Tip _ Track you spending _ Tracking your spending for 30 days before creating a budget will give you the concrete numbers of how much you spend in each expense category every month. Many people are surprised to see how all the little purchases at up at the end of the month. By knowing how much you typically spend in each expense category you can now plan those expenses for the next month in your budget. _ Tip _ Plan for periodic expenses _ When creating a monthly budget that actually works you will need to plan ahead for periodic expenses such as car insurance (if not paid monthly), yearly car registration, gift giving, school shopping, and insurance deductibles just to name a few. If you estimate these expenses for the year and then divide by 12 you will get an amount that you can save each month for these expenses.
In order to track you spending you will need the following two budget worksheets: Weekly Expenses Report Worksheet _ On this worksheet you will record all the spending for a given week. You will want to have four copies of this worksheet for a given month. Carry it with you to record expenses or make a habit of recording expenses at the end of the day with your daily receipts. Make sure to include a description of the item, the date purchased, the amount and the expense category. You will also want to write down how you paid for the item whether by cash, check, or credit card. This will give you a very detailed report of your weekly spending.