How To Budget Your Money In 4 (Simple) Steps

Everything you want to know to budget your cash + A free easy month-to-month budget worksheet.

Let me see if I can learn your mind!

Every time you take into consideration budgeting your money, you want to bury your head within the sand!

Budget spreadsheets and cash apps can be boring! But studying how to deal with your funds is one of many most important steps you can take to safe your future!

But hey, I am right here to the rescue!

I could inform you that I was by no means good with cash and located spreadsheets boring too, however the actuality is that I love a good spreadsheet template. Especially if it has fairly colours in it.

Yes, because, believe it or not, making a budget template can be fun! And whether or not you want going straight proper into a budget sheet otherwise you prefer to work with a budget printable, I’ve got you covered.

But if you wish to perceive how to make use of these budget templates, first you want to understand…

What is a month-to-month budget?

A monthly budget is a plan to decide how to allocate your income to meet your expenses. This “spending plan” is called a budget. By making a plan, you could make sure you are on top of your funds and are able to spend on issues you enjoy with out having to fret about running out of cash or going into debt.

Normally, when you create a budget, you create a list of your income, expenses, and savings. And decide an quantity to allocate to every part of your spendings.

Thanks to budgeting, it is possible for you to to see precisely the place your cash goes and be able to work towards your monetary goals.

My month-to-month budget template and why it’s different

You might be wondering:

How are you going to assist me?

To make your life easier, I created a easy budget template for you! You simply want to enter your particulars below, confirm your subscription, and it is possible for you to to both obtain this free month-to-month budget template as a printable PDF budget or, if you are an Excel wizard, it can prevent it as a google sheet!

But I have to warn you! I budget a little bit differently than most people!

How? I use the intentional budget method!

This is a way of budgeting I love because rather than overspending and placing away pennies on the finish of the month, you progress your cash into your savings account as quickly as you get your paycheck!

Plus, you don’t actually fear about allocating a particular quantity of cash to every space of your expenses.

How do you begin a budget?

The basic idea of a budget is simple: spend lower than you make, and also you are on the proper track!

I suppose that's true, however this way of budgeting doesn’t essentially create a lot monetary security. If you have any monetary goals or want to begin to construct your financial freedom, you want to begin thinking about your saving goals first.

There are different budgeting techniques, and every one has a particular approach to how to deal with your money:

The conventional budget

When people take into consideration budgeting, they usually take into consideration the conventional budget method:

  • Allocate an quantity of cash to every class of your expenses
  • List your income
  • Add up your bills to make sure you are on budget
  • Calculate the difference

Hopefully, you are left with some cash on the finish of the month, and also you can use this for your savings.

The 50/30/20 budget

The 50/30/20 budget is a simplified budgeting system: you break down your bills into three categories:

  • needs (housing, food, utilities)
  • wants (restaurants, holidays…)
  • savings

50 percent of your income ought to go towards needs, 30 percent ought to be spent on wants, and 20 percent will go into savings.

The difficulty of this type of budgeting is separating the wants from the wants!

For example, greens on the grocery retailer at needs, however an costly fillet steak or a bag of crisps are wants.

The reverse budget

With the reverse budget system, you set your goals first and decide how a lot you want to save. It’s what people refer to as to PAY YOURSELF FIRST: put apart a particular quantity of financial savings to place towards your goals each time you obtain a paycheck, after which spend the rest.

To create your reverse budget, you want to first set your monetary goals (saving for a home deposit, constructing an emergency fund…), then decide how a lot you want to save to attain these goals and what portion you can afford to place away every month.

The system that works for me: the intentional budget

My favourite approach to budgeting is a combine between the reverse budget and the conventional budget. It’s what I name the INTENTIONAL BUDGET.

What does “intentional” mean?

done on purpose; deliberate.

As a lot as I love the approach of the reverse budget (set your saving goals and spend the rest), I discover it a bit restricted since it doesn’t actually assist you perceive the place your cash goes.

And monitoring my private bills is one the best factor I ever did to perceive what I wanted to save to attain monetary freedom!

If you want to learn how to budget your money, you want to perceive the place you are overspending and the way one can optimize your habits.

The Intentional Budget: how to budget your cash with four easy steps

These are the four easy steps I use for my intentional budget system!

  1. Calculate your income
  2. Save first (and set your intentions)
  3. Figure out the place your cash goes (track your expenses)
  4. Rinse and repeat

By following these easy steps, you'll have no trouble even when you aren't good with cash and you’ll become a budgeting professional in no time!

Step 1. Calculate your income

The first step to create a month-to-month budget is to calculate your income. If you have a job and get s regular paycheck, this step is tremendous easy. Just write down your net income after pension contributions and tax payments.

Be certain to incorporate any different income you might have from side hustles, part-time work, or any investment.

This half might be barely trickier, f you run your personal enterprise and don’t have a regular income.

The way I do it:

  • Look at final year’s income after tax, estimate in case your enterprise will grow/stay the identical this year, and divide that by 12 to get to an common month-to-month income.

This is the quantity you want so as to add on the highest of the budget spreadsheet.

For example:

  • Salary income: $3,000
  • Side Hustle Income (Blog): $500
  • Interests from financial savings and investments: $0 (still engaged on this…)


Go to the budget template and add your income here:

Step 2. Save first (and set your intentions)

This is when you decide the quantity you want every month to attain your monetary goals.

This is the most important step of the intentional budget. You want to consider all of your short and long-term goals. Start thinking about what you want to save this year to construct your emergency fund, how a lot you want to place apart every month to save for a home downpayment or for the vacation of your dream, or how a lot extra cash you want so as to add to your retirement account.

In the goals and intentions worksheet, identify the variety of years you might want to obtain that goal and the way a lot you want to save towards every line. The worksheet will then calculate how a lot you want to save yearly after which month-to-month to attain your goal.

And now, a actually important point:

Set up a month-to-month automatic withdrawal to a separate financial savings account

Once you know what your goal is, the best factor to do to pay your self first is to maneuver the cash out of your checking account to a financial savings account.

Do not skip this point!

If you progress your cash away, it will be extra hustle to spend it throughout the month!

The best way to set this up is to open an on-line saving account that pays you a higher rate of curiosity (CIT Bank Savings Builder pays a much-higher-than-average rate of curiosity if you deposit at least $100 in it!) and arrange an automatic month-to-month transfer.

Set and forget a deposit, and re-evaluate your monetary goals every three to six months.


In the budget template, add the percentage of your income that you actually want to save. Do not fill within the dollar amount! If you are utilizing the template as a google sheet, the template will automatically calculate the $ amount. 

Pale yellow cells are calculations, don't enter values there.

Step 3. Figure out the place your cash goes

This step is as important as paying yourself. By determining the place your cash goes every month, you can enhance and handle your finances.

Tracking expenses can be fairly tedious, and that’s why some extra easy budgeting systems simply put apart a percentage for bills with out going into the details.

But I actually think you’ll profit extremely from this step.

I know I did!

As a lot as Dan and I have always been good savers, I almost had a coronary heart assault the primary time I added up how a lot we were spending by consuming out every month! That’s when meal planning and saving cash on groceries came to the rescue!

Fill in every line of the month-to-month budget worksheet within the bills sections.

Expenses categories

  • Home: mortgage or rent, property taxes, home insurance, home repairs, utilities
  • Food: groceries, restaurants/eating out
  • Health/Medical: health insurance, prescriptions, life insurance, fitness, dentist, private physician appointments
  • Transportations: car/loan payments, insurance, gas, car repair/maintenance, public transport, parking etc.
  • Debt Payments: these are the minimal repayments you want to meet every month – within the financial savings sections you can add extra funds that will assist you attain your goals faster.
  • Family expenses: education, daycare/babysitting, school supplies, books
  • Entertainment: electronics, hobbies, holidays, subscriptions…
  • Personal care: beauty, clothing
  • Pet care: pet food, pet insurance, grooming, veterinary
  • Others: gifts, donations, and something else

I tried so as to add as many classes as possible, however you might have some extra bills that you want to account for.

Always remember to budget for unexpected items too, like restore and upkeep for your home or issues you might be doing solely as quickly as or twice a year like going on holiday!

The best way to do that's to place apart an quantity of cash every month under your financial savings for these big bills in order that when they happen, you are ready for it!


Add your bills for every line.  The doc will calculate for you what percent of your income you are spending on every expense. This will assist you to decide if there are areas the place you could save extra and optimize.

Step 4. Rinse & Repeat

Now that you have filled all of your bills you can see how a lot is left!

Your goal is to extend the quantity of financial savings you can put apart every month.


Budgeting is a never-ending process. Your goal is to enhance every month and perceive the place your cash goes and the way one can reduce your spending.

But don’t beat your self too hard. In the primary couple of months, you ought to simply learn to categorize your expenditure correctly and consider methods to reduce one or two bills on the time. If you attempt to deprive your self of all areas too quickly, you'll be overwhelmed, and the very final factor you want to do is to surrender too soon!

Keep at it, and you’ll become a grasp of your personal funds in no time.

By utilizing this system Dan and I are now saving over 80% of our income every month! This might appear an impossible goal for you, particularly if you are simply beginning or really feel you can barely survive in your income.

But everybody can enhance their funds by studying how to budget!

You can discover methods to save cash (even on a tight budget), earn a bit more on the side, and even make extra at your job by learning how to ask for a raise!

By attacking your funds from all angles, you'll become financially free and cease worrying about cash all of the time.

My favourite month-to-month budgeting tools

1. Budget Spreadsheets

Do I want to say a lot here? This is one of my favorites methods of budgeting and monitoring expenses. I love that you can customise every template to make it your personal and create automated formulation to present your data in lots of different ways!

2. Budget Printables

I am not a big fan of paper, however I do perceive that you might love printing out a beautiful budget. And by filling out your income and bills manually, you might get a greater understanding of the place your cash precisely goes and the way one can reduce your spending.

That’s why you can additionally print my spreadsheet as a PDF.

3. Keep track of your spendings automatically

Some nice apps allow you to maintain track of your income and your spending automatically.

Some of the hottest ones:

Personal Capital

If you are within the US, Personal Capital can hook up all of your accounts in a single place and can track your net worth and expenses.

Personal Capital is 100% free and can categorize all of your bills for you utilizing a tagging system. Plus, it will proceed to obtain new month-to-month data to give you a running historical past of your spending.

It will actually prevent a lot of time, since it retains track of all of your incomings and outgoings and can do all of the calculations for you.

Personal Capital is ideal if you wish to centralize all of your funds in a single place and plan your future with pension financial savings and investing. You can get began by clicking here.


A bit like Personal Capital, Mint lets you join all of your financial institution accounts in a single place. It’s free and doesn’t require any subscription. If you are within the US and have a predictable income (i.e., you have a common job), Mint is a nice alternative to a spreadsheet!

It’s easy and easy to use, it looks great, and it’ll assist you to discover potential financial savings alongside the way.

The budgeting options are harder to make use of if you're a freelancer and don’t have a predictable income.

But for many people, it’s a nice automated app!

Wave App

If you are everywhere else within the world, a fantastic free alternative to Personal Capital and Mint is Wave Apps. It’s initially created for small businesses, however I love their private part that helps you retain track of all of your income and expenses.

You’ll be able to simply create new categories, and also you can additionally set goals for every expense to perceive automatically how over or under budget you are in comparison with your goals.

This is what I use to maintain track of my enterprise expenses!

The actuality behind budgeting

I simply want to leave you with my final ideas on budgeting.

I by no means used a budget or track bills for a actually very lengthy time in my life. It’s solely when I began to be extra mindful and intentional about my spendings that I’ve been able to perceive precisely the place my cash was going every month and set realistic financial savings goals.

Some people will inform you that you want to know the place every penny goes. Others will inform you that so lengthy as you put apart 10%-20% of your income in your financial savings you shouldn’t care about the way you spend the rest…

There is truth in all these methods of budgeting: you simply want to discover the way that works for you.

Here is what I think:

Saving comes first, however when you don’t know the place your cash goes, you'll not handle it as best as you can.

Sure, you’ll put apart enough, however could you do better?

Set your monetary goals, and make investments a few hours every month to perceive the way you spend your money. Improve at least one space of your bills every month or so, and when you really feel such as you have a deal with in your finances, you can chill out a bit more, put apart your savings, and spend much less time monitoring the pennies.

And if you wish to know what I do: I nonetheless track the pennies every month!


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