Grab our free monthly budget printable worksheet below to get your finances organized and under control!
Everyone wants to have organized, balanced finances. But unfortunately, achieving that goal is a little trickier than it may seem. That’s because your finances aren’t just one thing. “Finances” is just a blanket term for all your money, which is endlessly coming, going, growing, and changing.
So how do you get a hold on something so fluid in order to get it organized? You make a budget! Here are my tips on How to Organize Your Finances with a Monthly Budget Printable Worksheet!
How to Organize Your Finances with a Monthly Budget Printable Worksheet
In order to really organize your finances, I think you sometimes have to break away from the basic income vs. expenses budget and go a bit more detailed. Which is why my monthly budget printable worksheet also includes a section for savings, investments, and debt (plus a handy notes section for little reminders and other financial thoughts). Let’s take a look at all 5 sections in this worksheet.
How to Budget your Income
Obviously, you can’t really budget your income, if “to budget” means to purposefully plan to have less or more of an amount of money in a category. Your income is pretty much set. Even if you run your own business, work as a freelancer, or have a side hustle on top of traditional employment, you’re probably still making pretty much around the same amount each month.
If you’re self-employed and your business/career is growing, you may see a bit of growth each month. But still, you’re probably not making $2,000 with your side hustle one month and $10,000 the next! An exception would be a seasonally based income. But still, the amount you make in a seasonal business in November of this year is probably similar to the amount you made in November of last year.
So when writing in your “main” and “other” income on the worksheet, if you have an income source that isn’t a salary set by an employer, just use an average. Don’t use a best case scenario number, because if your income doesn’t change as much as you’d expected, you may throw your budget off and find your expenses are higher than your income!
How to Budget Your Expenses
Expense budgeting is where the real magic of budgeting happens. I suggest you do this part of your monthly budget planner worksheet with a pencil. Because to do this section well, you should find yourself erasing and re-writing numbers a few times as you change how much you choose to allocate to each expense for the month.
First, start this section by listing all your expenses. You can do them by bill or by category (so you could specifically budget for Netflix, for example, or just for entertainment as a whole). By bill gives you more fine control over your budget, but for some things may just be easier as a whole category. Do what seems right to you.
Once you have all your expenses listed, compare your total expenses to your total income. Do you have more income than expenses? If so, that’s good, but you can always make it even better by reducing some expenses. If you expenses are higher than your income, you simply have to reduce them or else you’re going to run out of money eventually.
To cut expenses, first go over each one. Do any of them shock you by how high they are? If they’re something that you can easily change, like how much you spend on clothes, erase the number under “expected” and put in a lower number. Then keep yourself to your clothes budget for the month. Some categories may be harder to adjust, like your utilities (which would require either a change in use, or a possible change in plan by calling the company), but most categories’ expenses can be changed at least a little.
At the end of the month, fill in the “actual” sections on the worksheet for each expense you recorded. If your actual costs are lower than or equal to your expected costs, that’s great! If they’re higher, your budget needs adjusting. But that’s normal. It usually takes a few months to properly fine-tune a budget.
How to Budget Your Savings
I suggest including a category called “savings” in the expense section of your worksheet. Then add the amount you plan to save to your savings starting number, and write in that as your end savings number. The savings goal number should just be there to remind and motivate you about your overall savings goal.
The easiest way to set aside savings is to set it up as an automatic transfer in your bank account for the days that you get paid. That way you never have a chance to think about spending the money! This works even better if the account you’re transferring it to is an actual savings or money market account and not a checking account.
Savings and MMA accounts have a 6 transaction limit per month, which means that if you keep siphoning money out of your savings, eventually you’ll hit the limit and be charge a fee for going over it. This will help keep you honest and leave your savings alone!
How to Budget Your Investments
If you’re really into investing, you’d need a worksheet other than this monthly budget printable worksheet to keep track of it all. But for as far as tracking how your investing affects your overall finances, this should be enough. Again, I suggest putting a category called “investments” in your expenses section. And like with your savings, take the amount you plan to invest, add it to the starting number, and put it in as the ending number.
How to Budget Your Debt
This category doesn’t have a goal section, because obviously the goal is to have zero dollars in debt! You can either group all of your debt into a category called “debt” in your expenses, or list each debt payment separately. But however you track it, add up your payments for the month and subtract them from the starting amount.
If you’ve budgeted well enough that you have excess money to put toward savings and investments, you may be wondering if you should be putting that extra money toward your debt instead, to pay it off faster. There are a lot of different thoughts and theories on debt payoff, but my general feeling is that you should try to find a balance.
Paying off debt is important, but it’s also important to have savings in case of an emergency. And it’d be horrible to miss out on a really good investment opportunity just because you wanted to throw a few hundred dollars more at your debt. So think about your overall finances and your goals, and try to find a happy balance between all the categories.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE MONEY BUDGET PRINTABLE WORKSHEET NOW!
By using my monthly budget printable worksheet, you should be able to get your finances organized, and keep them that way!
Have you tried using a budget before? How did it go?