If you’ve never had a budget before, creating one from scratch can be intimidating.
But having a written budget (and sticking to it!) really is necessary for achieving your financial goals. I couldn’t imagine how we would’ve paid off over $12,000 in credit card debt without it.
Back in the dark ages before every child was born with an iPad in their hands, I used to do my budget on a simple spreadsheet that I Xeroxed for each month. And after 15 years of attempting to navigate complicated software in order to “simplify” my finances, I’ve gone back to my roots- the simple excel file.
Except with one advancement. I don’t put pen to paper anymore. Because paper is just so not cool. Or maybe it’s just because I don’t like my messy handwriting. Either way.
So, I created this editable spreadsheet to document all our spending and keep us on budget and focused on our goals.
And I thought I would share it with you. Because I’m not a hoarder.
The idea is very simple. Enter your sources of income/billers/spending categories in the first column. Put your budgeted amounts in the second. And when the bill has been paid, you fill in the third and fourth columns.
And just so you don’t have to do any complicated math, like adding, I’ve added formulas to do the totalling for you. (Just be sure if you add or delete rows that the formulas still include all the appropriate cells.)
The goal would be to have the Remaining Funds equal ZERO.
That means you are in control of your money and telling it where to go, instead of your money controlling you.
And that’s a pretty good feeling.
Come back next week when I talk about how to fill in all those scary blank spaces….
What tools do you use to keep track of your budget?