Do you want to take 100% control of your monthly finances? Well, using a monthly budget template is the way to go. It helps you have a better grasp of your monthly money flow. Plus, the monthly budget template helps in allocating budget for various expenses and monitor their difference against the actual budget. What’s more, the model does record both income and expenses for the whole month. This helps you be in a better position to manage your finances sustainably.
In its simplest explanation, a monthly budget template is a categorized document that focuses on how your money is allocated in each month. These templates have been proven to ease the management of your money better. Additionally, you can know precisely where your money goes each month. Usually, the budget templates are either in electronic or printable forms.
What to know before creating a monthly budget template
According to experts, a budget template is one of the most effective tools to use for money management. However, before you create or use one, it’s always essential that you have the following information at the back of your mind.
Know your expenditures: Before making a budget template, you need to have a prior knowledge/list of things you would want to buy, your utilities, among other expenses. Most people are aware of their monthly expenditure. These may include services such as power, gasoline, internet, and other bills, groceries, to mention a few. Knowing your expenses helps you fill in the templates nicely and quickly without forgetting other items.
Set priorities: Once you’ve mastered your monthly expenses, you need to set your priorities. People share different priorities. It’s also essential to set your list of expenses according to their level of urgency or significance. Those expenses that must be met should be given priority. Remember that you can’t always buy everything. Therefore, the budget template ensures that every decision has a trade-off to fit the allocated budget.
Tips for creating a practical monthly budget template
On frequent occasions, creating a monthly budget template is not only a tiresome process but a daunting one, especially for new users. Therefore, to simplify everything for you, we have provided tips that will guide you through.
Know your income: The first step towards creating a useful budget template has a grasp of all your monthly income. This shouldn’t be restricted only to your salaries and wages. Instead, you should also include other sources of income, including side businesses, tokens, and sales, to mention a few. Also, the salary/wage should be the take-home, i.e., the amount you are left with after accounting for income tax and other deductions.
Identify your expenses: Here, you need to take stock of your monthly expenses. Usually, there are different types of costs, i.e., fixed expenses and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are those that are relatively constant and doesn’t change whatsoever. They include loan repayment, car payment, utilities, and so on. On the other hand, variable expenses are those that come once, fluctuates, or pop up unexpectedly. They include entertainment, groceries, and transport, among others.
Focus on your savings: According to financial experts, it’s essential that you set aside some savings for your monthly operations. This will help supplement your monthly income whenever the need arises. Who knows, sometimes the variable expenses might exceed your income, rendering you to a financial crisis or debt. I guess you wouldn’t want to go that way. Therefore, to stay financially stable, a little saving is necessary.
Analyze your spending habits: Taking a keen analysis and comparison of your income versus your expenses helps you weigh or determine how much you’re spending every month. However, you should be consistent in your analysis, let’s say for three months to have a good idea of your average amount that should go for various expenses. Also, analysis helps you determine whether or not you need to cut back your spending.
Monthly budget software: Just as mentioned above, you can either use printable or electronic budget templates. However, if paperwork isn’t your thing, you can still opt for the electronic templates. There are different software that can help you create electronic budget templates without much sweat. This software includes YouNeedABudget.com, MoneySavingExpert.com, and BudgetPlanner. Alternatively, you can use Microsoft Excel for a simple budget.
A monthly budget template is not only practical but also liberating. By telling your money where to go, it helps manage your financial resources effectively. Furthermore, the templates help you set your expense priorities. This allows you to address those issues that need urgent attention. As such, if you are looking for a better way of managing your finances, kindly download or create a monthly budget template.