Budgeting is always something that is intimidating to people. Writing down their expenses versus how much they are bringing in is a scary thought, but in reality it helps you know where your money is going and how you can reach a savings goal. Whether you are saving for a rainy day, a vacation, a house, a car, etc. you won’t get there unless you have a budget plan.
Of course it’s not that scary when Eastern Shore Mom is here to help! I have made a FREE downloadable version of the budget spreadsheet I use for our family’s finances! This has saved us lots of money just by me sitting down and typing out where our money is going and when.
Here is how this works:
Step One: Fill in the month and dates of each weeks. You will see that I break down our budget weekly. This helps us plan on how much we are spending on what each week. So start with this month (I have already written “January” in) then go down the calendar and write the starting day of each week and the ending date of each week where is says “Dates of the Week”
Step Two: Fill in your weekly expenses. I have already made a category for Child Care, Gas, Groceries, Misc. & Bills. Note that the category of “BILLS” needs to be filled out below the highlighted lines where is says “List your bills here”. This form is made to calculate everything for you. So when you plug in your bills below, it is going to total them and bring them up to the top under “GAS” and the total will be next to “BILLS”.
Be sure to fill in each week’s expenses, so if your mortgage is due the first of the month, put it under the first week. If the cell bill is due at the end of the month, put it under the last week’s bills.
Step Three: Fill in your income. Underneath your TOTAL from your expenses is a place for you to fill in how much your bring in each week. Once you fill in the amount you bring in each week, the sheet will automatically calculate how much SAVINGS there is by subtracting the TOTAL amount from your expenses by your INCOME field. This is all done for you automatically inside the sheet, so don’t try to fill in the SAVINGS field yourself!
Step Four: Track your budget. If you need to stick the allotted money in envelopes each week to make sure what you have budgeted is what you are spending, do so. Be sure at the end of the week to check off what you have paid that week and make sure you didn’t go over budget. If so, be sure to change that category so your SAVINGS line updates with the new amount.
Final Step: DEPOSIT! At the end of the week, take the total amount under SAVINGS and make your deposit! If your budgeting went according to plan, that amount should be waiting to move over to the Savings Account and a new week begins!
Save a BLANK one- Be sure to go ahead and save one that is blank. Open it, go to File, Save As, then name it “EasternShoreMom Budget Plan MASTER COPY”. Once you do that, open it again, go to File, Save As, then name it “January 2011″. Do this so you always have one that is not typed in because…
Don’t Delete the Formulas- I have inserted formulas in each HIGHLIGHTED cell (or little box). Be sure NOT TO DELETE (or backspace) inside these highlighted boxes, as it will delete the formulas I have inserted and the sheet won’t calculate correctly. If you do delete a formula, refer to the one you have saved blank (tip above) and select the cell (or little box) that you deleted and copy and paste over the correct formula.
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