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How to Create a Budget – Part 4 of 4

Budgeting SolvedWell here we are at the final segment of How to Create a Budget. This final part includes parting words and a audio visual review of some of the spreadsheets you can find and online personal finance websites you can use to track your finances.

There are so many different kinds of budgets out there that one solution doesn’t cover it all. I’m sure some folks reading this series are throwing their sweaty nightcaps in the air from the simple examples I’m using because I might have excluded some scenarios. But this series is to get folks to start budgeting and thinking about what they earn and what they spend.

Some folks make a certain amount of money every month and some it varies every month. Some folks make the majority of their income in a few months and have to budget for slower months until the time comes again when their income is plentiful. So again, sit down and look at a whole year and how that looks according to your income and all the different expenses you have during the year.

Another side of budgeting is control and emotion. It takes control to sit down and create a budget and review it weekly, monthly, every other month, etc. Adjusting as you go. Realizing you’re spending too much, not saving enough or not investing enough. I prefer Sunday evenings to review how my financial life is going. I review my checking account, online savings account, my employer’s retirement account, and my Roth IRA.

During tax season then, I’ll review everything financial a bit more and make sure the rest of the year goes the way I want it to and look at any surprises that might happen that I can control. Of course, there will always be unplanned surprises.

I make as many automatic bill payments as I can and automatic deposits in my online savings account and automatic deposits to my brokerage account where shares of my mutual funds are purchased on a monthly basis automatically. Setting up your accounts to perform their activities automatically allows you to make sure your financial activities get done. This allows you to login to websites and review what’s going on with your finances.

The emotion of budgeting can be hard. Some of you know it won’t look good and ignore it because you know it’s bad news or maybe one spouse doesn’t want to look at because of the bad news and feelings it brings on. Couples can struggle with this because it creates tension, arguments, etc.

I will say, there is something about working through painful situations in life together with your partner that makes you a better couple. I know that sounds cliche-ish but it can be very true. With persistence, patience and resolution comes understanding and the strengthened awareness of each other’s needs, wants and concerns about your financial life.

So that’s it for this series. Get going on budgeting and setting up your financial life as automatic as possible so it doesn’t become a drain on you. Below are some spreadsheet templates and newer personal finance websites to check out and review to see if they fit your needs.

Have a great day!!

Microsoft Online Templates

Buxfer – Track Your Money. Effortlessly.

BudgetTracker, Inc.

BudgetPulse – Simple Online Money Tracking and Budgeting

NetworthIQ – Track, share and compare Net Worth

expensr – Where did all my money go?

iOWEYOU – online calculator for expense sharing

Pear Budget – Easy budgeting for everyone.

Foonance – expense tracking – organize your personal and shared expenses

billQ – The easiest way to keep track of your bills

Walletproof – Start budgeting today

Geezeo – Educated Financial Decisions

moneytrackin’ – online accounting for real people

Here’s a 12 minute video on the spreadsheets and websites mentioned above:

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