Excel is a perfect tool that keeps you on budget to build wealth. It adds up numbers for you and it has an easy layout to customize. The basic budget that you can download is set up for you to input your numbers and use as a template over and over again each month.
Don’t worry about the standard numbers that it comes with. This is your budget and you can tailor it around your income and expenses.
Basic Excel Budget
If you are more interested in learning how to make the budget template yourself, follow the step-by-step guide to making a budget. If you are ready to begin with a clean excel spreadsheet, download your basic budget to build wealth. It looks like this:
What To Do With Your Basic Budget
Set up Your Basic Budget
Make sure that you include all income and expenses in your budget. With the free basic budget, you can also plan out each paycheck. Here’s a great guide to make sure you don’t forget anything in your next budget:
Balancing Your Budget
If your expenses ended up being LESS THAN your income, job well done! Now, you can choose what to do with your extra income. The financial gurus of the time (like Dave Ramsey) will tell you to pay off your debt as soon as possible. So, with every extra dollar you have, maybe put them towards your credit card or student loan payments.
Have none? Great! You already have some fun money you budgeted for, so why not save it? Plan to put it into your savings account where you won’t touch it. If you already have a savings account that is fully stocked in case of emergencies (about 6 months worth of expenses), then put that extra money into a retirement account. Your future self will thank you!
If your expenses ended up being MORE THAN your income, you are going to see huge benefits from budgeting. Obviously, keep your necessary expenses like tithing, rent, food, gas money, etc. Look into what you are spending – maybe you put too much in fun money (AKA that Starbucks you get every morning to work) and by saving there, you can afford to pay off a credit card bill in 2 months. Maybe you choose to get rid of Netflix for a few months to focus on yourself and put some more money towards needs. Get it done and then in a few months, you’ll have extra in your pocket.
You can also think about picking up a side gig for a couple months to pay off some debt. This will off balance your expensive expenses for the time being and once debt is lowered, your primary job will work fine by itself.
Track Your Speding
When you have your month planned and start getting the paychecks, this money needs to be divided so that you don’t absentminded-ly swipe your card without having a checks and balances for what you are spending.
Cash Envelope System
A lot of people deal great with using the cash envelope system. Seeing and feeling the money leave you every time has quite the effect. For this method:
- Buy some small (cheap dollar store) envelopes
- Write down one monthly expense on each envelope
- When you get your paycheck and decide where each dollar is going, withdraw the cash and split the money between the envelopes and keep them with you
- Take your credit and debit cards out of your wallet and put them in a safe place at home. This will take away any urge you have of spending on random things that you didn’t plan for
- Each time you go out to spend on a budgeted category, pay for it out of ONLY that envelope. Ex: If you go to the gas station, make sure that you pay for gas with the $20 out of the money you budgeted and inserted into your Gas envelope.
I have never heard of a problem with carrying cash around. Just be careful with large amounts. Keep things like mortgage or car payments in the bank.
I would say to try this method your first couple months of budgeting so that you really feel the weight of each financial transaction. You really want to make your money work for you, so start by using this method to clearly see the effects of spending.
App Envelope System
My personal favorite is an app that works just like the cash system. I make each category into an “envelope” in this app. After I budget in Excel, I will go into the app, add a payday, and divide the money where I want it. Then after each transaction, I will subtract it from the corresponding envelope. This way works great if you can really control your spending. I’ve gotten better at not being a rash spender and this system works well for me.
Now you have your whole month planned out. It might go perfectly and it might not. Either way, it only gets better with a budget. Your bills will be paid, you’ll have the extra money to spend that you won’t feel guilty for, and your savings and retirement will start to fill up.
To get a more complex budget (the one that I actually use) with all of my actual income and expenses (including built in equations like 15% of income going to retirement), get the Budget Package now.