Multiple friends recently have expressed their need for a personal budget. I agreed with them. It is good to be intentional with not only our time but also our money. As Lindsey and I went through infertility, moving to another country, and our first year as parents, over and over again we saw the value of having a budget.
Many of you probably fall somewhere between having no budget at all to having a much more robust budgeting system than the one you see below. My goal is not to tell you to do it my way. Rather, I hope to get you started, to see what ideas you have, and to learn from you along the way.
The only tools you will need in order to create a personal budget are the following:
1) A personal computer preferably with Microsoft Excel or a similar program.
2) Five minutes to spare to create your basic personal budget.
3) Your most recent bills and your most recent pay stub.
4) A few minutes a month to enter in the amounts, to highlight the bills you’ve paid in the budget excel file, and to look over where your money’s going.
My hope is that when you look at the bottom line, you’ll find that you are earning more than you are spending each month. If not, it may be time to seek the help of a personal coach or to speak with your spouse about how to move forward (or both). Once you know where you spend your money, you are much better equipped to plan how to tackle debt, save for the future, reduce expenses, and more. This frees you up from the burden of debt and will allow you to intentionally accomplish your goals and the goals of others.