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How to make a budget

Economy added 209,000 jobs.

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How To Make A Budget- A Budgeting for Dummies Article

Personal Finance


Getting started with a spreadsheet:

 In order to get started, launch budget categories starter set and see the categories already set-up.

After you have copied the category starter set into a spreadsheet you are then ready to do some editing.


Before making any changes, backup the just copied starter set to another area of the computer, or, copy it to a newly created tab in the spreadsheet.


Go through the starter set and delete lines that don't pertain to you at this time.  You can always come back later and add them back in.


Now you should have the categories, line-by-line, with an AMOUNT column adjacent to each category, like in the example, that will represent one month of bills that you are budgeting.


Remember, this is only the bills you elected to start out with.  For a complete picture, you would have to add all your expenses and incomes to the budget.


If you want to take this a step further, you can add a couple more columns.


One column for ACTUAL COST of the category and another for the difference between what you budgeted for and the real amount- UNDER/ OVER BUDGET.

If you have a bank that tracks your checks through Bill Pay or some other means, see if you can download it to the spreadsheet.  This may get a little complicated if you are not PC minded- get your kids to help out.


Once you get this going and you have set your mind to controlling your finances, you will begin to see just how budgeting can help in controlling your expenditures.


When it comes to little items that you purchase- coffee- candy- maybe lunch, you need to also track these expenses.  Don't let these item get uncategorized.  Little items tend to add up over a 30-day period.


If you are so lucky to be under budget- meaning you are not spending all your income, you can add it to your savings so that your budget zeros out.  Make sure you have accounted for all your expenses- very important that you don't overlook anything.


That savings money will come in handy to build your reserve funds- if you don't have one.  Or send it to your investments where, if you have a long timeframe, and your so inclined to, invest in stocks.


But whatever you do with it you'll have a sense of accomplishment that you can save and control your finances. 


NEXT: Getting started with the other software product


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CATEGORY   Budget Amount    Actual    Under/ over Budget
Income categories      
  Job income- net $4,500.00 $4,500.00 $0.00
Expense categories      
Savings/ Investments $250.00 $200.00 $50.00
Mortgage/ Rent $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $0.00
  Electric   $250.00 $248.34 $1.66
  Gas   $50.00 $56.31 ($6.31)
  Water   $25.00 $11.76 $13.24
Cable/ Satellite $35.00 $35.00 $0.00
  Vehicle payment $350.00 $350.00 $0.00
  maintenance $25.00 $0.00 $25.00
  Fuel   $50.00 $40.00 $10.00
Credit Card Payments $80.00 $80.00 $0.00
Total income $4,500.00 $4,500.00  
Total expense $2,115.00 $2,021.41  
Under/over budget $2,385.00 $2,478.59  








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