Budget Worksheet - Discretionary Spending

Use This to Determine How Much You Spend on Fun

Discretionary expenses budget worksheet
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In this budget worksheet, we'll look at how much money you spend on discretionary expenses.

How To Use This

You can use this worksheet alone to get an idea of how much you spend on discretionary costs. You can also use it along with our other budgeting worksheets to create a complete budget.

What Do You Mean By "Discretionary"?

Discretionary expenses are typically those that you could live without, if push came to shove.

This worksheet consists of bills that are easy to cut, although there will always be debate about what's a necessity and what isn't.

Some people find it hard to imagine some of these items – like cable television and home internet – as “discretionary.” But in reality, these are things that aren't essential to our survival, no matter how much we might love our TV shows and Facebook games.

Most budget leaks also occur within the discretionary category. Perhaps you didn't realize how much money your gym membership was costing you, or how much you were spending at restaurants, or how often you were going out every night.

If you're trying to save money, or figure out why all your money is gone at the end of every month, looking at your discretionary expenses is key. These are the first things that should go if you need to reduce your expenses.

Take a look at some of these common discretionary line-items, and enter in what you think you're spending on them.

Then, go through your last three months of bank and credit card statements (if you don't use cash), and enter in how much you've actually spent on them each month.

 

DISCRETIONARY EXPENSEMONTHLY ESTIMATEACTUAL
Cable or Satellite TV  
Internet  
Dining Out - Restaurants  
Fast Food/Casual Eateries  
Clothing  
Gym / Fitness Club  
Beauty Products  
Subscriptions (magazine, Netflix, etc.)  
Professional / Club dues  
Hobbies and Sports  
Lessons (Music, Art, etc.)  
Holidays and Gifts  
Charitable Donations  
Misc #1  
Misc #2  
TOTAL  

 

If this Discretionary Spending Worksheet is the only budget worksheet you're using, you now have a good idea of where you're spending your "extra" money. Use this list to generate ideas about where to make cuts in your budget if necessary.

I highly recommend using this along with the worksheet for income and necessary expenses so you can create a complete budget.

Next Step for A Complete Budget

If you've used the income and necessary expenses worksheet, add your fixed and discretionary totals. Enter it below.

 

 MONTHLY ESTIMATEACTUAL
Total Expenses (Necessary + Discretionary)  
Total Income  
Difference  

 

If you spend more than you earn, you need to make cuts to your budget immediately. You're at risk of going into debt (or deepening your debt).

 

If you earn more than you spend, congratulations. But your budget’s not complete yet. You need to use this worksheet to include savings in your budget.