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How to set up a budget…Make Your Budget

Once you have all your bills and spending amounts figure out it's time to write your budget. Here's how with a free printable too.

If you have been following along and getting your budget done, good for you, I knew you could do it.

If you missed a post here’s what’s been covered so far. The importance of a budget, determine your monthly bills, gather spending receipts, and determine your monthly spending.

Now, that you have all of your bills totaled up for each month and what you spending for groceries and other items per month, you can write up your budget.

Start with Your Income

First, you want to start with how much you have in income. At the top of any paper you have. This page doesn’t have to be fancy just the nearest sheet of paper.

If you want something a little fancier, grab a copy of this one page printable budget sheet. Remember to list all the income you have coming in that month not just your paycheck.

Second,  Total all your income. This is what you will live on for the month.

List Your Bills

Next, list all your bills, include your bills that only come every other month or every three months, but make sure just to include the amount needed for 1 month of payment and not the whole two or three months.

You should have determined the amount needed for each bill, back in part 1 of this series. Do the same for all your bills that come less frequently.

You may want a ledger to keep track of how much you are leaving in your checking to save towards your every other month bills and less frequent bills.

I have ledger sheets that I set up for each item I’m saving for each month. The money goes into our savings account. But I keep a ledger to track how much we’ve saved towards each bill.

It’s an easy way to save for certain items without having separate saving accounts.

If you want to track your spending and income on the computer. This spreadsheet can help to track your bills for the whole year in one spreadsheet. Get the spreadsheet here.

Plan your budget with this free one page monthly budget planning sheet.

How I Track Our Money

The day we deposit the money for the month into the account. I add the proper amounts to each page that we have budgeted for that month.

Because we save an average amount, some months I will have extra in the checking account towards certain bills and other months when the bill is above our average, we use the extra money I saved up during a less than average month, to apply to bill.

By having a budget book, I can track the amount we have towards each bill saved in the checking account.

Then when I write the check or make my payment online, I subtract it from my budget page. I do this for each bill as I pay it.

List Your Household Spending

Then, list all your other spending you do in a month such as groceries, out to eat and anything else you total up when you went through your receipts for the month. (You did this in Part 3 of the budget series)

Calculate Your Budget

Add your bills and your spending totals and then subtract them from your income total.

If you have a negative number, meaning you have more spending than income, you will need to cut your spending to balance it out. You want to make sure your total spend is less than your income.

If you are spending more than you make, then every month you are going deeper into debt. Which is kinda like being a slave to your money. Who wants that?

If you have a surplus, more income than you spend, saving it is a good option. I would recommend saving it towards an emergency/rainy day fund.

I know some financial experts say to keep $1000 on hand in an emergency fund. Once you have a good cushion in your emergency fund, then you can apply any surplus to paying off your debt.

Congratulate yourself on sticking with this process and getting your budget done. Now comes the hard part sticking to it.

See you next time when we will talk about sticking to a budget.

See all the post in this series by clicking here.

See all money related posts by clicking here.

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