Weekly Roundup: Budget Spreadsheet Blowout

by Kristina on February 18, 2011 · 4 comments

Happy Friday Dinks! This week we are reviewing the number one financial rule of all time…Live within Your Means.  How can we live within our financial means? We have to create a budget and stick to it.  It is that simple.  We must effectively manage our money in order to save and preserve our wealth.

What is a budget?

According to Investopedia a Budget is “an estimation of the revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time.  A budget is a microeconomic concept that shows the trade-off made when one good is exchanged for another.”

An estimation of our expenses means that we will need to project our future expenses. Of course we can’t predict our future expenses, but we can hypothesize based on past spending habits.  A great way to keep financial records of our past spending is by using a budget tracking spreadsheet.

A budget tracking spreadsheet will not tell us where to spend our money, but it will show us where our money is being spent.  This will allow us to make adjustments in our spending habits, and make cuts in our expenses where necessary. DINKS offers a Free Budget Template on the right hand side of our page.

Here are two great budget tracking spreadsheets that I found around the web:

Mint.com offers a free online money management tool to help you live a richer life.  The Mint.com page is fun, friendly, and helpful.  It allows us to link our bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and other debts to allow us to keep track of our spending.  Mint.com is interactive.  It will remind us of upcoming goals and alert us if we are going over our planned budget. Mint.com analyzes, categories, and tracks our entire financial life. It is a great free tool whether we want to save for retirement, pay off debt, or just keep track of where our money goes.

J. Money @ Budgets Are Sexy offers a colourful and fun budget spreadsheet. Would you expect anything less from our friend J. Money? We have to actively track our own spending and manually enter our own financial information on this budget spreadsheet. I think this is a great alternative to interactive spreadsheets because it requires us to actively manage our own budget. It gets us involved in our finances.

Most financial institutions offer budget tools and most personal finance blogs offer budget tracking spreadsheets.  How do you manage our budget?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wade February 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

I’m assuming that all readers of this blog, like myself, do keep track of their own budget. It would not be good for me to use anything other than the budgeting website that I am a part of at http://www.recurtrack.com. It is a site that I am proud to be a part of, and it’s pretty easy to use. I also have to admit that I have looked at, but never tried mint.

Anyway, I like the post. It’s always good to have a simple reminder about what it is to maintain a budget.

2 HedgeHoncho February 18, 2011 at 10:18 am

DINKS,

Budget’s are important to get your income and expenses under control but it’s the ACTION that you take after analyzing that data where you really make an impact on your situation.

I personally like to invest 25% of my take home pay, AND THEN, pay budget from there.

Think about all the potential gains that you can get 20 years from now. Of course, you can lose as well.

3 Kristina February 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

@HeadHoncho I agree that the actions and analysis of our budget are just as important as the first step in creating a budget. You can’t have one without the other.

@Wade I checked out your site! Very user friendly…masculin…but user friendly. I like it. I’m going to sign up. Maybe we can do a comparison between budgeting sites :-)

4 Wade February 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

@Kristina – I think that a budgeting site comparison would be fun and interesting.

As far as analysis and action, I know a few people that choose to push their budgets to the limits, and others that may save and invest too much. I feel that being somewhere in the middle ground is a good place to be as you get to save and enjoy life. That’s just my opinion.

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