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Using An Excel Budget Planner To Get Your Finances In Order
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Using An Excel Budget Planner To Get Your Finances In Order

I don’t think I can say enough how important a budget is. One simple way to track expenses is by using an Excel budget planner.

Some people hear the word budget and they cringe. I get that. They think a budget means you can’t spend any money and you can’t do anything fun. So maybe a kinder word is ‘spending plan’. Yes that sounds better.

Some people might think they have a pretty good idea in their head already of what they spend and how much they make. That could be, but putting it on paper somehow makes it more real.

You can download a free excel budget planner spreadsheet. Once you have it downloaded you will be able to change any title fields you need to. Everyone’s expenses are a little different, so customize it to fit your needs.

About now you might be wondering what on earth you are supposed to do with the spreadsheet once you have it downloaded. Here’s a brief rundown on what to do with this budget planning tool:

First of all you should enter your fixed expenses. Everyone has some fixed expenses, such as mortgage or rent, car payments, and insurance, etc.

Secondly you want to enter the non-fixed expenses you have each month. Things such as lunches, gas for the car, groceries, and clothing fall into this category.

Your fixed expenses are pretty easy to ‘fill in the blanks’ for. These expenditures are a little more difficult to pin down. Most people don’t know how much they actually spend on things like this.

So how can you figure out what you spend on non-fixed expenses? Get a small notebook and carry it with you. For the next month every time you spend money, write down how much you spent and what you spent it on. At the end of the month you can add it up and plug it in to the correct spending category on the spreadsheet.

Once you have notated the fixed and non-fixed expenses, you need to plug in the numbers of your net pay. Now it’s time to take a look at your results.

Do you have money left over? If so, that’s great!

You may find yourself in a negative balance. If that’s the case what can you do? Take a look at your expenses and see where you can cut back to get your spending in line.

Separate the needs from the wants. We have our basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Everything else is negotiable. I mean, do you really NEED 400 cable channels? Probably not. Do you need to eat lunch out every day? Saving a little here, a little there, all adds up.

Cutting back on things that aren’t essential to balance the budget may sting a little at first. But it’s ok, you will adjust. Just be cautious not to slash things so far that you feel deprived and have no life. Because at some point, you will rebel and that can set you back even more.


Street Talk

I have never used one of these, but the wife has, and swears by them.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

They rock!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

A good budget planner is a wonderful tool...

Reply
  about 6 years ago

It sure is Rob!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Planning is really important and that is a great way to do it. Very useful info.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Maria. I like to keep things simple.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I love it, and yes do you really need 400 channels! ;-)

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you, David! Ok, if you need the channels you can have my share, I don't watch much TV...lol!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Nice...Actually I can't even remember the last time the tv was turned on. No time for it ;)

  
  about 6 years ago

Cutting back to balance the budget is a good thing as is balance in balancing:-) nice article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Yes, I find that balance in my life is extremely important. Not just in my finances, but a lot of other aspects as well.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

You're right! It's difficult sometimes though isn't it?

  
  about 6 years ago

Good article

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Sharon!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Planning is super important for anything we do, and a personal budget is just as important as your business. Thanks:)

Reply
  about 6 years ago

It is important, but a lot of people either can't or won't.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I do agree with Linda too.....thanks for this great info about how to do it

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Kaite!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Linda14  

Great article Lacey. I'll do this, I wish my friends that really needed the help would take some time to do the same. It seems like the people who need the most help, live on a day to day basis.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I know, and its hard to understand sometimes.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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