Free Budget Worksheet & Budgeting Tips
We have an incredibly useful and totally free printable budget worksheet that you can download below. But before we get to that, lets talk a little bit about budgeting and budgeting tips.
Why You Should Set a Budget?
Budgeting has become somewhat of a lost art in our society. Over time, the word “budget” has developed a negative connotation – as in, if you’re on a budget - it is associated with deprivation. Most people see making lots of money as a license to spend freely, and making little money as having to watch more carefully what we spend. But what if I told you that EVERYONE should budget?
I have to confess, even with a background in Accounting and Finance, I have often resisted budgeting for my own household, because it seemed like a lot of work! In all actuality, budgeting is very simple AND it can bring MORE freedom and LESS STRESS to your spending habits. Whether your household brings in $500,000 or $25,000, budgeting can be the tool that helps you acquire and increase wealth for your family. (Or maybe, as a starter, just help you sleep better at night!)
How Do You Start a Budget?
If you are a salaried employee you know your monthly income, so this process will be a bit easier. If you are self-employed the budgeting process presents a unique challenge due to the fact that a self-employed person’s income can vary greatly from month-to-month and/or season-to-season. If you aren’t already using some sort of financial tracking software for your business you need to start NOW! Spreadsheets or other software allow you to see trends and make decisions based on past history.
Once you know (for salaried employee) or have an estimate of your monthly income, there are several tools available that you can use to allocate funds to different categories. I really like using Dave Ramsey's guideline percentages.
Here are his recommendations:
- Charity – 10-15%
- Saving – 5 – 10%
- Housing – 25-35%
- Utilities – 5 – 10%
- Food – 5 – 15%
- Transportation – 10-15%
- Clothing – 2 – 7%
- Medical/Health – 5-10%
- Personal – 5 – 10%
- Recreation – 5 – 10%
- Debts – 5 – 10%
(You can download a free printable budge worksheet from Pretty Presets below to help you fill these items in!)
Once you get started, keep these few tips in mind: (also from Dave Ramsey)
Give it three to four months to start working. It won't be perfect the first time you do it.
Spend every dime on paper before the month begins.
Over-fund your groceries category. Most people underfund that category.
Husbands (if applicable) need to loosen up and quit using the budget as a whipping tool on their wives.
If married, spouses need to do the budget together. The preacher said "... and you are ONE."
In the same way that eating healthy helps you say “no” to things that aren’t good for your body, with the freedom to enjoy a treat occasionally, budgeting will allow you to say “no” to the things that aren’t financially healthy. It will also save you from “buyer’s remorse”; when you’ve budgeted for an item, you can buy it and truly enjoy it without feeling guilty!
Dave says: "budgeting is 20% belief and 80% behavior", so make a plan on your calendar to actually SIT DOWN and give this a shot! We’d also love to hear how budgeting has brought some freedom in your finances!
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Who is Pretty Presets?
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