This post is long overdue, to say the least. For many years I have handwritten my budget and I didn’t know how to present the work to you all. I didn’t think it appropriate to just take a picture of a sheet of paper and say, “Here you go, figure it out”. So I finally created one via PDF that is just like what I have written on paper.
When it comes to knowing the state of your affairs and getting out of debt, the first step in this process is creating a budget. You have to know what is coming in and what is going out. The overall goal is to have more coming in than going out.
In creating this budget sheet, I broke it down into sections for MONTHLY expenses and made calculations based on a person/couple getting a bi-weekly paycheck. If you get paid weekly or monthly, you can still use this sheet. Just simply add what your paycheck would be if you got paid bi-weekly. Please note: section 1 is for an individual only – do not combine expenses with your spouse. Sections 2,3, 4 and total can be combined expenses with your spouse. Now time to break this sheet down for you. I hope that it will help you for years to come.
Section 1: Items removed from your check
In the PDF, I added this section so one can know what is coming out of their checks besides taxes. It may sound funny, but many people don’t know what is being taken out of their checks every other week. Sometimes they apply for health or life insurance through their employer years ago thinking it will be removed the following year. But that deduction keeps being taken out until they put a stop to it. For this section, I added some common expenses usually taken out of the check (health insurance, retirement, etc) and left some fillable areas if you need to add other expenses like life insurance or child support. I added “retirement” because some employers offer 401k, 403b, and Roth accounts, so I left it a bit vague. All in all, you can still enter the numbers.
Section 2: Manual Payments
In this section, what I mean by manual payments are payments that you have to pay by hand or online. These payments either cannot be automatically drafted from your account or they should not be automatically drafted from your account. For instance, I like to pay the mortgage manually because it is the biggest expense that I have and I like to see how my monthly payments are lowing my principal balance.
Section 3: Automatic Payments
This section is for payments that are automatically drafted from your bank account. In this post, I spoke about maximizing your time on a busy schedule and a method of doing so is consolidating your online accounts. If you have many bills, do you really want to log into each and every one of them? I certainly don’t. So I encourage you to set-up automatic payments. This will allow you not to be late on your payments when life gets hectic.
Section 4: Cash
In this day in age, we use so much plastic that kids think that all the money is tied into the card. I like using cash especially when it comes to teaching the kids about buying and getting change back. I added this section to encourage others to use cash. Cash helps you control your spending. If you have a grocery budget of $150 cash, then it disciplines you to use that cash wisely.
Let’s total it up
The final box on the PDF is your total. Don’t panic when you see the numbers. What you want to do is add your biweekly paycheck amount as soon as you are done putting your expenses. If you are in the negative and have no money left over every other week, it’s a great opportunity to see where you can cut some expenses. I love this sheet because you can play with the numbers and delete
I’ve attached two budget sheets, one is for digital purposes and the other is printable version. Though the digital pdf can be printed out, it will use a lot of your ink. Both versions are fillable and has calculations embedded. You will need to open this file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you need to download it, click here.
I hope this budget sheet helps you and I want you to let me know your opinion on it. Let me know the good, the bad, and ugly. I am open to suggestions.
Will you begin budgeting today?