At the end of 2019, I decided that in 2020, I want to simplify the way that I look at a lot of things. One of these things is the way that I budget. When it comes to my finances, I tend to overthink something as simple as budgeting. Over the years, I’ve changed my budgeting method several times. I’ve create elaborate budgets with graphs and charts and hundreds of tabs and notes. But because they were so tedious to complete and contained so much information, I lost interest.
So I decided to take it back to the basics with a Simple Budget Worksheet. If you are the type of person who loves to analyse and look for trends in historical data, this worksheet may not be your type of template. Instead, it’s for the person now starting out with budgeting, looking for a simple way to see how their money is working. Of course, you may need additional budgets for additional needs (for example, a household budget), but these can be easily added to your financial arsenal.
The Simple Budget Worksheet
The Simple Budget Worksheet is as simple as it could get with budgeting. It’s a one page printable that you can use each month to organise your income and your spending. It’s divided into two main sections – the first relates to income and the second is dedicated to spending and saving. In both sections there are two columns for you to complete – the “Budgeted” and “Actual” columns.
Budgeted and Actual Columns
The “Budgeted” column is where you would enter your estimates. Estimates can be based on activity from previous months, but, if you are using this method, always use the highest figure possible. This will ensure that you do not under-budget, which could result in unwanted financial problems.
The “Actual” column is where you enter the actual figures of your income, spending or saving. This figure may be higher or lower that what you budgeted and that is perfectly normal. If it’s lower, it means that your budgeted figures may need to be adjusted for the next month.
In the income section, you can enter your income on two lines. One line is for your main job or the job that brings in the most income; and the other line is for part jobs. If you have more than one part time job, total the income from these jobs.
In this section, enter all items that you usually allocate money to each month. This could be savings, utilities, rent, mortgage payment, car note, line of credit or any other category that you put money towards each month.
Making the Budget Work
One of the basic purposes of budgeting is to ensure that you are not spending more than you are making. If you are in a situation where you are in a deficit position every month, you can try to use your budget to come up with scenarios to reverse your negative position. Also, by seeing where your money goes, you can make stronger financial decisions that benefit you.
I love budgeting and I cannot tell you where I would be if I did not create plans for my money each month. There is a pleasant and calming feeling knowing that my money is accounted for and I can see exactly where it is going. I use the Simple Budget Worksheet to achieve this and to ensure that I keep good records.