Grocery Savings and a Frugal Lifestyle

Either way, my first suggestion is to look into getting rid of some of your things at the same time, whether to make space for a new roommate or to have fewer things to move to your new place. People have a habit of holding on to unnecessary things that they might need at some point in the future or that they feel some kind of attachment to. However, cleaning out your space can be a very rewarding experience both in terms of free space and in terms of letting go of unnecessary burdens. You can either sell or donate your things, or do both, and you will end up with some extra cash in your pocket and the knowledge that you did something beneficial on multiple levels.

When it comes to entertainment and culture, a lot of people think that they will definitely have to give up one aspect of it on their frugal lifestyle – traveling and exploring new places. However, this is not necessarily true. There are two basic ways to do traveling on the cheap – backpacking and cheap RV living. Out of these, RV traveling is probably cheaper, because you can cook and you don’t have to eat out all the time – even fast food prices add up over time. Traveling with an RV is also more comfortable – you always have a roof over your head and a comfortable bed. The monthly expense for cheap RV living can be from ₤400 to ₤460 (or about $650 to $700). This expense becomes really affordable if in the meantime you are renting out your house or apartment to tenants or if you share this fixed cost with a couple of traveling companions.

When you are transitioning into a new, more frugal lifestyle, it would probably help you a lot if you joined a community of people who are already doing it! There are a ton of online communities out there that talk about all the aspects of how to live on a budget. Whether you are interested in free cultural and entertainment events, or some easy and healthy recipes, or savings tips regarding banking and insurance, or even how to grow your own food, there are a lot of blogs and forums where people like you are discussing precisely these topics. So if you are looking to start your own

garden, but you have no idea where to start, head online and get all the advice you need for free, along with some encouragement and support as well. You might be surprised to find out how many people are talking about ‘how to save money’ tips. Share with them what you’ve learned so far and gather some fresh ideas that would fit into your lifestyle.

Learning how to live frugally can be a very fun and rewarding process if that is your attitude going in. It can inspire you to simplify your life, eliminate waste, and get back in touch with nature. If or when you find yourself in a situation to have to significantly cut back on spending, don’t despair. Remember that you can still enjoy a great quality of life if you adjust your habits accordingly. Hopefully, your takeaway from all of this will be that financial difficulties are bound to occur to most people sooner or later, and certainly it’s not the end of the world. In fact, many people start living frugally not because of financial struggles but because they simply want to increase their efficiency for a more sustainable way of life. So look at this process a learning experience. While you are learning how to live on a budget, joining a community will help make your transition smoother and easier. It always helps to hear the advice of someone who has already gone through what you’re going through. And you will probably end up making new friends along the way.

The Best Savings Plan Ever and How To Find One

In order to have a proper budget, one must initiate a saving plan into their lives. To utilize on of these saving plans correctly, it is crucial to find the right one to suit your needs. There are multiple sources of these saving plans and our goal today is to bring them all together. We’ll go over what to look for in a plan, the sources of a plan, and how to properly use one. Let’s begin.

What to Look For In a Savings Plan

To start exploring what we should look for in a plan, it would be wise to first go over the definition of a “savings plan”. A savings plan is an investment where a person will contribute a certain amount of money on a reoccurring basis to reach a financial goal. This can be done on either a long term or a short term basis; it’s really up to the individual.

There are two major things that you should be looking for. Is the plan flexible and is it simple? Flexibility and simplicity are the two main factors that differentiate between a bad plan and a fantastic one. If the plan is flexible, it will be easy to add your own categories and goals to it. A plan is simple if it can be understood with just a basic rundown of it.

Where to Find a Savings Plan

You can find a savings plan just about anywhere online, all you have to do is one simple search. You can even find a plan right here at BudgetPronto. If you explore the site a bit or use the search functionality, you will most definitely come across many articles discussing how to budget your finances. Find one that suits your needs and stick with it! You’ll be thanking yourself years down the line that you decided to use a proper savings plan.

A Savings Plan can help you prepare for retirement!

There are several types of planes. There are 52 week plans, which is personally our favorite. Using a simple calculator or formula, you can make a 52 week savings plan online with only a few clicks of your mouse and a few pounds of the keyboard. There are also thrifty ones. If you like being thrifty, there are plenty on the internet for you to utilize. Heck! There are even savings plans for children. Basically, no matter what you are looking for in your plan, you will most likely discover it.

HOW TO USE A SAVINGS PLAN

Now this is where it gets tricky. Just kidding! There is nothing tricky about it if you found a one that was simple to use. Usually a plan comes along with a full set of instructions. Read through these to learn how to use one. The worst mistake that you can make is not using the plan for its intended purpose and messing up with all your finances. Just like you should use the correct tool for the job, you should always use the right savings plan for the money. Speaking of money: you’ll be saving tons of it!

Conclusion

So in conclusion, you should be looking for a savings plan that is simple and flexible. It should be easy to use and easy to change up. You can find a plan at BudgetPronto or by simply using Google (or your favorite search engine). Using a plan is also very easy, just follow the instructions. It’s as easy as pie, as easy as baking a cake and you’ll end up saving cash by doing it.

Online and Printable Budget Planner

printable budget plannerChances are you came here looking for free printable budget planner. Whether it is an online or physical printable worksheet, we have you covered. All the worksheets we will be going over in this article are currently free. Now that’s a bargain!

A Proper Budget Can Save Your Life!

Types of Budget Worksheets

Over the past few years, the online budgeting market has been growing exponentially. With more people gaining access to the internet it only makes sense that online is the new printed. It’s generally easier to use because all you have to do is select something to change it. No longer do you need to grab your eraser or a bottle of white out.

There are many different types of free online budget worksheets. These range from tons of different file types to being browser based. There are some sites where you can make an account and track your finances online. The most popular type currently is Excel based.

A great Excel budgeting worksheet has various qualities that makes it so ‘great’. The ability to edit it with ease is one of these properties. Another would be the fact that sharing is easy. Just drag and drop your Excel file into a sharing program and now your friends can have access to the same thing that you use to budget your finances.

If you worry about losing your saved file; Instead of using Excel, you can use a more cloud based solution. We strongly recommended that you take a look into Google Drive. There is a very slime (almost nonexistent) chance of you losing your saved file, as compared to Excel. There are only a few ways to lose your Google Drive spreadsheet document and none of the ways are very realistic.

In conclusion, it would be in your best interest to look into an Excel based free budget worksheet or a Google Drive spreadsheet worksheet. Both are equally as powerful at saving you time and hard earned money.

Let’s talk about PDFs. These types of files are generally meant to be printed out. There is nothing wrong with having a paper based budgeting system. When something is physical, it can make a lot more sense. Just as tons of people prefer reading paper books over eBooks, tons of people also prefer writing with pen and paper over typing with a keyboard and fingers. With a few simple Google searches you should be able to find a satisfactory printable household PDF. It may take a few tries to find the right one, but when you do, you’ll know it.

Budget everything from groceries to entertainment.

How to Use a Budget Worksheet

To properly use a budget worksheet to its fullest extent you must pick the one that is best for you. Sit down for a few minutes and think about your needs. How many sources of income do you have in your household? What are you budgeting for? What is the end goal? You must take all of these into account when you are deciding what type of free budget worksheet is best for you. When you have a full list of your needs, follow the steps above to finding the right medium to fit what you need.

The next step is to download, save, or print. This step is fairly obvious. How else are you supposed to modify it for your budget? Depending on what type you selected this step will change. If it is an online file you will need to download or save it. If it is a PDF or a worksheet image that is meant to be printed out, the obvious step to take is to print it out. You can either print it yourself or go to a printing shop to have them do it for you.

Look over the worksheet. You need to fully understand it before you even place your pencil or pen down on the paper (or type). Check out all the categories on the worksheet and how much room you have to spread your finances out over. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up erasing and redoing a lot. So once you have looked over the worksheet, you may begin using it. Voila!

Don’t be afraid to change around your system. It is always optimal to optimize and save more time and money. Use the budgeting worksheet for several days, weeks or months. At this time it would be smart of you to reassess. Does the worksheet fit your needs and your finances? Do you need more? Do you need less? All of these would be valid reasons to change your worksheet. There is absolutely no shame into going from digital to paper or vice-versa. You should enjoy doing your worksheet; it should not be a chore.

So change it or keep it! When you’ve done all of this, you are most likely going to improve the quality of your life. Whether you are low income or high income, a proper budget can benefit you and your family in many ways. It could be the difference between bologna and caviar.

Free Monthly Budget Template

monthly budget templateGenerally, a budget is divided into months. A month is a perfect amount of time to create a budget for, 30 days is a length of time that is easy to plan over. January to February, March to April, building a monthly budget is simple. However, there is a much better way to create a budget than just writing down a few notes. We recommend a monthly budget template to all of our visitors. Once you learn the works, a budget template can become easily become habitual and part of your daily life.

MONTHLY BUDGET TEMPLATES

There are plenty of free options when it comes to budget templates. Of course, you can always use Dave Ramsey’s budget worksheet, but that is not always the best one to choose. Depending on what kind of devices and access you have, one template will be superior to the other. It all comes down to your preferences, but we can help find what is best for you.

A monthly budget template can be highly beneficial when used correctly.

Google Docs based monthly budget template is what I personally use most often. I have several reasons for using Google Docs, let me explain. First and most importantly, Google Docs is cloud based. This is significant to me because I have the ability to access it whenever and wherever I am in the world. I can type in a receipt in America, fly to Europe, and still continue working with the same monthly template as before.

To find a monthly budget template for Google Docs, you can just explore Google. That’s right, Google is best for finding its own products. Just run a quick search and you’ll come up will thousands of pages of results. Look through a few of them, sorting out the ones that would best fit your lifestyle. From there you can further narrow down your list of Google Docs to find the best monthly budget template for you.

monthly budget template onlineSpeaking of free, you can find free downloads for monthly budget templates online. It couldn’t be easier. As said before, just search for one and you will find it. Later, we will be posting an article showing some of our templates, exclusive to BudgetPronto. These also act as a month-to-month planner, a great way to manage your finances is by using a planner.

Another great option is to do-it-yourself. Go DIY, and you’ll never look back. When I started making my own budget templates, I thought it was too much work. After adapting to it a bit, I found it super beneficial to do it myself. A full range of customization is one of the main reasons why I prefer to make my own. If one month I need to create a different category and adjust all the other categories, I can easily do that with a few presses of a few keys.

 

Both Excel and Google Docs make for great places to make your budget template.

These templates that I make myself are generally in an Excel file or on Google Docs as stated before. I personally find Excel to be much more powerful and in-depth. For most people though, Google Docs will do the trick. It’s free, powerful, and cloud based. Meaning you’ll be able to have the same spreadsheet on all your devices at the same time. Pretty awesome, huh?

As a recap, your monthly budget should be one of your top priorities. With a strong system in place, it can potentially eliminate stress from your days. You should never have to remember numbers, just record them on something like a monthly budget template. If it’s on Excel, Google Docs, or Mac, it really does not matter. All you need to do is create one now, and you’ll be happy. Adjust as you go along and in no time, you’ll have a fully functional cash management system.

Save Money by Living on a Budget

We will start with the basics of how to live on a budget and it will mostly focus on frugal living in the USA and UK, with tips, tricks and strategies on how to start saving money. However, almost all of the strategies discussed here can be applied in other countries similar to the USA and UK as well. This article will cover the topics of budgeting, savings on food and housing, traveling on a tight budget, and some other tricks for happy frugal living.

When it comes to personal finances, learning how to start saving money is the most impactful thing you can do to change them in the short term. Our finances depend on three major categories – income, savings, and expenses. A monthly budget calculator is a free online tool you can use to track the change in each of these categories over time; hopefully the money management tools that we share will make a difference in your bottom line. Out of these three, savings get accumulated over time and if you don’t already have any, in the short term there is not much you can do about it. Income is a category that you can’t change in the short term either; you can change in the long term, and perhaps even in the medium term, if you look into ways to make some extra money on the side. Still, even finding temporary work is not easy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many people are realizing the need to learn how to start saving money. The monthly budget calculator can really help you to plan future changes in these categories easily and for free, especially when it comes to expenses and savings.

Cutting down on expenses is the quickest way to change the state of your finances and also introduce a positive change in your life so we will be sharing some great tips on saving money.

Living On a Budget

living on a budgetThe principle of a budget constraint is one of the first things taught in a beginner’s microeconomics course. This principle stipulates that every consumer is faced with a budget constraint which shows the various combinations of different goods and services that can be purchased with the consumer’s available funds over a period of time. Thus, the rich as well as the poor are all living on a budget, but for some the pot is bigger while for others it’s smaller.

Still, when people say living on a budget, it is usually understood that this implies limited or tight budget. Understanding the trade-offs in a budget constraint is not useful only for beginner economists but also for everyone else – you can probably see that the aptness in how we handle our budgets is one of the main factors that determines in which category we find ourselves in. This is why it is worth learning how to set up a monthly budget and how to handle savings, expenses, taxes and loans. This is a basic education in personal finances that can be beneficial to anyone who puts time into learning it! So let’s begin with the basics of personal finances and living on a budget.

The basics of learning how to manage your personal finances well all revolve around creating and following a solid monthly budget. A budget is simply an estimate of how much money you have coming in and to which uses you want to allocate this money. In most cases, you will find that living on a budget is very hard only if you have created an unrealistic budget in the first place. The first step in improving your finances is to simply track your expenses in detail over a couple of months. At the end of each month, use a monthly budgeting tool (many of them are available online for free) to create a monthly budget after the fact. This is done simply for you to become aware of exactly where your money is going, and whether there are any inefficiencies or money leaks that you could eliminate.

The next step is to start preparing a monthly budget in advance for each month. This will make your spending deliberate rather than impulsive. From the previous step, you will already know what amount to budget for the most fundamental necessities like food, housing and utilities. If you are struggling to afford these things, then you can analyze your monthly budget to determine where it is best to make cutbacks and how big those cutbacks should be. In any case, it is important to remember that from this point on, you are living on a budget that is pre-determined with strategic intent and therefore it is absolutely crucial to stick to it consistently, or you will lose most of the benefits from making a budget in the first place. The most important benefits from having a budget are that you can be realistic with you shopping expectations, you can avoid frivolous spending, and you can begin an emergency fund and put away some savings. You are much more likely to do all of these things while you are living on a specific budget than if you just have the intent to save in the back of your mind, but you don’t actually make a real commitment to it.

While living on a budget, a great way to save some money is to dramatically reduce your housing expenses by finding a roommate to share your space with. This instantly reduces your expenses and allows you to put the money to better use. And, despite what you might think, finding a roommate is always a possibility for many different housing situations – nowadays a lot of people are looking for affordable housing while living on a budget.

Another thing you should look into is your expenditure of food. Here, your budget only tells half of the story – how much you spend on food and what kind of products you tend to buy. This half definitely has a lot of influence on your expenses – if you buy more finished products (like microwave food, or frozen dinner) you will spend more; if you buy more raw ingredients you will usually spend less. If you grow, fish and forage a lot of your food, you will spend even less! The other half of the story is how much of the food that you buy you actually end up eating and how much ends up discarded in the trash. Many people are wasting up to one fifth or more of the food they buy on a monthly basis. It’s usually spoiled cooked food or vegetables and fruits that went bad before they were used. This is precisely the kind of inefficiency that you should eliminate completely when you are living on a budget.

How Americans spend their money and what you should spend money on!

How do the average Americas spend their cash? A more important question: in what ways has this spending change over time?

We can use this data to see how spending patterns changed over time in America. Here is a quick comparison of spending of 1949 vs. 2011.

A thing that really jumps right out here is the relative spending decline on clothes and food. This is mainly the product of giant increases in productivity of manufacturing and agriculture that has made clothes and food much cheaper. This allowed a huge saving on groceries, something that impacts us even today.

There is a jump in spending on homes between 1949 and 2011. We think that it’s definitely worth mentioning that people are renting and buying housing that is much larger. In 2011, the average house was over 2,000 square feet. This was very different in 1950, when the average house was 1,000 square feet or less.

There was also a decent rise in spending on transportation. (Manage your money to be able to afford a car!) This was created by the widespread of cars. In the year 1950, there were only 3 vehicles per every 10 Americans. By the year 2000, that number has risen to 8 vehicles per every 10 Americans.

By analyzing how much the average American spends, you can figure out what to spend money on to be fit it. If you think your groceries take up too much of your monthly expenses, just look at the chart above and see what’s considered normal. Of course each person will be different and the chart just draws from average data. So if you enjoy having an above average grocery bill, go right ahead, buy supermarket sushi every day.

So next time you ask yourself “What should I spend my money on?” refer back to this chart. Whether it’s food, housing, apparel, transportation, recreation, medical care, and everything else; the data should help you.

Don’t feel guilty about your monthly cell phone bill, tropical vacations, a brand new computer, or an upgraded house. Life is really meant to be enjoyed. Of course you might be able to get the most out of life by living frugally, but you should have those big trips. Learn how rich people spend their money, and mimic that fun, with a budget of course.

List of things to spend money on

A gym membership

Stay fit, be healthy. It’ll only make every aspect of your life even more enjoyable. I bought a decent gym membership and I go every day, it’s something to do. At $50 a month, I am only spending $0.50 per hour of healthy enjoyment.

Your own furniture

Nothing is worse than renting furniture. You look at it and just think about how much money you spend on it each month. Get some quality furniture (or build your own, the frugal way!) and add them to any room to make your house more unique. Add that personalized touch to your home, you won’t regret it.

Education

Education is an awesome investment and if you do it right, you’ll have a great paying job in the end. That’s right; you have to spend money to make money. Go get yourself an education, earn a certificate, and make use of it. Just like you should get a gym membership to work out your body, you should invest in your education to flex your mind.

Your mattress

You spend a surprising amount of time on a mattress during your life. Why not get a good one? It could save you future medical expenses. If you wake up sore every day, chances are you need a new mattress. Keep your body in good health, one of your main focuses in life should be yourself.

Do what you want!

There are plenty of fun things to do without money, not everything needs to come out of your wallet. Try spending the weekend without swiping your plastic card. You can go for a run in the park, take your.

Best Money Management Apps For iOS and Android

When it comes to personal finances, there are two types of tools you should know about: budgeting tools and money management tools. The budgeting tools include things like printable budget planners, budget worksheets and online budget calculators. Money management tools mostly come in the form of money management apps rather than worksheets, because money management encompasses more complex operations – it is about a lot more than just making sure that all your bills are paid each month. Most money management apps include features for investments/portfolio management, savings management as well as the management of monthly expenses and income. If you want to finally be able to take full control of your finances, to pay off bad debt and actually start investing and/or saving, then it’s time you learn more about these tools and start making use of them!

money management apps

If you are a total beginner with money management tools and you don’t really know much about personal finances, then you should probably start with a budgeting tool before you move on to a money management app. The great thing about budgeting tools is that many of them are designed for beginners, making it easy to start tracking and planning income and expenses. In addition, budgeting tools come in many varieties, so it’s easy to find the budgeting tool that’s right for you. If you are comfortable working with Windows Excel or similar programs then you should download a detailed budget worksheet. If you aren’t that comfortable with such programs then you could use a printable budget template. Another great thing about budgeting tools is that most of them are available online for free! So, if you really want to improve your financial situation, all you need is some time, a willingness to learn and an Internet connection.

Best Apps To Manage Money

After you’ve created and followed a monthly budget for at least six months in a row, you are ready to move on to money management apps and take the next step in the improvement of personal finances. Money management apps differ from one another in terms of the services they provide as well as in price. Since they are more advanced tools than the budgeting ones, money management tools are rarely available for free, with most apps generally falling in the $15-$50 range. This variety in price is due to the fact that apps can be very different from one another – some of them specialize in retirement savings or investment management, some allow you to connect one or multiple of your accounts to the app while others don’t, etc. Here is an overview of some different money management apps that have helped thousands of users whip their finances into shape.

Learnvest is an app that allows you to track day-to-day activities with its budgeting features, but also the app forces you to think about the bigger picture – savings and investments. For a monthly fee, you get a personalized financial plan based on your financial goals. In addition, you have the opportunity to chat with financial professionals and consult with them on big decisions involving money, such as buying a house.

Betterment is one of the most acclaimed money management apps that specialize in investments. It’s a user-friendly app that takes into consideration your tolerance to risk and your investment goals. Once you’ve set up your profile and connected the app to your accounts, you should set up automatic monthly withdrawals that you’ll use for investing through the Betterment app. As for investment options, you have the possibility to invest in six stock ETFs or in a predetermined basket of bonds. One of the best features of this app is that it constantly gives you advice on what to do to achieve your goals faster, as well as updates on how close you are to achieving them at the moment. A lot of users find this feature helpful, instructive and motivating.

Lastly, Acorns is one of the most popular money management apps because it is very simple to use and it works on a set-it-and-forget-it system that doesn’t require much involvement at all. All you need to do is link it to your accounts and it will do the rest. The way it works is that the app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then takes the change and invests it in six different funds. Of course, it also takes your risk tolerance into consideration. With its low fees, Acorns is one of the most cost-effective ways to have diversified investments.

These are only a few of the many money management apps available on the market right now. By doing a bit of research and reading reviews, you can find the apps that fit your financial goals best. Then, you’ll be one step closer to bigger savings and investments, lower debt, and well-balanced monthly budgets.

Home Budget Template for your Household

household budget worksheetDid you know: It is very common for a person to be wasting hundreds of dollars per year? This waste of money can prevent many from getting out of debt and ultimately it can keep people from saving for their future properly. If you are one of those people who require assistance or just need a few tips and tricks on how to save money, you’ve wandered across the right page. Manage your financials correctly with the hints that are listed below.

You can create a budget for yourself or even for a business using common techniques!

You are wasting cash and time if you’re not using a Home Budget Worksheet. In a perfect world, every school should teach students to manage a budget and use a worksheet for the money in their household. However, this is not part of most education systems so it is our goal to teach you right now, right here. It doesn’t take long to learn if you are already using other techniques to keep your finances in check. So it would be more than wise to let us be your little budget helper! The first step is to find a home budget worksheet that will fit your needs.

When searching for a budget worksheet for your home, you should be searching for something that covers most, if not every, aspect of your finances. This means that you should look for worksheets that have everything from budgeted money allowed to be spent on entertainment to how much of your income you need to set aside for emergencies. A budget calculator planner may come in handy when you are searching for a worksheet that will be the most beneficial to you and your family. There are many calculators available online and even some calculators are located here on BudgetPronto.

Examples of Home Budget Worksheets

To find a worksheet that would most improve your life start with a simple search. Find examples on the internet to really get a good look at what you will need. Pull out a pen and a piece of paper! Make notes on what aspects of these worksheets that best fit your requirements. When doing this, figure out what’s unique about each individual software or template. These small little details may just save the day when it is time to find a home budget worksheet for you and your family.

home budget templateAny great worksheet will include three categories that make it functional. These three most basic categories will be income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses. Each one of these categories is named appropriately for what they do in connection to the worksheet as a whole. The income section is probably the most important part of a template. This is what every single other category is based off of and how the allocations are calculated. For your income there is a spot for your income as well as all the other sources of income within the household, community or group. The two types of expenses are also very key components.

Variable and fixed expenses are the two types of expenses you should look for when finding a home budget worksheet that is right for you. Variable expenses are expenses that change day to day and differ on a monthly basis. Usually you’ll have a bunch of sub-categories under variable expenses and the worksheet will make assumptions on how you should spend your money in each sub-category. These sub-categories most often include groceries, gas, medical, clothing, entertainment, and emergency. In most cases you should be able to add additional spending categories, as well as modify the default ones.

Fixed expenses are completely different than variable. Expenses which are fixed usually include mortgage payments, maintenance, internet, savings, insurance, debt, et cetera (you get the gist of it). Payments to these expenses are usually paid monthly or on another regularly scheduled payment plan. The home budget worksheet that you use will have an option to pick the duration and the frequency of these expenses.

Conclusion

Stop wasting your valuable money and find a budgeting template for your house that fits your household needs. Life is short; it is okay to spend some money. But to get the most bang for your buck, it is clever to implement the upkeep of one of these types of budgeting worksheets into your daily life. As we say at BudgetPronto “save time and money”, download a sheet today.

Does Using a Household Budget Template Make a Real Difference?

If the financial aspect is particularly challenging to you or if you simply wish to save more, you could successfully use a household budget template. It keeps track of what comes in and especially of what goes out. To keep track of your family’s budget, you need a special-made document to access whenever needed.

To some, this feel like much of a constraint, to others, it’s a form of pure wisdom in manifestation. In the end, do household budget templates really help you out?

Here’s Why You Need a Household Budget Template

Your memory can’t hold it all

That is true, your memory can’t hold it all and it won’t. If you make a budget sketch month by month, you can be sure you’re forgetting things. The memory isn’t always flawless. You may be throwing away money and never actually realize it. Or, certain expenses may be bigger than you think. This is why getting the numbers on paper, be it virtual or not, is extremely important. It makes us all face the truth and also helps us see how blind we can be at times when it comes to personal finances.

Confronting your spending habits

When you have a list of all your expenses during, let’s say, the previous month, you will confront every expense and will also have to face the real reasons for each of these. You may not be 100% aware when you spend money on something – it could be a simple pleasure of the moment, an impulse, an illusion of need. Later, you may realize that expense was in vain and you could have done without it. Many individuals feel guilty once they see such useless entries on their lists. This helps them be more aware in future and more careful with the money they spend.

Making comparisons

This one has to be the most obvious benefit. You can simply make comparisons between the family’s income and the expenses, all without omissions. It’s the easiest way to figure out whether you can save some money or make some lifestyle changes to strike a balance between the two aspects. Comparisons could also help correct certain behaviors in the family. For example, if one is spending money that isn’t theirs, it make make them aware and eventually stop. Also, when money is easily available, one can always spend much more than they’re actually earning. The same goes with spending from a savings account. It gives the illusion of having superior financial possibilities when in fact it isn’t so. Behaviors like these can ruin a family’s finances in the end and having a household budget template can make a huge difference in that area.

The benefit of financial snapshots

With a detailed spreadsheet of your budget and expenses, you can have a financial snapshots of different periods of time. Are you afraid that you might have spent too much at Christmas? You can go back and have a look at that period – be it one or two weeks or the whole month. Thus, you can see where the money went and whether it was clever or not to spend as much as you did. You can see your income and expenditure for a month’s time, for a trimester or for whichever time span you select.

Make wiser decisions

Even without a spreadsheet, some of us are able to figure out that we should cut our expenses. However, when you have all the data in front of you, you can make a better decision. You will see exactly which items on the list are better to cut off. When you’re simply trying to do this mentally, you may not have the whole picture to analyze.

How to choose a budget template?

It doesn’t matter what income level you have. You will find many household budget template spreadsheets available on the web and they will be of great help. The natural question is born: which one should you use? The best method is to choose it based on your current financial situation. You may also download one according to the software you feel most comfortable with: Excel, Word, OpenOffice or Google Docs. It can be one ion the form of a table or you can use a template with colorful diagrams. The simple models cater to the main areas your money goes to. More elaborate templates will let you enter every single item you buy, making all calculations automatically. You may also opt for a zero-based budget template. There will also be adequate versions for starters as well as for the more advanced. Some feel intimidated by all the features, while others get a kick out of it and enjoy planning in detail.

In conclusion, it definitely helps to use a family or household budget template. After all, this is how some get to become millionaires and also get to keep their millions. You will have a taste of financial freedom instead of restrictions. It could even be your key to wealth.