Items you will need
- Spreadsheet program
If there is too much month at the end of your money, it is time to keep closer tabs on where your money is going. Operating without a budget has led to some serious difficulties for not just a few. Therefore, if the thought of drawing up a budget gives you pause, then instead set one up as a weekly budgeting template. This will function just as well in helping you track expenses and cut back on low-priority spending. A budgeting template, of course, is customizable to your weekly spending needs.
Download a budget template from a budgeting software program or create your own weekly spreadsheet using a program like Microsoft Works or Excel.
Set your template’s budgeting schedule. Choose a weekly, biweekly or monthly design, depending on your income and bill-paying dates.
Set up a category at the top of your template called “Weekly Budgeting Income” and record all sources.
Make budget headings at the top of your template like “Weekly Expense,” “Frequency of Use,” “Estimated Cost, “Priority,” “Actual Use,” “Actual Cost” and “Savings.”
List all weekly expenses under the “Weekly Expense” column and write an estimate of how often you purchase this item and amount you propose to spend.
Assign a priority level to each expense. Make “Necessary” number one, “Need” number two and “Discretionary” number three. Necessary expenses are fixed costs like mortgage or insurance that you must pay; need items are expenses like telephone, which you can reduce but are necessary; discretionary items are the ones you can either reduce or cut completely, like eating out.
Make budget cuts or adjustments before tracking your actual spending on your template. Once you have estimated your expenses, taking this action then becomes possible.
Subtract your actual spending from your estimated cost to get your weekly savings for that item.
Track all expenses this way and add them to get a total weekly expense cost.
Subtract this total from your total weekly income to balance your budget each week and realize savings.
Brainstorm and write down every expense you can conceive. To accurately figure cost, decide on weekly usage, then multiply by individual item cost.
Be realistic and include everything at first. Then decide on cutbacks before trying to eliminate items completely.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images