The Basics of a Monthly Budget Planner (Free Printable)
You know that having a budget is important, but you may not know where to begin and what you should include. Luckily, creating a monthly budget planner is easy once you know how and I’ve even included a free printable to get you started!
The link to print the Monthly Budget Planner is at the end of the post.
Having a budget is more than just writing down your bills. You also need to know what you bring in to the household. This may be a set number for some who are on salary, but for others who work on commission, get paid by the hour or whose income depends on the seasons, this number could change often.
Everyone’s expenses are different, but most of us have a few things in common: housing, utilities and transportation to name a few. What you will notice on the printable is that there is a “budgeted expense” and an “actual expense.” Some of your bills are fixed amounts, but it is pretty rare to have your electric bill or gas usage come out exactly the same month after month. The budgeted expense lets you know how much you estimate (and can afford) to spend on a particular expense, while the actual expense tells you how much you actually spent. This is helpful because it can help you determine if you are spending too much on something, such as entertainment, or if you need to budget a bit higher for things like electricity or food.
Some Things Explained
While most have health insurance and retirement also taken out of their checks, I included boxes for those items since so many Americans are having to set up their own policies and plans and paying for them out-of-pocket. If your employer automatically deducts these from your paychecks, then do not add them in the boxes.
Also, some feel that their retirement and savings accounts should be included in income because they view it as “spendable.” I disagree with this. Yes, that is your money and if you do need it, you can have it, but don’t view it as spending money. It should stay off of your monthly budget planner because you should not be touching it, except to put money in those accounts. If you have the mindset that it is not available, then you will be less tempted to use it. (The mind is a funny thing, isn’t it?)
Do you have a monthly budget planner? Print this Monthly Budget Printable
I got started on budgeting our money by reading the ever popular book: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Here are a few more posts that you can read…
- How we eliminated over $32,000 in 14 months
- Emergency Fund: Is it worth it?
- Our Total Money Makeover has begun