results. Short-term goals should not take more than a year to complete.
For example, you may want to pay off your credit card debt or save for Christmas gifts. Long-term goals can take years to come true. A typical example would be to save for retirement or for your child’s education. If you have no idea what your savings goals are, start by using the Merrill Edge Retirement Calculator to find out how much money you may need when you retire. For short-term goals, you can use the Bank Savings Calculator to help you figure out how much you have to save to reach your aim.
However, do not think that your goals have to remain unchanged. You can update your list when necessary and apply it to your budget worksheet.
Know your net income
The first step when creating a budget is to identify the incoming money, also called your income. Keep in mind, however, that it is easy to overstate what you can afford if you feel you have all your wages to spend. Remember to subtract your employer deductions for Social Security, taxes, 401 (k) plan and flexible expense account assignments when creating a budget slip. The final payment that comes into your home is called net income and is the sum of money you should use when creating a budget.
Create your plan
Start by dividing your net income into 2 broad categories of expenses: fixed expenses and variable expenses. Some of your expenses, such as mortgage, are fixed because they stay the same every month. Other expenses, such as entertainment or fuel for the car, are variables that change from month to month. You should record how much you spend on both fixed and variable expenses. You may consider using software tools for budgeting or a personal budget template to record and categorize your monthly expenses.
You can also divide your expenses into 3 basic categories: needs, savings, and desires.
- Needs include fixed and variable costs that are essential for your daily well-being.
- Savings include your emergency fund and retirement accounts.
- Desires encompass everything else.
Keep track of your expenses
Not sure how much you spend per month on variable expenses like groceries or dining out? Tracking these expenses can be difficult. You can try to use an expense diary to help you do a little research work for this type of expense. Look for a small notebook and use it to write down every purchase you make each day for a month. Other options include saving all receipts and adding them to the end of the month or checking your Online Banking registration if you use a debit or credit card for most of your purchases. Once you have a good estimate of these expenses per month, incorporate them into your personal budget worksheet.
Customize your budget
The good thing about creating a budget is that you can customize it according to your own needs. After determining what separates for your fixed expenses, you can change the amount allocated to the variable items. The variable category gives you more flexibility over the amount you choose to spend and where and allows you to prioritize as you see fit. For example, you might decide that you will spend less on clothes per month to spend more money on the purchase of a new TV.
Create a budget
Follow these 4 simple steps when you start putting together your personal budget:
Write down your daily expenses
Record your daily expenses with anything you have on hand, either with a pen and paper or with an application on your smartphone.
Plan your next month’s expenses and income, so they do not take you by surprise. Be sure to check with your partner before putting together the final list.
Look for ways to spend less.
Small savings can add up to a lot of money. If you add small savings at a time to your budget, you may be surprised to see how much extra money you have accumulated. For example, try shopping at a more affordable grocery store, buying generic brands or experimenting with cooking at home.
Find ways to increase your income.
Do you have a hobby or a talent? Any activity, from manual work to writing or teaching to play an instrument, can be a way to earn extra money. A great advantage of this strategy is that you can develop your full time parallel business if you ever lose your job.
Also read: 11 Secrets To Creating a Successful Budget: how to make a budget?
Perform a monthly check
Check your expenses every month and compare them with your personal budget schedule to see how things are going. If you find that it is common for you to move from the budget in some areas out of necessity, you should consider cutting cuts elsewhere to keep things in check.