Excel Formula For Paying Extra On Student Loans Every Month Budget Plan – How to Create a Budget in 4 Simple Steps

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Budget Plan – How to Create a Budget in 4 Simple Steps

Budgets don’t work. what? So I’m writing an article on how to create a budget? Budgets don’t work for the same reason, or New Year’s resolutions don’t work. They seem very restricted, oh yes, and lazy. We are naturally lazy and we prefer things to be easy rather than difficult, myself included. While I don’t like using the “B” word myself, I prefer to call it “guidelines for money” so you don’t have to hit the department store in your retirement. I’ll give some personal financial help and show you how to create guidelines that work in 4 simple steps

Let’s be serious, if you want to move forward with your finances, you need some sort of guideline or general plan. If you don’t want to move on, you probably shouldn’t be reading this article. So I’m going to assume you want to move on, or at least gain some knowledge or insight.

Many people think they have debt problems. However, if you were to look at the real problem it is not the debt, but how the money is managed. Many people seem to have a problem with how to manage their personal finances. If you don’t want to go into debt, don’t spend more than you make. The purpose of the budget is to accomplish this. Here’s a simple 4-step program you can use to understand where your money goes, as well as where you should allocate it: (I’m sorry, you actually need to do a little work).

1. Find out if you are spending more than you should. The best way to do this is to use a software program that helps you calculate and organize your numbers. You can find your own or use the free budget spreadsheet I created. You can get it on my blog at the address in my signature.

2. Compare your numbers to what a perfectly balanced budget should look like.

3. Make necessary adjustments to bring your numbers as close to the pie chart as possible.

4. Review and update the income statement sheet at least quarterly. I do my monthly updates and print out the sheet and keep it in a binder.

The hardest part of this process will be completing it the first time. You probably won’t have all your numbers and you’ll probably need to do some digging. However, once you have filled out the income statement sheet, it will be much easier to update it. It takes me thirty minutes a month to work through mine. You may also have a hard time in step 3. I will cover tips and strategies in later articles to help you make all the changes you need.

The guidelines below show what a proper allocation of your money should be:

Accommodation should be your largest category when looking at 35% of your expenses. This section includes: mortgage, rent, taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs and renovations.

Living Expenses 20% You have the most immediate control over this segment. This section includes most of your variable expenses (expenses that are not fixed). This section includes: dining out, holidays, gifts, entertainment, clothing etc.

Transportation 15% Include all expenses related to any transportation you take in this section. It can be your own vehicle or public transport. This includes: car payments, insurance, gas, public transport and any parking tolls/fines.

Debt 15% is where you have all fixed debts except mortgage and car payments. These include: student loans, personal loans, credit cards and lines of credit.

Saving 10% is where you should use the concept of paying yourself first. These include: RRSPs, personal investments and cash in emergency accounts.

The other 5% is my favorite section. I call it my guilt free money. What you do is take 5% of your net monthly income, divide it by 4 and you can spend each week. You can spend it on whatever you want. The only rule is that you have to spend it all! At the time of writing I currently spend $70.00 a week and this is mostly on treatments and eating out. I will mention this; You should only do this if all other sections of the pie chart are within guidelines.

Remember, this is a working guideline. Some months may be out of balance or slightly. That’s why you review it every month, or at least every quarter. If you find that you’re off the guidelines, that’s okay, at least you know now. If you are willing to make changes, this guideline will help show you where you may need to make those changes.

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