A Household Budget Worksheet is a document used by an individual to map out their financial spending to manage their personal finances and have a better financial grip in life.
This worksheet helps an individual to save their money, adopt better spending habits and avoid debts while paying off the debts they already have.
Budgeting and planning are crucial for the success and growth of any business. However, when it comes to managing personal finances, many people have no clue what to do. They have no idea how much a household budget worksheet can help them to manage their finances. This article will help you in creating your own household budget worksheet.
Different Ways of Documenting your Spending
Before you prepare a household budget worksheet, the first and most important thing to do is to document your earnings, spending and outline your budget.
This can be adequately done using any of the following ways:
Use paper and pen
An individual can use paper and pen to document their spending. This process might be tiresome but is simple and affordable. In addition, it does not require someone to have expert knowledge when they document their spending.
Another way of documenting how an individual spends their finances can be done by using a spreadsheet program. An individual can set up such a program on their computer and use it to make the documenting process easier.
Some spreadsheet programs usually have an in-built template that can calculate an individual’s household budget. It is all about setting up the program to fit the person’s needs which is time-saving compared to starting from the beginning, like using paper and pen.
Since having a budget and sticking to it helps individuals develop excellent financial habits, it is necessary to have a household budget worksheet. This household budget worksheet enables individuals to pay their bills on time without depending on loans or credit cards. It is a pre-created document with basic formatting that you can use to create your household budget worksheet as per your needs. This template is time-saving, practical, simple, and guarantees that the individual will include all the information required in preparing a budget. You can either download the template and use it based on your needs or prepare your own worksheet template.
Simple accounting program
Accounting software programs can be great for individuals looking to make budgets for their finances. This program offers tools that are important when preparing a budget, like a savings tool. However, for this simple accounting program, an individual who wishes to access these tools and more features will have to pay to use them.
Electronic budgeting software
For electronic budgeting software, an individual can use the different available types of software to track the way they spend their money, which will help them when budgeting.
Creating Monthly Household Budget Worksheet
For an individual to create an effective monthly household budget worksheet, they will need to follow the instructions listed in the four sections below. This will help them to prepare a document that will guide them in managing their personal finances. That way, they will achieve the financial discipline to learn the art of saving money and controlling their expenses.
The instructions are mentioned in the following sections:
Section 1: Set up your spreadsheet
The first step in creating a household worksheet is to set up your spreadsheet.
This can be done by following the steps mentioned below:
Format the columns
The first section requires an individual to set up their spreadsheet. This is done by formatting the columns to fit all the required information when preparing a household budget worksheet.
For the columns, you can use the following titles:
- Date of expense – recording this column will help to keep you disciplined. Therefore, you should indicate the date of every expense you make in this column.
- Amount of expense – the amount you spend on each expense is also essential information as it helps when making calculations at the end of the month.
- Payment method – having a column for the payment method also helps to keep better records of an individual’s expenses.
- Fixed/discretionary- this column is also necessary as it records all the amount of money set aside for luxury and extra comforts.
Section 2: Categorize your expenses
It is important to categorize your expenses clearly in order to have a proper breakdown and understanding of how you have spent your money. With the clear categorization of expenses, you can easily input your expenses and access any expenditure you may want.
You can classify your expenses into the following categories:
- Rent money– this category should also include mortgage and any insurance.
- Utilities– for utilities, you should include gas, water, and electricity bill
- Household operations– it includes money needed for lawn service, pool cleaning, maid service, window washing services, etc.
- Transport money– this category will include money needed for car service, car insurance, gas for the car, public transport costs, insurance, etc.
- Groceries– this includes money needed for buying food, groceries, and even eating out.
Ways to categorize
You may use software that can help to categorize your expenses into the above-listed categories. These programs can also help calculate your totals and understand all the transactions. Another bonus of using categorizing software is dividing your expenses based on the level of urgency and time period.
You can also choose to categorize your expenses using a paper ledger. This means that each page on the ledger can be used for a particular category of the expense every month. However, a paper ledger might be challenging since you cannot add any rows in case of extra expenses, unlike the software.
Section 3: Document your spending
For the household budget worksheet to work effectively, you must clearly document all the spending and expenses.
This can be achieved using the following steps:
List your expenses
An individual must list all the types of expenses they have to have a clear picture of how their budget will look at the end and how they will manage to save money. With a clear list of all expenses per month, you can easily manage your money and save more.
Following are some types of expenses that you might face:
- Fixed and variable expenses- Fixed expenses usually remain the same every month, while variable expenses tend to change based on how you spend. First, list all the fixed expenses like rent and insurance, then all the variable ones like utility bills.
- Put biggest expenses first– You need to list all the primary and most significant expenses you may have, including rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc. Each expense should be on a separate row. Then, you can use estimated amounts for these expenses as you await the actual bill. Ensure you put down the actual amount of the expenses in the end.
- Calculate your regular essentials– All the expenses you usually require and must spend some money on must also be listed separately. This may include gas, groceries, and many others. You will either have to note the amount of money you usually spend on such essentials or use receipts to keep the record.
- Input your discretionary expenses– Such expenses must also be noted to prevent you from tampering with your budget. These items are meant for recreation and enjoyment, like night outs, coffee dates, and even take-away lunches.
Insert an expense row for savings
After listing all the expenses, ensure you add an expense row dedicated to saving on your worksheet. It may be challenging to save money constantly, but it is necessary to manage your finances better. The best way to start is to save 10% of the money you earn to avoid having no money by the end of the month.
You can adjust how you spend your money to increase your savings with time, and such financial discipline will help you make better financial decisions like investments. In addition, you can enroll in specific programs at banks and have a way to quickly and efficiently save the money you set aside for savings.
Add up your monthly expenditures
You can then total up each section of expenses that you have created separately and finally add them. With this, you can get a picture of your monthly expenditure, i.e., you can identify the percentage of your income that you spend on each expense.
Although not all expenses you have are monthly, accounting for them in your budget will make it easier for you to deal with them when needed. You can also divide your annual expenses by 12 and all your semi-yearly ones by 6 to develop monthly details that will fit your household budget worksheet.
List your income
The next thing you will need is to list your income; this includes your earnings, tips, extra jobs, and the salary you get (whether weekly or monthly). This should be all the money that you will receive before paying taxes. Your income details should be well detailed to show where each amount of money comes from for easier budgeting.
Calculate net income
With your total paycheck listed down, you should then calculate your net income. This means subtracting your taxes and other deductions from your paycheck to determine what exactly you take home after receiving your income.
Compare your monthly income and total expenses
The next step is to put your monthly net income side by side with your total expenses and compare. This will help you determine if there is a need to change or maintain your habits regarding your finances.
If your expenses are higher than your income, you need to change your spending habits.
Adjust your expenses
You will have to adjust your expenses based on your information after comparing your monthly income and total expenses. After that, you can cut down your bills or even change how you spend your money. Try and stick with your priority items as you adjust your expenses.
With a monthly income higher than your total expenses, you can save more and invest your finances better to avoid any future financial dilemmas.
Section 4: Create a new budget
You have been able to break down your finances, and then the next step is to create a new budget. Based on your finding, you will know what you need to do to ensure your expenses are less than your monthly income. This way, you can have more savings and a better financial foundation.
For you to create a new budget, you should observe the following steps:
Track your spending
You should keep track of your spending by targeting specific areas that you may need to decrease. Then, you can set limits on the amount of money for your discretionary spending and discipline yourself not to spend more than the set amount.
For your essentials, your regular spending should not take much of your income. So try and cut back on this also if you are spending a lot on your regular essentials. Even though the amount spent may vary from item to item, avoid spending too much where it is not needed on your regular essentials. For instance, cooking at home may be less expensive than buying already cooked food.
Keep tracking what you spend monthly against what you have set aside for that particular need in your budget. This way, you can identify where you overspent and either change your overspending habits or compensate for your additional spending in your budget.
Keep in mind that for you to balance your budget, anytime you increase your expenses in one area, try decreasing them in another area.
Estimate contingency expenses
You will also need to have an estimate of your contingency expenses and include them in your budget. These expenses may include medical bills, car maintenance, house costs, and having the contingency in place will help protect your budget. Divide these expenses to fit your monthly budget, especially if the estimate was calculated yearly.
You will not have to take a loan or rely on your credit card for emergencies with these expenses. If you get to the end of the year and have not spent your contingency money, then that means that the extra money can be saved or used for investment or retirement plans.
Calculate your goals
As you plan to create your new budget, try calculating what your short, medium and long-term goals will cost you. This is different from contingency as it is part of your plans. Plan in advance and stick to what you have planned for to avoid disrupting the budget. With this in place, you will not have to chip in your savings.
You should also record the expenses on your budget once you have fulfilled your goal and delete the provisional expense created to avoid confusion.
Draw up a new budget
With all those steps observed, you can now create a new household budget worksheet. It would be best if you combined your contingency expenses and goals with your expenditures and income. This will help to create an effective budget, save more money and have better financial management.
It will also motivate you to achieve all the goals you have and avoid going into debt. Focus on the fixed expenses and try and reduce your discretionary items sometimes.
When saving, don’t put all your money into one bank account; instead, use your:
- Checking account for your spending money
- Saving account for short-term savings
- Investment account for mid-term savings
- A retirement account for long-term savings
This way, you will always have money to spend and save, whether present or the future.
Download our Templates
Following are some free downloadable household budget worksheet templates for you:
Tips for an Effective Household Budgeting
Since no one is born with the art of budgeting, one needs help to guide them and enable them to achieve effective household budgeting.
Following are some tips for guidance:
As individual learning how to prepare budgets for your household, having self-control is essential. There are moments when you might fail to manage your finances. The most effective way to get back on track is by having self-control when it comes to dealing with emotions.
These emotions are listed below:
- Frustration- Although it may be inevitable to feel annoyed about your failed budgeting, frustration will hinder you from having a clear mind and getting back to making your budgets.
- Guilt- This emotion might lead you to stop the budgeting process since you might believe that you will not be able to do it once you start again. Instead of focusing on what you did that affected the budget, try and find ways of preventing a similar occurrence in the future.
- Envy- Focusing on what others are achieving based on their budgets can lead you to become envious, making you fall out from your pattern and routine, ultimately affecting your budget.
- Anger- Almost similar to being frustrated, anger clouds an individual’s mind and might lead to worse budgeting decisions.
- Shame- It is not suitable for individuals to feel shame when they have to turn down situations that might tamper with their budget. Feeling ashamed might propel you into making a wrong financial decision which will end up affecting your budget.
- Disappointment- Disappointment is a feeling that one might experience once they fail on their budgeting plan. However, dwelling on this will cause a delay in creating new plans for a new budgeting process.
With self-control over these emotions, an individual can get back on track with effective household budgeting.
Have peace of mind
With self-control over your emotions, another tip you should always uphold is to have peace of mind when creating a household budget worksheet. With peace of mind, an individual can pay their expenses and bills, manage their debts, save for extra fun and enjoyable activities and finally, avoid money anxiety.
Money management is a skill that every individual must learn for their own benefit. The best way to do this is by having a household budget worksheet. This document will help an individual save money, avoid debts, pay debts, and manage their personal finances.
To efficiently prepare a household budget worksheet, an individual can access a household budget worksheet template online and edit it to their specific needs. You can learn how to create a monthly household budget worksheet based on your needs using this article. This will help you manage your finances well and avoid the negative emotions that come with over-spending.