How to Fill Free Budget Worksheets Out

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There are tons of free budget worksheets you can find online to help you live within your means and possibly even add to your nest egg. Using printable budget sheets will show you exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out. By planning your budget you'll be able to see where you can trim your expenses and how you can find a little extra for the emergency fund. Read on for tips on how to take full advantage of free printable budget worksheets.

  • Before you even start filling out the free budget worksheets you and your spouse or partner need to be committed to budget planning accurately and faithfully. Sticking to a budget will only work if everyone is willing to play the budget game.

  • You can print free budget worksheets from the internet or use one as a guide to make your own in a program like Excel. Free printable budget worksheets are easier if you've never followed a budget before because you can put them on your refrigerator or somewhere where you won't forget to fill them in. There are tons of websites that offer budget sheets. Some calculate expenses, others income and many are for both. You can find budget worksheets for a variety of income situations including single income, retirement income, a two salary household or simply expense worksheets. See the Resources Section below for links to several free budget worksheets.

  • Once you've printed the budget worksheets you'll need to gather your pay stubs (and any other statements of income, ie stocks, rent, ehow) and all the bills you paid last complete month. Get all the statements from your utilities, credit cards, debit cards, child care, mortgage, insurance, student or other loans, cell phone, internet and cable bills, memberships (ie gym), any donations you may have made including to a church or other charity and any other bills you paid. One way to make this easier, in the future, is to set it up so the majority of your bills are billed to your credit card. This way, you'll have fewer checks to write and everything will be on one statement. For more on how to set this up (and even make money in the process) see the link in the Resources Section below.

  • Starting filling in the budget worksheet by inserting the monthly expenses that remain the same every month. This will include, but is not limited to, your mortgage/rent, insurance, child care, membership fees, loans, cable, internet and possibly your cell phone bills.

  • Next fill in the budgeted amount, based off last month, for items that vary by month with the exception of your credit and debit cards. This will include, but is not limited to, donations, gifts, medical expenses like prescriptions and copays, and utility bills (one way to make it easier to budget utilities is to enroll in your utility company's "budget plan" so that each month you pay the same amount whether it's summer or winter). Do not include your credit or debit card as one large expense.

  • Now take each of your credit card statements and add up all like items such as four gas purchases for a total of $125 and 5 grocery store runs for a total of $800. Look over the free budget worksheet to see if you can lump anything else together from your credit card statement. Perhaps you went out to dinner twice and took the kids to a movie. Add those items up and put the total in the "entertainment or recreation" slot.

  • If there is any amount you still haven't filled in on your budget worksheet don't guess the amount (your best guess and the actual amount are likely at least slightly different) go back to the last time you paid that expense and fill it in. If it's something like property taxes, car repairs, school supplies or pet care that you only pay a few times a year take the total amount from the previous year divide by 12 months and list that as the monthly expense. You're going to save that amount every month in a special account so you have it when the time comes to pay the bill.

  • If your printable budget sheets don't include it already, write in a category for "savings." Even if you can only save $25 a month savings should be listed as an expense. You should never count on "whatever's left over" as your monthly savings. You risk not contributing anything to your savings account if you do it this way. (For easy ways to save money every hour of the day see the link in the Resources Section below)

  • Once you have your entire budget worksheet filled in, add up the total amount and list it at the bottom as your total expenses.

  • Pull out all of your income source statements and add up those totals. If you get quarterly bonuses that you draw on to pay the bills monthly, add up the yearly total from the previous year and divide by 12 to get the monthly income. If you deposit them right into a savings account and don't use them to pay monthly bills don't include them in your budget. Write the total income amount above your total expense number.

  • Subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income. Hopefully it's not a negative number. If it is you're spending more money than you're bringing in. If this is the case go back through your monthly expenses and see where you can trim. Can you scale back on your charitable donations by 25%, carpool to work to save on gas, or cut your food budget by using coupons? (See the links in the Resources Section below for how to save the most when using grocery coupons and where to find free online grocery coupons).

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to increase the amount in the "savings" category every three or four months so that you continually build up a savings or emergency fund.

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