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You can watch the prices on many products increase as each day passes. This should be enough to convince any consumer that a strategic plan is necessary to keep expenses under control. The time is right to put a budget together that helps to track your income, expenses and savings.

Positive Income

Income is money that you receive from any legal source to sustain your lifestyle. Earning it from a 9-5 job is the common source of funding for the life you lead. There are alternate ways of obtaining the cash you need for daily living.

Investments often deliver monthly dividends to the owner of these accounts. Managing these investments can lead to wonderful retirement years that you can truly enjoy. Therefore, tracking your investments and their returns, reinvesting some dividends and taking cash periodically are good skills to develop.

Passive Income

In a perfect society, income should be the reflection of a hard-working individual. Some individuals might hit a bump in the road leading to a chronic disability. Without a good benefit package, social security disability insurance is often the only option to secure enough income to support daily life.

This income may need supplementation in order to meet household expenses. It is generally equal to one-third of the income from a mainstream job that offers an income replacement policy for employees. A budget plan is mandatory when funds come from disability insurance of any kind.

Budget Factors Worth Considering

The source of income and its amount are two important items in any budget. Your lifestyle, spending habits, type of job, job security, cost of housing, expenses, loans and bills will all determine how your budget functions. Your success and self-fulfillment depends upon the quality of management a budget receives.

How you set up a household budget will determine how well it will serve you and your goals. The first step is to gather your bills, statements or invoices before you to set up and manage your personal household budget. This will ensure that you enter the facts that can serve you well over time.

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Personal Household Budget

Set up a spreadsheet with six columns, one each for source, income, expense, payment, date and balance. Place your name and the other household contributors in the “source” column, leaving a blank line between each entry. The last line in this column should list “savings” as the contributor. Put the monthly amount under the “income” column and a minus sign next to the savings amount.

• “Expense” column: list the major expenses first. The list should include a line for mortgage/rent, heat, electric, car payment, insurance payment, water/sewer, homeowner association fees, cable tv and internet.

• Blank line

• “Expense” column: list the secondary, yet mandatory, payments. This list should include a line student loans, credit card #1, credit card #2, credit card #3, dental payment, doctor #1 and doctor #2. Be sure to use the exact name of the recipient on each line.

• Blank line

• “Expense” column: list any legal payments. Be sure to use the exact name of the recipient attorney.

• “Monthly” column: list all payment amounts that each recipient expects each month.

• “Date Due” column: look at each bill, statement and invoice. Enter the month/day that they expect the payment to arrive.

• “Balance” column: look at each bill, statement and invoice. Enter the balance remaining on each line item.

• Blank line

• “Total” row: Enter the total from each column. Totals should appear for income, monthly and balance. Place the word “total” under source and expense columns. Put “mo” under the date due column.

Your set up for a personal household budget is complete. Anyone can easily use this spreadsheet at any stage or lifestyle. It will help with the management of all income, expenses and the savings that generates from the difference between them.