Q:

How are monthly budget worksheets organized?

A:

Quick Answer

Organizing a monthly budget worksheet begins with determining your overall financial goals, both long-term and immediate. Immediate goals include such priorities as paying rent or a mortgage, making car payments and buying groceries.

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Full Answer

Longer-term goals include saving for retirement, donating to charities, or making investments in properties or stocks. Dream goals could include taking an international cruise or purchasing a posh second home.

Next comes making a list of monthly sources of income, such as net salary (after deductions), incoming alimony and child support payments and any regular bonuses. Then, list the expenses (fixed, variable and discretionary). Fixed expenses include rent payments and car payments -- things that don't change. Variable committed expenses include utilities, groceries or gasoline. Discretionary expenses include gym memberships and entertainment funds.

Create a spreadsheet with budgeted amounts for income in one column. Place the total at the bottom and the expenses in another column, with the budgeted total at the bottom. Next to each budgetary expense (groceries, entertainment, clothes etc.) record all expenditures for one month. Use this to make a more realistic budget worksheet for the next month, and add an amount to save to your expenses. Keep tracking real expenses each month to maintain discipline in spending.

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