Don't Miss These Essential Budget Worksheets

Use These Budget Worksheets for a Step-By-Step Guide

If you want to create a budget and don't know where to being then these budget worksheets will walk you through your finances with detailed, step-by-step instructions. You'll be able to list your income, break down your expenses, and keep track of all of your savings goals.

Most people find that using all three worksheets together is a good way to create a comprehensive budget. If you chose to do it this way, it will give you a birds-eye view of your financial health, which is important no matter how much (or how little) money you have in the bank.

However, if you're new to budgeting or just not enamored with the budget process, then start slowly. It's perfectly OK to use just one worksheet and focus on one specific area within your budget.

For example, you can use the Discretionary Spending worksheet to discover how much of your monthly take home pay you want to allocate towards jewelry, gaming apps, and entertainment. This might be useful if you're finding that you don't have enough money at the end of the month to cover your necessary expenses.

Budget Worksheet - Income and Necessities

Budget worksheet

This budget worksheet allows you to list all of your sources of income and compare that number it to your basic, non-negotiable expenses. 

Start by asking yourself how you receive income. Do you receive a paycheck once a month or every two weeks?  Do you receive a monthly bonus check, or, are you paid entirely by commission? Or, do you receive a partial commission in addition to a regular bi-weekly check? Next, ask yourself if you have any side income (no matter how nominal) or if you receive dividend income. Don't discount small ticket items like the occasional babysitting gig or dog walking job you do occasionally.

This worksheet will help you track all of it. It also helps you figure out how your essential expenses (like groceries, utilities, transportation, and rent, or mortgage payments) stack up against your total monthly income.

If you decide to tackle just one worksheet at a time then this is the worksheet to use because it is the fundamental worksheet that the other two are built on.

Budget Worksheet - Discretionary Spending

A budget worksheet designed to help you track discretionary expenses


Here's where you get to list all of your "fun" expenses, like splurging on new makeup, downloading the hot new hit on iTunes or trying out that new restaurant everyone's talking about. If you need to trim your budget, these are the easiest places to make cuts.

But buyer beware. "Discretionary" is in the eye of the beholder. The very word means "using one's own judgment." So, use your own judgment to decide if these items are truly discretionary or, feel more like necessities. For example, if you're a food publicist then trying out the latest four-star chef will more like a necessity. 

That said, if you're really serious about saving money, you need to take a critical look at all of your expenses and not just those in the "necessities" category.

And try not to think of it as depriving yourself, because that's not what a budget is supposed to do. Instead, think of what purchases aren't bringing any value to your life, or if you'd be happier spending your money elsewhere.

Budget Worksheet - Savings Goals

Overwhelmed by multiple savings goals? This budget worksheet will help you prioritize

There are countless reasons to save from being able to purchase a new couch for your den to have the funds to host a spectacular wedding for your daughter. If you find yourself overwhelmed by all of your savings goals, don't worry. That's perfectly normal.

Having too many choices can be daunting which is why this worksheet is so helpful. The Savings Goal worksheet will help you list think about all of your goals and figure out where you really want your money to go. And, it will help you set priorities.

Without this list, you might find yourself saving for the wrong things, or not saving at all because there's "too much" to save for. Getting all of your goals organized into one list will give you the peace of mind you need to ensure you're doing the right thing with your money.

Putting it All Together

You should see why I recommend using all three worksheets together now. When working to get your finances in order, you need the entire picture, not just different sections. You need to know how much your basic necessities are costing you, as well as how much you're spending on discretionary items, otherwise, you might not meet your savings goals.