Monthly budget spreadsheet
The results of this study reiterate that over-confidence is an enormous drag on the average person’s finances. We believe we’re immune to advertising, that we can handle credit responsibly, that we can pick winning stocks. Yet study after study demonstrates that this just is not the case. In fact, those who lack confidence often make the best financial decisions.
The first step of creating monthly budget spreadsheet should be starting an account with moneyStrands. It gives you a complete set of easy-to-use personal budgeting tools.
Do your budgeting work online. Years ago, people kept track of their budgets in ledger books with pencils and kept their receipts in shoeboxes. But today, a plethora of options are available to make budgeting simpler, and better yet searchable. Most computers have a spreadsheet program available in the office tools files.
For those who use Linux, a very popular program is GnuCash. GnuCash allows users to download transaction records directly from their credit and banking institutions (that is, if their online banking and account management supports the common protocol: e.g. Citi lets me download my credit card transactions, whereas my regional bank does not for “security reasons.”) I find that this tool allows me to organize and analyze my expenses intuitively for the nice price of $0.00. GnuCash also works for people outside of the US as well, something I’m not sure of for Microsoft Money or Quicken.
At the beginning of the month, fill in the income and expenses you expect for the month. Include how much you will save for emergencies, debts you will pay off, and money you will give away. The difference between your income and all the other things should equal $0. Live on this budget and then fill out the “actual income” and “actual expenses” sections at the end of the month to see how you did.
You will input your full year income and expenses by account category and it will be automatically spread over 12 months based on pre-set monthly distribution giving you a Twelve month Income Statement.
This was originally an excel Template that I found and I converted it into Numbers '08 format. Which did take some tweeking, but generally it is the same. I have had it on the site for about a year now and it has done very well. I hope that you enjoy it!