5 Budget Planners That Work

Not everyone has the same financial experience, so a selection of 5 budget planners that work is better than simply saying, “Here’s a budget planner—use it.”

Financial expert, Dave Ramsey, says that budgeting is "spending money with intention." Knowing that can help you choose a budget planner that works to manage your money. Experiment with these five proven budget planners and select the one that works best for your situation.

  1. Dave Ramsey's "Quickie Budget." With only four columns to fill out, this is a great budget planner for beginning budgeters or those who think budgeting is too much of a hassle.
  2. Dave Ramsey's "Irregular Income Planning Budget Form." This is another helpful tool from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU). Designed for freelancers, self-employed, or commission-based salespeople who need a budget planner, this one is better suited to their slightly erratic incomes.
  3. Spreadsheet123.com' Excel Personal Monthly Budget Template. This is a simple budget planner spreadsheet that works by helping you track your monthly expenses. It provides space for income from more than one source—which is especially nice for two-income families, or those with a second job. It also provides a category for government tax withholdings and allows you to enter the amounts you actually spent to compare them with your estimated budget amounts.
  4. The SEC's Roadmap to Saving and Investing. This budget planner helps you define your financial goals, create a budget that works for you, determine your possible risk should financial calamity strike, choose appropriate investments, and avoid potential budgetary problems.
  5. "It's Your Paycheck." While quite a bit more extensive, "It's Your Paycheck," published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, offers a free budget planner that works to help high school teachers instruct their students in the basics of creating and balancing a personal budget. This 146-page download tutorial serves not only as a personal finance curriculum, it is very helpful for individuals looking for more information and training in creating their own financial plan.

Whatever your choice, these five, easy-to-use budget planners that work are practically guaranteed to help you gain control of your finances and to set—and meet—both short and long-term financial goals for you and your family.


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