Even with a budget template, without clear goals for your finances you may achieve very little. It calls for focus and discipline to attain financial goals. However, one ought to set the goals first, and use their budgeting tool toward achieving them. In this case, come up with a list of both short and long-term goals. You can list them in terms of their priority. Good news is that, with most excel budget templates you have an allowance to edit your goals.
Plan for your net income only. Once you deduct statutory deductions, it gives you a clear idea of how much money you have left for spending. You cannot budget for what you do not have. This is one way of preparing to get into burdensome debts. Only plan for what remains after mandatory deductions.
Divide your expenses into fixed and variable. Some payments such as mortgage, insurance and others will remain the same for a long period. Those go into the category of fixed expenses. Others which change over time such as food, fuel and entertainment you will record in variable expenses. This kind of grouping makes your worksheet easier to manage.
You could also consider having categories for savings, needs, and wants. This is because there are times you have to decide about mandatory expenditures and wants to keep up with your financial goals. If any variable or fixed item is necessary for your wellbeing, it falls under needs. If you want to set up an emergency fund or save for a holiday, this goes to savings. List clearly in your worksheet to make sure you are certain where your money is going.
Always go for worksheets that are easily customizable to fit different users. Several excel budget templates exist online today. Such you can change a few things or add fields to match your requirements. If you want to gain control of expenditure, concentrate on the variable expenses and find areas you can save a few coins.
Always make sure to record daily expenditure. After sometime, these records will give an idea of main areas you spend your money. You can use such records to plan for the coming month before you get your salary. This way, you make sure you are not caught unaware.
Different worksheets exist online today. You could try free budget excel worksheets. Google document spreadsheets are also a great alternative. You can find excel or Google budget template worksheets that you can customize to fit your needs.