Download Budget Calculator PDF

TitleBudget Calculator
File Size141.5 KB
Total Pages9
Table of Contents
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Page 4

© 2010 Vertex42 LLC





STEP 4 Create your budget


This Budget Calculator is designed to help you both create and manage your budget on a
monthly basis, all within a single worksheet. This allows you to (1) easily add or remove
budget categories, (2) plan for irregular expenses, (3) plan based on a variable income, and
(4) make future predictions to aid in decision making.

- To aid in scrolling and viewing, I would recommend using Window > Freeze Panes.

- Values are formatted to display dollar amounts (like $25 instead of $25.12) to allow for
narrower columns. However, you can still enter more exact values, like $25.12.

- If you have good eyes, you may want to change the zoom on the worksheet to show more of
the budget at one time. 80% is a pretty good zoom value.

- In this spreadsheet, SAVING is included as an EXPENSE category, but the formatting is set
up similar to INCOME. That is because Saving MORE is usually better. You can track your
savings using a separate worksheet.

- Before Printing, you may want to hide the columns you don't need to see.

Enter your Current Balance as of Month 1. This will usually be the sum of the balances in
your spending account(s).

How to Handle Credit Cards: If you use a credit card like a debit card, and don't maintain a
balance, then your current balance would be the sum of your checking account balances
minus your current balance on your credit card(s). In other words, you'd treat your credit
card as a spending account just like you would your checking account, and each month the
charges you make to your credit card will be entered as expenses just as you would do with
bills and expenses you pay from your checking account(s).

Credit Card Debt: Payments made to pay off outstanding debt on your credit card would be
entered as an expense under the Obligations category.

Edit, Add, or Delete sub-categories as needed. I don't recommend you delete major
categories, because that will really mess things up.
Inserting Rows: When you add a sub-category, copy an existing row (so that the formulas are
copied) and make sure to insert the copied row somewhere ABOVE the last row in the group
or BELOW the first row in the group so that the formulas stretch to include the row you
added. I would recommend checking the TOTAL formulas after adding rows, to ensure that
they remain correct.

Modify the Month labels as needed (like JAN, FEB, etc. or AUG, SEP, etc.)

Budget Guideline #1 - Total Allocation or "It All Goes Somewhere"

Page 5

STEP 5 Enter Actual Income and Expenses

STEP 6 EACH MONTH: Enter the Actual Ending Balance

- When creating your budget, you would generally want to make the NET (Income-Expenses)
equal to zero. If you have extra (a Positive NET value), then you could allocate that to
savings or paying off debt for example. If you have a negative NET, then you'll need to cut
back somewhere or earn more money.

Budget Guideline #2 - Be Specific
- If you have multiple savings goals, add a sub-category for each one. Breaking out your
expenses into specific categories will help give you a better idea of where you are spending
and therefore where you may be able to cut back. So yes, you could probably get away with a
single category for all "Entertainment", but I certainly wouldn't lump regular expenses in with
variable expenses.
- You can copy and paste cells as needed. For example, enter an average fuel cost in Jan,
and copy the value to other cells. But, only copy and paste cells if they have similar
formatting. For example, don't copy cells from the BUDGET column and paste into the
ACTUAL column. The ACTUAL column uses special conditional formatting to highlight values
that are over budget.

- Include Irregular Expenses (non-monthly large lump payments) in the months in which they
will likely occur, or use the approach of averaging the cost across each month. If you are
using the averaging approach, I strongly recommend that you use a special savings account as
a holding place for these larger expenses. That way, the balances in your spending accounts
will more closely match the balance shown in the ACTUAL column each month. For example,
if you are planning to spend $600 for Christmas, then put away $50 each month into a special
savings account, and budget $50 each month in the Christmas category.
- Enter an average monthly value for Variable Expenses (monthly expenses that change from
month to month, like groceries). To calculate an average, you can find the total for the past
3 months and divide the value by 3. For groceries, especially, it's good to use the past 3-6
months. Make sure to maintain a good cushion in your spending account to handle these
variable expenses.
- Use FORMULAS to do basic calculations like "=245/6" to divide 245 by 6 or "=34*2" to
multiple 34 by 2, or "=34+12+45" to add a bunch of numbers. Formulas are entered using the
"=" sign.

- Add cell comments as needed to help explain costs. Cell comments show up as little red
triangles, like the one to the left. This is one of the benefits of using a spreadsheet. For
example, enter the names of Birthdays in comments for the Gifts Given category.

- You can do this on a day-to-day, week-by-week, or monthly basis. Use formulas like
"=23+12+43" to add multiple values to a particular category. Add cell comments to explain
purchases as needed. This will be particularly helpful when you go back to review the year in
preparation for preparing your next-year's budget.

- I would recommend using software like Quicken to enter your transactions and assign
transactions to specific categories. You can set up your categories in Quicken to be like those
in this spreadsheet. Then, you can run reports in Quicken to summarize your monthly
expenditures and then enter those actual amounts into this spreadsheet.

Page 6

Just like you did with Step 1, look at your bank and credit card statements to enter your
actual ending balance. You will now need to resolve any differences between this value and
the Projected Actual End Balance, by looking to see if you made any mistakes, left out any
expenses, etc.

Similer Documents