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paper money on a scale

 

"Getting money is like digging with a needle;
spending it is like water soaking into sand."

Japanese Proverb




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How to Make a Budget and Stick to It - A realistic budget is your best weapon against overspending.

 

 

Budget Worksheet

 
Planned
Actual
Difference
Income      
       
Salary      
Hobby income      
Alimony      
Child Support      
Dividends      
Interest      
Tax Refunds      
Other      
       
Total Income      
       
Expenses      
       

Mortgage / Rent

     
       

Insurance:

     

Auto

     

Life

     

Disability

     

Dental

     

Liability

     

Health

     
Homeowners / Renters
     
Long Term Care
     
       
Taxes:      
Federal
     
State
     
Local
     
Property
     
       
Child Care      
       
Utilities:      
Trash
     
Water
     
Electric
     
Gas
     
       
Communication:      
Internet Connection
     
Phones
     
Cable /Satellite Connection
     
       
Vacations      
       
Education      
       
Household Help      
       
Clothing      
       
Transportation:      
Car Repairs
     
Gas
     
Loan Payment
     
Parking
     
Public Transit Fees
     
       
Entertainment      
       
Food:      
Groceries
     
Restaurants
     
       
Lawn and Garden      
       
Alimony / Child Support      
       
Savings:      
401k
     
College
     
IRA
     
Other
     
       
Pets      
       
Loans:      
Cars
     
Credit Cards
     
Student
     
       
Home Repairs      
       
Furniture / Appliances      
       
Charitable Donations      
       
Hobbies      
       
Personal:      
Haircuts
     
Dry cleaning
     
Other
     
       
Gifts      
       
Charitable Donations      
       
Medical Expenses      
Co-payments
     
Glasses / Contacts
     
Prescriptions
     
OTC Meds
     
       
Other      
     
       
       
       
       
       
Total Expenses      

Tips to make your budgeting process smoother -

1. In order to identify all of your expenses in the coming year, review your check register and charge bills in order to jog your memory. You might even want to go back in time a few years. One expense I almost forgot to budget for this year was tree trimming, because I only have it done every other year or so.

2. Don't forget little expenses you may pay cash for like Starbuck's coffees, stamps, newspapers, magazines and gum. They all add up!

3. Once you have entered your income and expenses, if you are like many people your expenses will be too high compared to your income. Keep going over each line item to see where you can cut back.

Have you compared insurance rates lately? If not you might be paying too much. Can you cut out annual magazine subscriptions and just download interesting articles from the Internet to read instead, or borrow books from the library? Can you take a sack lunch to work instead of eating out? Go over each line item starting with the biggest expenses first, and see where you can cut back.

 

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