Everyone has their own way of maintaining a budget but I have been asked by a few of you to share the actual downloadable budget sheet that I use.
I find it easier to create my budget in Google Drive so that I can access and update it no matter what computer I happen to be using. The easier my budget is to access, the more likely I am to keep it up to date.
I have had quite the time trying to get my website to let me add an Excel sheet...no idea why it has to be this hard. So instead I am going to pass along a link to a downloadable budgeting spreadsheet from Readyforzero. This is the original sheet that I downloaded to start using, I just modified it to fit my needs.
Here is a link to the actual page where they tell you how to download the budget sheet from their Google Docs.
I think that you will most likely have to set up an account and log in to see that link. I like that option because I think Ready for Zero is a very useful site when paying down debt. I am in no way affiliated with them, I just really like the service they provide. If you DONT want to sign up for some crazy reason, you can see the budgeting sheet here.
Please note that no matter how you get to the page, you will need to download the Excel document before you will be allowed to edit. Simply download to your computer or you can click "File" - "Make A Copy" to have a copy of the sheet made in a new Google Drive Doc. You will need to be signed into your google account to do this.
The dates on this spreadsheet are 2012 but once you download it, you can have free reign of the editing. I love this layout personally because it has the main summary page where you plan your budget and then actually enter how much money you spent at the end of the month. There are also separate pages for you to track your expenses. So lets say you ate out 4 times this month, there is a tab for eating out and you would write in each individual instance and the total spent. This not only helps to keep you accountable and on budget, it also has helped me catch some discrepancies in totals. I save every receipt until the money clears in my account and then I throw them out. By doing this, I have noticed when a waitress added on a $20 additional tip. I was able to see the total once it posted and check it against my receipt and contact the restaurant. I was given a refund of the "stolen" money. Who knows how many times this has happened in the past! I just know that if it happens again, I will catch it.
Budgeting can be a pain but if you take the time to set it up, I promise you will start feeling more confident about your finances.
If anyone has trouble downloading the spreadsheet, just leave a comment or send me an email and I will be happy to email you the file.