The economic forecast seems to be getting gloomier by the day. As the economy takes a dive and my savings deplete like water in a leaky bucket, I recently decided to get down to business and work on a monthly budget in an attempt to stop my leaky bucket life style.
Using this simple template and following the steps below, I was able to hammer out a monthly budget and curve wasteful spending.
Believe it or not, the hardest part of the was getting started. I began by listing my monthly and quarterly outgoing expenses. Meaning, I gathered every bill and printed every e-bill I pay and then some. My list included, but was not limited to, the utility bill, mortgage (or rent if you lease), car payment, and insurance and so on. Oh, don’t forget those other bills that don’t usually occur monthly like license fees, car registration, oil changes, gift spending, and everything else in between. Basically everything that you spend money on needs to be included in your budget for it to be accurate. For those quarterly and yearly expenses, I broken them down into monthly portions as describe by this great article and using this annual spending worksheet. [1. Budget Annual Spending by Erin Huffstetler http://frugalliving.about.com/od/moneymanagement/ht/Annual_Spending.htm]
Your next step is gathering all your pay stubs and other sources of income. You then need to populate your income fields and expense fields in the spreadsheet. Feel free to rename some of the currently populated fields if they don’t pertain to your spending.
If you are unhappy with the what you discovered, you are not alone. Most people tend to spend more than they make. Howver, putting it on paper is the first step to seeing where your money is going. Hopefully with the help of this trusty spreadsheet, it makes it easier to look at your expenses closely and figure out what you can live without.