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Free Sample Budget Template: How To Create a Monthly Plan

Embarking on a journey toward financial well-being begins with crafting a monthly budget that aligns with your financial goals. In this article, we introduce you to a Free Sample Budget Template. This budget worksheet can help you streamline your personal budgeting process and empower you with control of your finances.

Whether you are a seasoned budgeting enthusiast or a novice seeking practical guidance, this monthly budget plan can help simplify managing your money. You can easily transfer this sample budget to Excel and create a budget spreadsheet.

For more information, visit FindLaw's Personal Finance section.

Step-By-Step Guide

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use the sample budget:

1. Fill in Your Income

  • In the "Take home pay" section, write down the amount of your monthly income. This is the money you bring in after taxes and other deductions.
  • If you have any other sources of income, like freelance work or a part-time job, include that amount under "Other income."
  • The "Total Income" field will automatically calculate the sum of your various income sources.

2. List Your Fixed Expenses

  • Under "Fixed Expenses," input the amounts you spend on items like rent or mortgagecredit card payments, student loan payments, health insurance, and any other fixed expenses you may have.
  • The "Total" field will automatically calculate the sum of your fixed expenses.

3. Record Your Savings and Investments

  • In the "Savings and Investments" section, enter the amounts you want to distribute to your retirement/401(k) plan, vacation fund, college fund, and emergency fund.
  • The "Total" field will automatically calculate the sum of your savings and investments.

4. Note Your Variable Expenses

  • Move on to the "Variable Expenses" section. Here, list the amounts you spend on items that may vary monthly, such as utilities, car repairs, business expenses, child care, groceries, and subscriptions.
  • The "Total" field will automatically calculate the sum of your variable expenses

5. Calculate Your Total Expenses

  • The "Total Expenses" field will automatically calculate the sum of your fixed and variable expenses.

6. Look at Your Budget

  • The "Net Over/Under Budget" field will automatically calculate the difference between your total income and total expenses. A positive number means you have a surplus, while a negative number indicates a deficit.

7. Adjust as Needed

  • Consider allocating more to savings or paying down debt if you have a surplus. If there's a deficit, look for areas to cut back or adjust to balance your budget.

8. Review Regularly

  • Regularly review and update your budget to reflect changes in income or expenses. This helps you stay on track and make informed financial decisions.

Remember, the key is to be realistic and honest about your income and spending habits to create a budget that works for you.

Take home pay (_______________) $__________  
Take home pay (_______________) $__________  
Other income $__________  
Total income   $__________
Fixed expenses
Rent or mortgage $__________  
Credit card payments $__________  
Home equity loans $__________  
Vehicle loans $__________  
Life insurance $__________  
Auto insurance $__________  
Homeowner/renter insurance $__________  
Health insurance $__________  
Other (_______________) $__________  
  Total $__________
Savings and Investments
Retirement/401(k) plan $__________  
Investment fund $__________  
Vacation fund $__________  
College fund $__________  
Emergency fund $__________  
  Total $__________
Variable Expenses
Heat $__________  
Electricity $__________  
Telephone (including cell phone) $__________  
Water and sewer $__________  
Cable $__________  
Internet service provider $__________  
Car repairs $__________  
Gasoline $__________  
Public transportation/parking $__________  
Food and beverages $__________  
Personal care (haircuts, etc.) $__________  
Recreation and entertainment $__________  
Medical and dental $__________  
Charitable contributions $__________  
Dues and subscriptions $__________  
Pets $__________  
School expenses $__________  
Miscellaneous $__________  
  Total $__________
Total Expenses   $__________
Net Over/Under Budget   $__________

Hiring an Attorney

Handling personal finances typically doesn't need legal intervention. But if you encounter challenging financial issues, reaching out to a consumer attorney near you doesn't hurt.

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