Kahlilia Bouteflika November 23, 2020 Math Worksheets
Trying to find the perfect budgeting worksheet can be like trying to find the right used car: there's a million available but finding the right one can frustrating. Searching the internet will provide an unlimited supply of worksheets available with various levels of quality and price. As you go through all the options available, keep these tips in mind to find the one that's right for you.
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #1: Find a Budgeting Worksheet with all the Categories You Need
Nothing can be more frustrating when you're working on your monthly budget than to run out of budget categories as you're grinding through numbers. Trying to decide where to put an expense can be very frustrating. When choosing your budgeting worksheets, look for some major main categories of expenses with the flexibility to add more detailed line items underneath. For example, major budgeting categories include:
• Charities / Tithing
• Medical / Health
Virtually any expense you have can be put into one of these categories. So your worksheet should have plenty of space or data entry "cells" within these major categories.
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #2: Compare your Monthly Spend to a Standard Guideline
Once you put your numbers in, how do you compare to the national average or some other standard guideline? The budgeting worksheet should give you some idea of how you compare in each of the above categories. Then you can make some decisions if you're over or under spending in some areas. The beauty of using worksheets is not only to see where your money is going but to see how you compare to a standard guideline.
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #3: Your Personal Cash Flow Analysis
A fully functional budgeting worksheet should calculate your monthly cash flow analysis so that you can determine if you are overspending based on your income on a monthly basis. In order to determine your cash flow for the month, you will need to provide your monthly income information. A good worksheet should do all the math for you, generate a meaningful chart or two so that you can quickly see the areas in your budget that need to be improved upon. If you are over spending, you will need to adjust. If you are under spending, start saving towards your goals!
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #4: How to Handle Irregular Income or Expenses
One of the most difficult parts of budgeting that people tell me they struggle with is how to budget for those irregular expenses such as real estate taxes or car insurance that are due twice a year. Another difficulty is for irregular income if someone is on commission or business-related income.
Most of the worksheets do not handle these irregular income or expense situations very well, making the budget inaccurate and unreliable or rely on considerable self-adjustments by the user. A really good worksheet should have the ability to handle irregular incomes and expenses with ease. Our budgeting worksheet has a Paycheck Allocator that makes this process easy-to-do and painless.
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #5: Goals-Based
Most budgeting programs don't accommodate for your financial goals, they simply look back at the previous month to help you determine your spend for the current month. That is not good budgeting. If you have a cash flow problem, then it will just perpetuate into future months and you won't even realize it's happening. Furthermore, you are not creating a plan to achieve your goals.
An excellent budgeting worksheet will accommodate for your financial goals and help you determine what you can afford or what it will take to meet those goals. It will take into account your income, current debt, expenses and savings to help you generate a plan to meet your goals.
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #6: Pay-off Debt
Not surprisingly, most people want to budget to pay-off their debt. Try to find a budgeting worksheet that actually helps you do that! A really good budgeting worksheet should have some capability to organize those debts and give you some options on how to pay them off as quickly as possible.
The worksheets themselves can't pay-off the debt, you still need to do that part! But the worksheet should allow you to shift money around on paper (computer screen) so that you can see the financial impact on your budget. Giving up a small amount of spending in your discretionary categories and applying some of that money to your debt load will dramatically improve your financial situation. Before you know it, you'll be able to apply that extra money to your new goals - without going into debt!
Budgeting Worksheet Tip #7: 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!
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