Video:How to Make a Budget Formwith Adam Kochanowicz
Whether you're tackling debt or looking to increase your rate of saving, making a budget form will help you keep track of your expenses and determine where you can curb your spending. Here's how to make a budget form.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Make a Budget Form
Hi, I'm Adam Kochanowicz for About.com. Saving money month-to-month doesn't need to be a tremendous sacrifice. By carefully examining your spending and pacing how much you pay and earn every month, you can start building your wealth or digging out of debt effortlessly. In this video, I'll show you how to create a budget form where you can track your expenses and make a plan to keep your expenditures less than your income.
Beginning Your Budget Form
You can make your budget form either on a sheet of paper or in a computer spreadsheet. You may find it easier, however, to make a computer spreadsheet for a couple reasons. First, computer spreadsheets can automatically add up amounts in each cell, and second, multiple blank copies can be made of your budget form from month to month if you do wish to print them out and fill them in by hand. To make our form, we'll divide up the expenses into common categories. Of course, there are the obvious ones like Food, Entertainment, Rent, or Home Loan Payments, but you'll also find there are tons of small infrequent expenses you don't quite remember until they come up. In your first month of budget tracking, be sure to add in categories and expenses as they come to mind.
To start, we'll create a column called "Expenses" with eleven categories for Home, Utilities, Transportation, Insurance, Debt Payments, Food, Family Expenses, Personal Care, Pets, Entertainment, and Other. On a spreadsheet, make these titles bold with spaces in between for visual clarity. On a regular sheet, underline each category with room to write expenses underneath. Now, under each category, write the types of expenditures you'll encounter in each month. For example, under "Food," you can write "Groceries" and "Eating Out." Under "Personal Care" you can write "Hair Cuts," "Prescription Medication," and "Clothing."
List Expenses by Amount and Due Date
Next to this column, create two new columns. The first column we'll title "Amount" and the second will be "Due Date." As you might have guessed, you'll write the amount you spend and the date due (if applicable) every month across from each expense. If you're using a spreadsheet, you can type in an equal sign followed with each number you're adding up with pluses in between. This way, the spreadsheet will automatically calculate the total in this cell. After all your information is filled in, you can add a final row to the bottom of the form called "Total:" where you'll add up all the expenses to find out what you spend in a month. In a spreadsheet, you can do this easily by again typing an equal sign, the word sum, S-U-M, an opening parenthesis, and selecting the cells to add up by dragging over the column "Amount". Follow this with a clothing parenthesis. Be sure to only include cells with numbers in them or the spreadsheet may return an error.
Use First Budget Form to Plan Budget for Coming Months
Now that you know what you spend, you can decide from your monthly income whether you need to cut back. Make a copy of this spreadsheet for the next month. Only this time, instead of recording what you do spend, write down what you will spend. As long as you stick to your plan, you'll be on your way to saving money every month.
Thanks for watching. These tips come from About.com's very own Frugal Living Guide, Erin Huffstetler. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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