It’s amazing how a simple post turns into a blog. I posted on Facebook about having a budget and if you don’t have one you need to start it in 2013. I got a lot of response from it so here is what I do…
Facebook Post: https://www.facebook.com/troyglancy/posts/10101553929495312
I found a template online that I used for my budget which has worked out very well. I’ve been using the budget and plugging in the same information into mint.com.
A BUDGET will be one of the hardest things you do in your life but if you stay with it I promise you wont be stressed. Live within your means and don’t spend money you don’t have. I live my life without credit cards, and I’m not saying you have to stop using credit cards just make sure you budget for them as well. Everything goes in the budget!
For starters you need to have the spreadsheet…
If you have google apps / gmail you can save it to your Docs/Drive by going to file under the title and selecting make a copy. (It will copy into your google docs. If you do not have a gmail account after you click the link click on file at the top left under the title and select download as Excel .xlsx. You must have office 2007 or greater to edit Excel xlsx documents. If you do not I suggest setting up a gmail account to use their google docs.
Second thing you need is an account at mint.com and link your bank accounts, credit cards, etc. (I know you’re thinking is this safe) Yes it is safe, and owned by Intuit. Intuit is the company who owns Quickbooks, Quicken, and many other services most business owners use. Mint.com uses bank security to connect to your bank account. More on that here https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/security/
To make this work correctly you need to have mint.com because I’m 99% sure you’re not going to look at your bank statements every month and manually add up everything. Don’t say you will because you most likely won’t or you’ll forget and your budget will go right out the window.
Mint.com will download your transactions and categories them. Sometimes you have to manually set them but it will keep track of those for future transactions.
You may be thinking why use mint.com and the spreadsheet budget. I find that the mint.com site can get very confusing and having a spreadsheet to look over is easier to read.
Once you have mint.com setup go to your budget on the excel spreadsheet and input your income and expenses. The budget must equal ZERO! If its not matching zero you need to move some things around. Maybe lower your budget for eating out or clothing. Bottom line…it has to say ZERO on the NET line.
Once you balance your budget go to mint.com and plugin the information under the budget tab or by clicking https://wwws.mint.com/planning.event. You will notice they have a lot of categories already in there and setup. If you just setup the account it will have to download your bank accounts first before it will allow you to start. Give it a few and hit refresh when told.
Once everything is loaded click the create a budget button. A window will popup asking for information.
Under Choose a Category select income and then select Paycheck. It will automatically set “When will this happen?” to every month.
Type in the amount you or your family brings in every single month. If you’re self employed this may become a little tricky unless you know the monthly average you bring in.
You will see some of the options are already there such as Auto & Transport: Gas & Fuel, Food & Dining: Fast Food, Food & Dining: Restaurants, etc.
You will need to add the other categories such as the ones you have in your excel spreadsheet. You do them by clicking “Create a Budget” again and selecting the category and the amount you want to budget per month. Make sure you pick how often…every month, every few months, and once.
Once you have everything input and setup on mint.com the numbers in You’ve Budgeted on the right should match. If not, you’ve messed up!
More on mint.com budget here…http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/how-to-use-mints-budgeting-tools/
If you want to setup a second e-mail account for a family member click Your Accounts on the top right, select E-mail & Alerts tab, and type in the secondary address. On the same page you can adjust what alerts you want to receive.
Make sure you download the app for your mobile phone too. They support Iphone, Ipad, Android, and Android Tablets.
Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.