One of the most common new years resolutions is to implement and stick to a budget. However, planning a budget is hard and anybody who tells you otherwise is either full of something or likes budgets too much.
Simply put, budgeting is keeping track of how much money is coming in, how much money is going out, and what you do with the money that is left over. There are numerous posts on how to create a budget. Combine those with this free budgeting template, and you have a powerful tool at your fingertips.
Doing your finances can be as fun as a dentist visit or as exciting as a successful first date depending on how you approach it. Grab your templates above and keep reading!
First, It Helps to Get Your Mindset Sorted
If you have the money mentality that your finances are a buzzkill, doing a weekly budget will feel like you're doing jail time. However, when used properly, a budget template can actually help you enjoy your life better. When you know how much money you have and where it goes every week, you'll be better equipped to save money and use it for things you want to do.
Have you ever been one of those people who can't go and hang out with their friends because you don't have money? Or worse still, have you had to mooch off of a friend because you didn't have enough to pay to see the latest blockbuster? When you have a method to your money, you won't always look like the broke friend everyone has to take pity on.
Second, Figure Out What Motivates You
One of the best things you can do when you decide to implement a budget is figuring out why you are doing so. When you know why you want to get control of your finances, you can use that reason to motivate yourself to stick to it when it gets hard.
Even if you have the best intentions, and have been good about sticking to rules, keeping a budget all of the time is most definitely hard. Life happens, and unexpected expenses will come up. Remember your reason for controlling your finances, and these situations will be easier to deal with.
Give Different Budget Systems a Try
You might be wary about using a budget template because your finances are more spontaneous. However, there are several types of budgeting systems (complete with the proper template) that work around different lifestyles. There's no one size fits all when it comes to budgets because no two lifestyles are the same.
Here are some common ones that lend well to using a budget template:
- Zero-based budget– The money you bring in and the money you spend or save each month is the same, so you are left with $0 at the end of the month.
- 50-30-20: 50% of your income goes towards needs, 30% to whatever you would like to spend it on, and 20% towards savings or debt.
- General Monthly Budget: This budget requires you to commit to how much you will spend in each category at the beginning of the month. Throughout the month, you'll limit yourself to the money you've put aside for anything you could need during that time.
- Snowball Budget: For those of you who have several debts to pay off, this is a great system to use. After you've paid for your necessities, use whatever money is leftover to pay off your debts. As you pay off one debt, you can then apply it to the next debt until you are debt free.
And if it turns out that the system doesn't work for you, there's nothing to say that you have to keep using it! There are so many different systems out there that you could try a new one every month and keep going for years.
How Our Free Budget Template Will Kickstart Your Financial Future
Emerging from the darkness of financial illiteracy or apathy can be frightening. Gurus are everywhere throwing around buzzwords you don’t understand in an effort to take your hard earned money. Which is the exact opposite of what someone looking to improve their financial standing needs.
One of the top things you'll need in a budgeting template is one that is easy for you to use on a regular basis. If you have to learn a lot of jargon or don't understand how excel formulas work, excel spreadsheets may not be the right template for you to go with.
Let's face it – The harder a system is to use, the less likely you are to use it.
As it turns out, I have created a free budget template that is perfect for anyone looking to gain a handle on their personal finances, and because it’s free, this budget template is the perfect way to start budgeting. Below are three reasons why I believe my Financial Best Life Budget Template is superior to others out there.
It's simple in the best way.
Mine is a one-page template which makes it easy to navigate and find the line items you really care about. No hopping around from sheet to sheet to compare numbers. This free budget template is streamlined. It has all the line items real people use and leaves the complicated mess to the accountants.
Sticking to your budget can be hard at first. It can also be discouraging when you come in over on a consistent basis. That’s why I recommend keeping a loose budget at first and refining it as time goes by and you improve at hitting your numbers. And trust me, once it happens, you’ll become addicted to sticking to your budget. Nothing feels better than coming in under budget, except coming in under budget EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.
This template is flexible.
This template has the room for expansion. Say after a few month you realize you need a line item devoted to a hobby you have instead of lumping it into entertainment, or you add a new side hustle because all this budgeting has made you realize you need all the money every created in the world. With this free budget template, you do not need to start from scratch, simply add those item lines and boom! You’re doing it, doing it, and doing it well.
Did I mention my budget template is free?
The last thing anyone needs when they first start wrangling their finances is to spend even more money so they can “better” manage their finances. Sure, there will come a time when you want to become super duper serious about your finances, and forking over your hard earned dollars for workbooks and financial courses will make sense, but that time is not now. Start off with my free budget template and once you feel the urge to drop some bones on your finance game then go for the premium items. Honestly, though, you could use my free budget template for the rest of your life and not miss a beat 🙂