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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.