budget · General

A Fun and Simple Budget

Becoming financially affluent is not only about increasing your income. You must also be able to wisely manage the money you have. So I threw together an Excel Spreadsheet for you to use in your endeavor. This is the same format I have used for well over a decade. It may seem overly simplistic but that is the point. An overly complicated budget will not be helpful in the long run because you will just become frustrated with it later and give up. This one you can just set and forget, only to occasionally update it.

First a few words about “cash”. I believe that an integral part of a budgeting lifestyle is cash. You can feel cash, not just on your finger tips, but you can measure it easily, you can enjoy the sensation of having it in your pocket, you will feel it in a more impactful way when it leaves you. Debt/credit cards are a wonderful part of our everyday lives, but they are also deceitful for you because you spend more than you should without realizing it. If you give yourself a weekly allowance of cash, you will be able to more mindfully make decisions about how you are spending your money.

The premise of the budget is simple. You need to figure out the amount of money you make weekly first. This is all the money from the different sources you earn from all tallied up and expressed in a weekly number. Next, do the same thing with your mandatory expenses. Mandatory is not usually trips to Starbucks, clothing, haircuts, etc. Think of your household as a separate entity from yourself. Only add in the necessary items which your household requires to run. These will include rent, utilities, fuel, groceries (which includes cleaning products, dog food, anything you pick up while grocery shopping), credit card payments, Netflix, etc. All the normal things that come out of your account every month/week to run your household. Then, subtract your expenses from your income to come up with the amount of money you actually have to spend every week. The number you come up with here can either be exciting or scary, but either way it is a truth you need to know.

Pick an amount from the left over money to give yourself as a cash allowance. You will use this money for all the extra stuff you do. Hair cuts, movies, coffee, restaurants, gifts, etc. If there is any left over funds after you have allotted yourself this cash, start paying off some extra on your debts, add extra to savings, or give yourself some extra cash every week. If you have next to no money left over to give yourself an allowance, then you need to either live like a college kid for a while until you get your debt under control or look for ways to start earning some extra money, or both.

Make sure you keep whatever portion of income in your bank account to cover the mandatory expenses. Pay those expenses with that account any way that works for you. I personally set up auto pay on most everything and slide my debit card for the fuel, groceries and other things like that. I go to the ATM on a weekly basis and get my cash allowance out to put into my wallet.

Without further ado, here is the budget template I promised easybudget . I added in some example numbers so you could see how the spreadsheet functions. Just replace those numbers with your own.

One last thing. Two-thirds of Americans do not use a budget at all. Chances are, you do not either. Breaking through this threshold is a must for anyone desiring to become financially affluent. Helping others get control of their money is a passion of mine so please ask questions if you need help. If this budget helps you, feel free to share it with others!

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