I’m not a big fan of complex or complicated. I like things simple and easy to maintain. That’s why I created some simple monthly budget pages. An envelope system for your finances is great, but I find that also having a monthly plan can get you to think more strategically about your money. This is why you might consider keeping a budget monthly, rather than just depending on an envelope system. Having a plan and goals can help you to work harder with your money, and the choices you make with your money.
I created a video to walk you through how I use these pages. Below the video, I give you a breakdown of how each part of the budget pages is used.
Use the following sections to make a plan for each month’s money.
This is where you list all sources of income, including paychecks, returns, etc. If you happen to know what your paycheck will be, you can enter this in before the month starts.
Savings and Charity
This is where you plan how much you will be saving. Some bills are paid once or twice a year, rather than monthly. Divide the annual amount by 12 to determine how much money you should be saving each month. I physically transfer this amount to another account. Two other entries in this section would be emergency fund and donations to charity.
Known monthly expenses
List your monthly bills here. I include mortgage, power, phone, gas, chiropractor, etc.
This is where you track your spending on food, toiletries, paper products, etc. Aim to keep your spending to $100 per month per person. Divide this total amount by 4 to give you a weekly goal. At the end of each week, write in your total to see how you are doing.
List other spending, such as home decor, clothing, online purchases, etc. here. The amount to spend in this category is determined after you know how much money you have, and how much money needs to go out in the form of savings, bills, and food. These two final categories are where you can make the most difference in your spending. Make it a personal challenge to keep your numbers below your goals.