Write down what you spent last month. Use Categories like mortgage, food, entertainment, clothing, transportation and savings. Savings is an important category. Is there something you should be spending your money on that you didn't last month, but that you think you should. Already the process begins to uncover things you want to know Write down what you expect to earn next month. If you are on a variable income, it might be helpful to put this in three columns: The minimum you expect, an average of what to expect, and the highest amount you expect to earn. Don't count on the highest number, but it is a great goal setting exercise to strive for that high number on a monthly basis. Write down what you KNOW you will spend next month. Fixed expenses like mortgages, property taxes are known amounts. They are constant every month and don't change. While you can change your rent or mortgage amounts by moving, it is unlikely that you will do this next month. So consider these Fixed expenses.
Budgeting Worksheet Tip : Ease of Use and Professional _ The biggest complaint about budgeting is that it's too hard and takes too much time. Look for something that not only does all of the above functions, but is also easy to use from the get_go. The forms should be intuitive, easy to identify the cells to fill in data, and easy to read print out report. Finally, my gauge of a truly excellent budgeting worksheet is to ask yourself, "Is this a report that I'd be comfortable taking to a financial planner, banker, or other professional for further advice or coaching?" If the answer is yes, then you've done a good job!