When it comes to managing money, there’s no easier way to track your income, expenses, and investments than by using a budget sheet. Furthermore, it can help you plan appropriate budgets for groceries and dining out, investment contributions, travel, medical expenses, and more.
As a visual tool, you will also be able to see the categories in which you may be overspending and under saving, which will help you make better financial decisions for the present and future.
Read on to learn the different ways that budget sheets can help you achieve financial freedom and success.
Creating and Managing a Budget
The first step to using a budget sheet is, of course, creating a budget. If you don’t have one, you should start by putting all your income and expenses onto one sheet. How much are you making every month? How much are you saving? Where are you spending your money?
From there, you can adhere to using the 50/30/20 budget rule, which takes a deep dive into your budget and breaks it down into three main categories for spending and saving: 50% for essentials, 30% for wants and desires, and 20% for savings and debt payoff. You can learn more about the strategy on the Slavic401k blog here.
Understanding where your money is and how it should be spent will help you utilize the budget sheet, allowing you to accurately assign money to various categories, including taxes, raises and bonuses, emergencies, and more. These small efforts on paper can make a big difference in your overall financial snapshot over time and help you understand the state of your finances better.
The second part of maintaining your budget is tracking all your expenses. Did the cost of your coffee increase? If so, by how much? Will you experience a rent increase this year? Did you have a vehicle emergency you had to pay for? All these factors add up and will need to be tracked on your budget sheet every month to ensure your finances stay up to date.
While tracking your expenses, you will also be able to determine which ones can be eliminated. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Is your weekday spending fluctuating? If so, why?
- Did you have to pay late fees that could have been avoided?
- Are you emotionally spending? If so, is there a way to avoid triggers?
- Do you have services fees you can eliminate? (Time to review your monthly subscriptions!)
These questions can be answered while tracking your finances with your budget sheet, and the answers can lead to actionable tasks for your financial future.
Reviewing and Adjusting Your Financial Strategy
Finally, using a budget sheet will help you adjust your financial strategy. Are you coming up short in some areas? Are you saving enough? Spending too much? Knowing and understanding your spending and savings habits will allow you to adjust your budget, track the changes, and grow financially over time.
It may be difficult to let some things go – like a bi-weekly manicure or pedicure – but as you appropriately assign money to different categories, make money, and find new ways to utilize your income, you will be able to make adjustments that fit your wants and needs.
Budgeting sheets are a simple, yet effective tool, and can change the course of your financial structure with the stroke of a pen. To begin, use the Slavic401k budget sheet. Download, print, and begin your journey to financial freedom and success here.