Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ways to Simplify your budget: Start a spreadsheet

Let’s start by mapping out which expenses get paid with each paycheck.

The beginning of your spreadsheet should include all of your family’s forms of income (Net income/take home pay).  If you get paid monthly you will have one column on your spreadsheet.  If you get paid twice monthly you will have two columns.

Then enter all of your monthly bills & anything else you must pay on a monthly basis.  These are called your fixed expenses & should not include variable expenses like groceries, gas, eating out, etc.

On this list you should include:
  • Mortgage or rent payment
  • All utility bills
  • Phone bill & cell phone bill
  • Cable or satellite bill
  • Auto loans payments
  • Student loan payments
  • Minimum credit card payments
  • Homeowners and car insurance
  • Donations & other giving 
  • All other debt payments

Now place these bills’ payments in the proper column based on when they become due.  Assuming you are paid an equal amount during each part of the month you should try to balance out the payments.  You should stick to only paying bills on the days that you get paid.  Automate as many of these payments as possible.  This will save time on paying your bills, as well as, avoiding late fees.

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