If you want more money, you’ll need to know how to use a monthly budget. You’ll have to get in the habit of budgeting, and most importantly you’ll have to stick to it. We know, budgeting is boring, and it sucks! But if you really want to change your financial situation, you’ll have to put in the work. We’re here to give you the tools, but it’s up to you to make the change. Let’s dive deeper into how to budget monthly and track your money like a pro?
If you want to manage your money successfully, you’ll have to look at where you think your money is going and where it’s actually going.
We all think we know how to work with money, so we end up spending our money without really considering the consequences. Tracking your spending habits will paint a clear picture of what you’re actually spending your money on.
Once you start tracking your money, you’ll start thinking about what you spend your money on, before making a purchase. Next time you buy those nice pair of shoes or the golf club, for example, you’ll think twice. Now you have a decision to make, either buy something nice, or save the money for something else.
There’s nothing wrong with buying these items, in moderation of course. But it is a problem if you’re using your savings or credit card to purchase these items.
If you don’t track your money, you’ll be left with an unrealistic budget and never meet your money goals.
A monthly budget will help you take control of your finical situation.
Keep reading to get your free personal budget template.
Tracking your monthly expenses
Create a budget
You’ll have to create a budget, if you don’t have one yet.
It’s very simple.
1. List your total monthly income
This is your after-tax income. If you’re a freelancer or if you earn additional income, include this into your total income amount.
2. List your monthly expenses
Start by listing your fixed and variable costs.
Your fixed costs include all costs that don’t change. These are things like, debt repayments, rent/ mortgage, insurance, savings, investments etc.
Your variable costs are your more flexible expenses. Although these costs may change slightly every month, don’t think you can’t control them. These are thing like transport, groceries, entertainment etc.
3. Minus your income from your expenses
You want to equal to zero.
It’s called zero-based budgeting. Your goal is to minus your income from your expense so that you end up with zero.
If your calculation doesn’t work out you’ll have to readjust your expenses and see where you can cut down.
Record your expenses
Now that you have a budget setup, you’ll need to start recording your expenses.
You can choose to record your expenses daily, weekly or monthly.
You’ll have to play around and see what works for you. So give yourself some time to find your own rhythm.
Start by recording your expenses on a weekly basis. Once you get the hang of that, you’ll easily find ways how to budget monthly.
At the end of each week make a list of everything you’ve spent your money on.
By recording your expenses weekly, you’ll be able to see how much you have left-over for the following week and the rest of the month.
Check those amounts
Once you start recording your expenses you’ll quickly see what you’re spending your money on. Now you can easily adjust your expenses for the rest of the month if needed.
What if you spend all the entertainment budget without checking your budget? Your future self won’t be too happy. Now you don’t have enough money for transportation or groceries because you decided to go jolling.
If you do end up spending all the money set aside from a specific category, your budget will help get you back on your feet quickly.
You can simply readjust some expenses and find a quick-fix-solution until end of the month.
How do you track your money?
A quick check online will give a lot of different ways to track your money.
We like to stick with the ones that are simple to use and work the best. Those are spreadsheets and budgeting apps.
Track your money with a Spreadsheet
A lot of people don’t like spreadsheets, because they’re boring. The reality is spreadsheets are great!
Luckily for you, there are a bunch of templates to choose from. So all the hard work is already done for you. All you have to do is insert the numbers and customize it a bit.
The spreadsheet will do all the math for you, all you need to do is add in all the information and the spreadsheet will do the rest.
The only downside about spreadsheets is that you’ll probably want to work on your computer. Although you can use your phone to work on your spreadsheets, it’s not as compatible.
Free personal budget template
Track your money with an App
Budgeting apps have become very popular around the world. They’re easy to use and have exceptional security.
22Seven is a great tool that can teach you how to create a monthly budget.
The app allows you to track all your money accounts. You can include multiple bank accounts, credit cards, store cards, investments and even loans.
Once your accounts have been verified the app will start tracking your spending habits. You’ll be able to see exactly what you’re spending your money on. It’s pretty much doing all the work for you.
The app breaks your spending down into categories like groceries, travel, entertainment etc. so that you can see exactly what and where you’re spending your money.
It even breaks your spending down into a daily amount. Which puts things into perspective.
*We are not affiliated with 22Seven in any way.
Keep in mind that you’re tacking your money so that you can see exactly what you’re doing with your money. As you’re tracking your money you’ll easily identify which payments are hurting your wallet, and which are actually okay.
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