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St. Mary's Credit Union Blog5 Quick Tips to Make the Most of a Free Budget Worksheet

5 Quick Tips to Make the Most of a Free Budget Worksheet

Ever have those months where you just don't understand how the cash vanished so fast? A free budget worksheet might be just what you need!

Budgeting worksheets are the simplest and easiest way to complete a budget - no need to hire an accountant, you can do this all on your own! The free budgeting worksheet from St. Mary's Credit Union makes it easy to see where you're spending all your money. 

Make sure that you get the most out of your free budgeting worksheet with these quick five tips.

1. Coupons for FoodThere is no need to become an "extreme couponer," but judicious use of coupons can really help you stick to your food budget. Look for free budget worksheet - coupon imagedeals on staple foods by browsing the Sunday newspaper inserts, the weekly ads for your local grocery store, and even couponing groups on social media sites like Facebook.

If you plan ahead for regular visits to your favorite restaurant or fast food stop, you may even be able to find some valuable coupons to save on dining there, as well.

2. Phone Apps for Tracking Expenses on the Go: Phone apps for the iPhone, Galaxy, Windows Phone, and other smartphones can help you in a couple of ways. While the budgeting worksheet is ideal for getting the big picture, you can't always carry a printed version of it everywhere with you. 

Be sure to keep track of expenses in a budgeting app on your phone until you can get home to add it to your budgeting worksheet. Consider the Goodbudget Budget Planner or the My Money Tracker app. 

3. Determine Realistic Numbers: Make sure that your budgeting worksheet has realistic numbers. Sure, it sounds fantastic to say "I'll save half my income each month," but if it's not really realistic there is no reason to write it into the budget.

As you complete the budgeting worksheet, remind yourself that lofty goals are great, but only if they have some basis in reality. Dream vacations usually don't happen every single year after all. Stick to the realistic numbers, since it allows you to have attainable goals that will feel rewarding when you achieve them.

free budget worksheet - vacation_savings

4. Decide What "Miscellaneous" Should Include: The word "miscellaneous" can cover an awful lot of territory, so it's important to realize what needs to be in there. Try to track your expenses (every single one!) for a week to determine what doesn't fit into the main categories before you begin your budgeting worksheet. This will allow you to quickly and decisively categorize miscellaneous expenses properly in the future.

5. The "Want or Need" Question: When you're budgeting, knowing whether something is a need - or just a want - can sometimes get a little blurry. With every entry on the budgeting worksheet, ask yourself that question first: "Do I need this, or is it just something I've grown used to having or something I want?" You may be surprised at how easy it is to streamline the budget a bit using this simple question.  

At St. Mary's we are here to help! Contact us today for assistance creating a savings plan that will work for you! St. Mary's Credit Union

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