As a responsible homemaker, preparing a family budget spreadsheet is one of your primary duties. This spreadsheet will help you monitor your family income and expenses and assist you in spotting where adjustments can be made. This is technically not difficult to make, since you only have to enter information in the spreadsheet. In fact, if you know how to use Microsoft Excel, or any other spreadsheet application, you will find this rather easy. What’s hard is the budgeting itself—where you have to find the balance between the household income and the expenses. To help you, here’s how to do this.
- Prepare all bills, receipts and other similar documents. These are all important in tallying up your expenses. Make sure to prepare all your expenses documents—from your lowest expense to the highest—so you can make an accurate tally of your expenses for the month.
- List down all your expenses on a separate spreadsheet. Remember to make general categories such as Food and Groceries, Utilities, Car, Transportation, Rent, Education, Savings, and Loans and Financing. Write your expenses under the appropriate categories. Tally up the individual categories, and then sum up all the amounts of the categories to get your total expenses for the month.
- Write your income. Collect the pay slips you have for the month and tally up the indicated incomes on another spreadsheet. If you have additional sources of income, make sure to include them in your total monthly income.
- Balance the monthly expenses and the income. Divide a spreadsheet into three columns: Monthly Income, Monthly Total Expenses, and Balance. Subtract the expenses from the income to determine your balance. You should be able to derive a positive figure. A negative balance doesn’t mean good. This means you have to adjust your expenses. You might have to delay paying some of your obligations or pay only the minimum allowable amount.
- Take note of the adjusted expenses. This applies if you get a negative balance. You don’t necessarily have to delete the expenses you currently can’t afford from the spreadsheet. Just make a short note beside the expenses, indicating that these expenses should be carried over to next month’s spreadsheet.
- Make projections. If you want to make a future budget plan or if you don’t know your actual expenses or income yet, it will be best if you first make estimations. Do this by listing down your projected expenses under different categories. Sum them up after. Then determine your projected monthly income. On a separate spreadsheet, make four columns and name them as Projected Income, Projected Expenses, Projected Balance, and Actual. Supply the first two columns with the appropriate information. Then get the projected balance by subtracting the projected expenses from the projected income. Use the projected balance to plan your spending. When you already have the accurate information, compute your actual income, expenses, and balance and put them in the Actual column. Check if the projected balance and the actual balance tally.
If you are not familiar with Excel or other spreadsheet computer programs, you can go the traditional route. Prepare a notebook and make columns on it. Make sure to use a pencil when writing down the data, so you can neatly make corrections if needed.