The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.
Budgeting for Beginners (Download Worksheet!)
A budget is all about financial forecasting. Planning your spending and expenses for the month ahead provides structure to help you progress toward your goals and live with financial stability. Download our Budgeting for Beginners worksheet below and assign your money to a job that will maximize your finances!
Budgeting is one of the best things you can do for your finances, right up there with building an emergency savings and contributing to a retirement fund. However, many people are resistant to starting and following one. They’re already good with money, can’t be bothered or don’t make enough.
The truth is budgeting can help elevate everyone’s financial life — and that’s why you’re here! Learn more about budgeting below and then get started by downloading our Budgeting for Beginners worksheet.
Know Where Your Money Goes
What to Know About Budgeting
What is a budget?
A plan for tracking money coming in and money going out. Its purpose is to help budgeters develop effective money management by estimating how much to spend on expenses for a period of time. This overview helps you make smart decisions, reach your financial goals and avoid a lifestyle you can’t afford.
A budget is NOT:
Restriction, Punishment or Deprivation
A budget IS:
A Map, Course of Action and Tool
5 Budgeting Myths
- I’m too busy. Budgeting becomes a habit! Take a few minutes to enter your items daily or make it an end-of-week routine.
- I’ll feel like a failure for overspending. Be flexible with your budget. It’s meant to provide the big picture and not shame you for exceeding a limit.
- I regularly track my expenses, so I’m good. Budgeting is about planning for the future and month ahead — not just reviewing your current spending.
- Budgeting is too stressful. Your budget is meant to help you manage your money. You don’t have to agonize over every purchase!
- I’m young and want to have fun. I’ll budget when I’m older. The sooner you practice good financial habits the better. Your future self will thank you for starting early.
6 Budgeting Benefits
Encourages other healthy financial habits
Helps prevent you from living beyond your means
Gives you a sense of control over your finances
Keeps you on track
Allows you to spend guilt-free by allocating fun money
Cleans up financial mess by organizing your financial life
3 Common Budgeting Fears
- I don’t know how much to budget in each category. Review your past purchases and expenses. Use that as a baseline and adjust as you go.
- I’m too scared to face my finances. If your finances are out of control, you can only gain control by seeing what you’re working with.
- It’s too hard to monitor my family’s spending. Agree on the importance of budgeting. Give your kids cash or have them document their own spending, which can help teach financial responsibility.
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” – Dave Ramsey