Learn how to create a simple budget with this easy printable budget worksheet!
Does creating a budget feel complicated — like this huge, challenging chore you’d rather not do? I totally get that (I put off making a budget for years). Creating a monthly budget can seem like an unnecessary hassle, but it is absolutely vital for your financial health. This quote from Dave Ramsey really sums it up…
A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
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Maybe you’ve put off creating a budget because you don’t know how to start budgeting or what to include in a budget, or maybe the idea of sticking to a budget just feels too restrictive. Whatever the reason, let me show you that creating a monthly budget doesn’t have to be this big, difficult thing.
Below, you will find the five steps for designing a simple budget plus a free monthly budget printable to make setting up your monthly budget super easy!
Five Steps to Make a Simple Budget
A few years ago, my husband and I sat down together a set up our monthly budget. We looked at our past bank statements and accounted for every penny we were spending. We then created a budget that allows us to be successful. It sounds so simple, but that really is the key to setting up a successful – create a plan for your money that you can follow successfully.
These five steps will help you design a plan successful money plan for your family:
1. Find Out Where You’re Money is Going.
Okay, it’s time to find out where your money is going and create a simple budget. Deep breaths. I promise it’s going to be okay!
Print out 12 copies of this printable monthly budget template (one for every month). Then look through your last 3 months of bank statements and calculate a reasonable budget for each category. Fill out one of the monthly budget templates with that information.
Related Post: What is a Budget Binder and Why You Need One.
At the end of each month, go back and fill in what you actually spent. You can then adjust your budget for the next month accordingly. Super easy!
*If you prefer to use a bound monthly planner, try Your Balanced Budget by Kimberly Palmer. It’s another great way to keep your budget organized and accessible.
2. What’s Your Why?
Write down your money goals and put them were you can see them often. When sticking to with your budget starts to feel difficult (and it will), read through your goals and think about how good it will feel when you achieve them!
I created this set of free printable goal setting worksheets to help you set and achieve reasonable goals. Click the image below to download your free copy!
3. Remember Budgeting is Like Dieting.
Most of us have money goals and it can be tempting to cut out all unnecessary spending to acieve those goals. But if you make your budget too restrictive, your going to end up splurging later.
An example: For the past five years, your morning routine has involved a stop by the corner Starbucks. One day, you decide to cut out all unnecessary spending which includes your morning latte. We all know that’s not going to last long. Cut back, but don’t make it all or nothing.
Take away – While it’s great to reduce your spending, you will be more successful if you cut back slowly.
4. Reward yourself.
Living on a budget is not a quick fix, it’s a new way of life (this really is starting to sound like a diet). It’s important to reward yourself from time to time. Choose a few things you really like to do, and schedule them once or twice a month.
For me, it’s restaurants – not fast food, but actual restaurants with hostesses and waiters. I have always loved going out to eat. As we were looking over our finances, however, this was one place where we were overspending. So now restaurants are a special treat that we schedule and look forward too.
5. What Are You Thankful For?
This tip is so important. In a world that constantly tells us to go after the next best thing and teaches us to want more, sometimes it is hard to be content with what we have. Yet finding contentment is incredibly beneficial for our well-being and our finances. It’s also incredibly difficult. Making a list of what we are thankful for helps to change our perspective and allows us to put our money toward things that are more meaningful.
I hope this post will help you create a simple budget for your family. For more money tips and frugal living advice, sign up the weekly lw vogue newsletter.
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