Living a Better Life
(featured column)

Basic Budgeting: for Those Who Hate to Budget
by Michelle Jones

Includes our printable worksheets as pictured on my desk at the top of our Web site!

There are many great budgeting and financial planning tools on the market today, in fact, we have a list of several great budgeting systems in our online Budget Planners department that we do recommend. These personal and household budget planning products can be extremely useful and will help you stay on track year after year.

Yet, I know many of you may be looking for a budgeting tool that is more basic, and maybe more importantly, free! 

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In fact, this may be exactly why you are here visiting with us now (even though our Web site and Free Ezine is packed full with thousands of money-saving tips!), you might just be passing through looking for a simple budget plan. And as the Founder & Editor of Better Budgeting I'm not going to let you down.

If you would just like a simple form to budget your monthly income, I've formatted a printer friendly Basic Budgeting Worksheet below that will help you get started.  I've also copied these instructions and the worksheet into printer friendly pages for your convenience.  I hope you fill find this budget form helpful when figuring your monthly income.  

Here are a few helpful guidelines to use:  

INCOME

If you're paid...

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Weekly: Figure 4 paychecks per month. (Use the extra 4 paychecks each year for savings, taxes, Christmas gifts, etc.)

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Bi-weekly: Figure 2 paychecks per month. (Same as above, only you'll have 2 larger extra paychecks each year instead of 4 smaller ones.)

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Monthly: Figure the entire monthly amount. (You'll have to be more diligent to set aside a portion of your income for annual expenses and savings each month - because there will be no extra paychecks throughout the year.) 

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Fluctuating Income/ Commission: To estimate your monthly income, total your income for the last 12 months and divide that figure by 12.  (You will also need to be more diligent in saving whenever you have a surplus, for the leaner months.)

TOTAL SURPLUS

After filling out the Basic Budgeting Worksheet with your monthly income and expenses, you will either have a surplus of money leftover, or a shortage.  Any surplus should be budgeted for yearly expenditures or savings.  

TOTAL SHORTAGE

If your budget total reveals a shortage, then you need to either eliminate or cut back on your expenses or increase your income, or maybe even both. If that is not possible at this time, work towards the goal of having at least a small monthly surplus as soon as possible, even if it's just $10.  Then continue to work on your household budget every year, managing your money better and Living a Better Life, on less... you can do it!!

God bless you always,
Michelle

Printer Friendly Page

View and Print our Basic Budgeting Worksheet

 

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Copyright © 2003, 2004 by Michelle Jones

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