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.
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!