Creating a Simple Budget

Gas prices are rising, food prices are rising, and healthcare costs are rising, just to name a few.  It seems the only thing that isn’t rising is income.  Having a budget is essential when money is tight.  Below are examples of the percentage budget for three different income levels.

Using the list below as a template, enter the actual amounts that you are spending and then calculate the percentage (Expense Amount divided by Monthly Income).

Now that you have your amounts and percentages, use these to compare to your budget and see what adjustments need to be made to keep your total percentage at 100%.  Click here for the Excel template.

Luke 14 – 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—  (NKJV)

Have a Victorious Day!
Marianne 

QUESTION:  How is having a budget or not having a budget impacting your finances?  Use the comment form below to share your thoughts.

Family Budget Workbook by Larry Burkett

 Family Budget Workbook by Larry Burkett
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  • http://amusico.wordpress.com amusico

    Great information and so practical and clearly presented. I have always been in charge of our finances and I have always budgeted and taught my children to do the same. We are called to be good stewards of our resources and knowing what is coming in and going out is step one! I use a 4 column pad but I think I will incorporate your template into my budgeting. I like having everything broken down and all in one place. Wonderful resource.

    • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

      Ann,

      Good for you! You are so right — there are so many scriptures that could have been used here and the ones about being a good steward are definitely applicable.

      I will post the Excel templates later today — either in the blog or on my resources page.

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne

  • http://crazycoolcam.wordpress.com/ Cam

    Hi Marianne,

    Great post!

    Budgets are huge in my life, and they have definitely had a positive impact on my wife and I’s life. So far, living with a plan and a budget has allowed us to pay off over 40k in debt and we are loving the freedom it has brought us! (We still have two mortgages, but that is it!)

    I have been budget conscious for about as long as I can remember and I have it in my genes. My dad, an accountant and entrepreneur, set me up with my first budget when I was in 6th or 7th grade and while I would like to say I have been budgeting since then, that would be a lie. However, immediately (within two months) after getting my first apartment, I have budgeted and been tracking my money!

    I use excel and I have slowly built a pretty complex, powerful, though complicated set of worksheets to track all my spending and debt payoff. I highly recommend the freedom budgets provide (it sounds backward, but it’s true).

    Again, great post and keep up the awesome work!

    ~Cam

    • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

      Cam,

      Good for you on keeping a budget and I’m glad to hear you are almost debt-free. Borrower is slave to the lender so being out of debt must mean freedom. Every debt-free person I know has a lot more freedom than those in debt and every debt-free person I know is using some sort of budget. We use Quickbooks for tracking everything, but I still keep an Excel spreadsheet for actually looking at percentages and actual to variance.

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne

  • http://twitter.com/missioncoach Rob Coburn (@missioncoach)

    Marianne, Great post. We have been fans fo the budgeting process for the past 4 years. I received the training through FPU and now have taught it for the past 3 years in our church and now in our ministry. Thanks for posting these forms they are gold and it is our job to tell everyone we know. Thanks for being a beacon of light in the dark world.
    Blessings, Rob

    • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

      Rob,

      Good for you on budgeting and going through Financial Peace. I’m glad you liked the forms.

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne

  • http://ckcreations.wordpress.com Michael Wright

    Budgets are key. Businesses have to use them to survive, yet as individuals we think we’re exempt somehow. We are in the process of paying off some lingering debt payments in 2012 so we can have more options in life for 2013. In doing so, I literally have an excel sheet that lists every paycheck for 2012 and where that money is going.
    “If you don’t tell your money where it’s going, it will tell you.”

    • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

      Michael,

      Definitely every good business uses a budget — maybe the government should operate more like a business.

      You are correct that we need to decide where our money is going or it will be gone and we won’t know what happened. If nothing else I like knowing where it all went and using Quickbooks really helps with that.

      I pray for much success on you getting your debts paid.

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne

  • http://twitter.com/180Coach Rob Clinton (@180Coach)

    Awesome Marianne! Knowing where your dollars go and you quiet down the risk of letting money float mysteriously away… Thanks for sharing these forms…

    • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

      Rob,

      It’s like everything in life — it’s not hard to do the irresponsible thing, but it takes some discipline and consistency to get positive results from doing the right thing.

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne

  • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

    Jonathan,

    Yes money is a very touchy subject, but it defnitely needs to be addressed. I can do better than a PDF — my Excel version with all of the formulas is on the web — http://victorychristiancoaching.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/expense-template-budget.xlsx

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne

  • http://michaelmgood.wordpress.com Michael Good

    Marianne,
    I love the practical advice here. Claudia and I have been on a written monthly budget for a little over a year now and it’s been huge for our marriage (and our finances).

    It was interesting to look over the percentages again. We still need to get some categories more inline!

    • http://victorychristiancoaching.wordpress.com Marianne Clements

      Michael,

      Money is still a major factor in marriage, so I’m glad to hear that you guys are in agreement about how to spend your money.

      The percentages are just suggestions, but adjusting everything so that you don’t exceed 100% is the key. My husband said he was listening to Dave Ramsey yesterday and a young couple with an income of $500/wk ($2000/mo) — my first example — and they have a mortgage of $900! They also have a baby on the way. Of course, Dave told them they can’t continue to spend 50% of their income on their mortgage. They either need a cheaper mortgage or a better/extra job.

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne