Monthly Budget Planner | Top Budget Planning Tips to Organize Your Monthly Finances and Budget Using a Planner
Monthly budget planning gave me a grasp on my household finances and confidence to make correct spending and allocation decisions with my money using a planner for the monthly budget.
I’ve been using a monthly budget planner for almost a decade now and ever since it’s been like a dream come true to see and track exactly where my money comes in and where it goes. I like to go with the printable personal monthly budget planner for bills, expenses, and inflows or income. This in my opinion is the best monthly planner you can get your hands on because you can see all the numbers right there in front of you. Before that, it was like being lost in a deep cave without a light, having no sense of my family budget. Not that I am some sort of expert on the subject of monthly budget planners, but a few hours to set one up and actually use it has helped tremendously to get a handle on my finances and overall financial picture and condition. My household budget spelled out in black and white saves the day everyday. As far as monthly budget tips go, that’s a big one. If you are not doing that yet then what are you waiting for? Do you not want to get a better handle on your financial condition? I guess some people do not and that’s ashame, because you can do so much more with your money, savings, investments, and expenditures if you do this. If you can learn about how to create and organize a family monthly budget, then you will be more confident about all the financial decisions that face you every day, week, month, or year. And a couple of my close friends are in the same predicament I was over ten years ago in that they are nowhere near as responsible with their money as they should be, and they freely admit it. It’s a real shame because they have full time incomes, assets like cars and their own home, and they have small children. Yet they have no family budget or any means whatsoever to plan and execute their spending. And they have little insurance and no savings for their kids and no retirement accounts for themselves. This is primarily because they do not have any sense of what money comes in and what money goes out, something that could be easily addressed and solved with a monthly budget planner. Not very responsible to not do that, in my opinion, given the current state of their lives. What’s more, they have loaded up their credit cards so they are in a lot of debt, and one friend is now toying with the idea of bankruptcy, as she is constantly behind on all of her bills. She’s even looked at loans til payday as well. I told her to look into financial planning classes because her situation is so severe. If you think you’re stressed out, think about how stressful she is day in and day out. I’ve also given her a monthly budget planner sample so she can hit the ground running as far as getting her own budgeting in place to better manage her money for her family and stop the downward spiral of ever increasing spending and debt. Gaining control of you finances is key to stop living paycheck to paycheck. And in this current downward spiraling economy we find ourselves in, doing any kind of budget planning, monthly or otherwise, is crucial to being able to successfully navigate these rough economic waters. Now is the perfect time to take on this task to get ready for the new year.
Check out the advice from most any personal finance experts and you will discover that the most important thing you can do is implement a monthly budget planner. This will allow you to track the flow of funds in and out of your accounts. You will quickly see areas where you have room to cut back on spending and save money. You can easily find free monthly planners available online so can just pick one, even something that’s very basic (best to start with something simple so you don’t over complicate the task of planning your finances and spending). You then take the free printable budget worksheet and planner you find and print it out for each month. If you do want to get more complex, then you can look into getting personal financial planning software, like Quicken for example, to not only be your monthly budget planner but also be your versatile tracker and reporter of income and expenses. You have to be sure you can balance the books and that your accounting is as accurate as can be. Otherwise all your work will do you no good as you use the data to make important decisions about how to allocate your funds better, where to cut back, and where you can save more, and so forth.
Granted the monthly household budget can be the center of a lot of stress for you and your spouse, or even just you if you’re single. This is especially true in situations where the expenses accrued every month exceed the income level for the month or other period of time you might be looking at. No doubt, it can be very difficult to take a hard look at the numbers and decide what items you currently pay for on a recurring basis can go and what can stay. But it’s an exercise you must do every so often or else risk facing the real possibility of financial harm. Bear in mind that you don’t always have to cut something one hundred percent. In some cases, you may just be able to cut back. For example, if you go out to dinner every week, cut it back to once every other week or just once a month. Figure out the savings you incur by not going out to dinner or the movies or whatever those extra two or three times a month and decide where that money can be put to better use. Maybe it can be used to make extra payments on a credit card to help pay down the debt on that card sooner rather than later. Or maybe this so called new found money can be put into savings or investments or earmarked for a retirement fund or account, whether it be a standard type of IRA account, or a Roth IRA, or a 401k or 403b plan for retirement or whatever. The point is, when you have a free printable monthly budget planner or other type of tracking system to manage your finances, you can see clearly where your spending might be out of control, where you can cut back and reallocate money to other expenses or investments, and where you can eliminate expenses altogether. That’s the power you get with a monthly planner system.
Here’s what you can do if you want to know how to perfect and implement a monthly budget. What you do is fill in your monthly budget planner - spreadsheet really - the best way you can. The best monthly planner will give you the ability to fill in and track all your income and expenses as they occur and also allow you to project forward what your financial statements will look like based on past and current activity in your various accounts and income and outflow. You can use old receipts and canceled checks to come up with average expenses for groceries, electricity, water, gas or oil, cable or satellite, cell phone, insurance, car payments and costs for repair, and mortgage or rent or other house payments. And don’t forget to gather your various tax bills. In the end, doing this gives you a pretty good estimate of how much you spend on expenses each month. A look at your paycheck stubs will allow you to calculate your average monthly income, and compare that with your expenses. If you are showing a deficit, you definitely have to cut back somewhere because you have too much on your plate expense-wise. On the other hand, maybe you can increase your income stream. And that’s the beauty of a monthly budget planner. You end up with a super useful document to help you plan accordingly. With the hard data in front of you, you are in a much better position to see where you are financially and better able to chart a course for the future to come up with a formula for success. You may find you really can sock money away in the bank or make an investment or two in a retirement fund or other savings plan.
A system that employs a monthly budget planner is one that gives you all pertinent numbers and figures right in front of you, on paper, which then allows you to make much more informed decisions. You might discover, for example, that you are paying over $100 per month for your cell phone service and decide in the scheme of things that that is simply too much. This information from your monthly budget planner tells you that you should start shopping around for a new cell phone calling plan as soon as you can to reduce that expense. What about your insurance expenses? Could you do with some quotes for new insurance policies to see if you can shave your insurance costs down to a more reasonable size? You can most likely find areas to save to gain money to pay down any debt on your bank credit card, for example. Of course, once you make changes in your personal budget like this, you simply add the new figures into your monthly budget planner; you will see the result right there on the my bottom line of your household budget. This document is useful for that reason - you see results instantly and you can make further changes where you see fit.
Here’s a funny video clip from a Saturday Night Live sketch showing a budget planning meeting in the corporate world where budget cuts are being discussed. Notice how ruthless some of the suggestions for cutting the budget are! You may have to be just as ruthless in your own adjustments as you fill in your monthly budget planner.
So what do you want to do, use plain paper or a notebook and pen or pencil, or are you more comfortable using some kind of budget planning software on your computer, whether it be your PC or Mac? The software is nice because among other things, it may be able to warn you automatically (provided you set it up correctly) when a payment for a given bill or group of bills is due. It can easily keep track of all your account balances and provide simple to extensive reports having to do with your cash flow and balance sheets. It might even be able to track your assets and their values such as investment accounts, your home, and others. Plus it can usually handle, track, and report how you’re doing on all your loan accounts like your mortgage, car loans, and other liabilities. The bottom line is that you should get started on a budget if you haven’t and also try to develop solid budgeting skills, and monthly budget management skills. If you are in a tough spot right now with your financial situation, getting your family finances back on track probably won’t be very easy. Think discipline and sacrifice, i.e. the party is over baby. But with these monthly budget tips, I think you will find the peace of mind that comes with being financially stable will be well worth any temporary sacrifices or hardships you face. I can assure you that if you stick to your guns and stick to your monthly budget planner, you will be better for it in the end.