How to Set Up a Personal Home Budget Plan

by Louise Balle, Demand Media

    If you want to keep more money in your pocket and meet your financial obligations regularly, you should create some type of a personal home budget plan. A budget plan helps you organize and coordinate your finances so that you can achieve your goals and use your money more efficiently.

    Step 1

    Gather the latest statements for all your bills: for instance, electric, mortgage, cable and car insurance. List each of these bills, along with the amount due each month, on the left side of your page. After listing the main bills, list all monthly expenses that don't require a statement from a creditor, like entertainment and groceries. Add up all your expenses at the current levels.

    Step 2

    Go through each expense on your list again and identify the ones that may or can change. Make cuts in each cost where possible, and then take action to make that cut a reality. For instance, for your entertainment budget you can either talk to your mate to decide to eat out only once per week instead of three or commit to finding lower-cost deals for your usual activities to reduce those costs. Add up your new total for expenses after cuts and take note of how much per month you've saved.

    Step 3

    Write down each source of monthly income from your household on the right side of your page. That includes income from your job, that of your partner, interest income and any other sources. Add up the total and list it side by side with your total expenses.

    Step 4

    Deduct the amount of your expenses from the total income to determine your extra funds. If this figure is negative, you have to cut more bills or add more income to your budget plan. Consider part-time employment or moving to a less expensive residence.

    Step 5

    Determine realistic personal financial goals you want to reach once your budget is balanced or in surplus. For instance, you might want to put your surplus toward a retirement fund. If your budget balances without a surplus, you might simply want to list " higher paying work" as a goal on your budget plan.

    Tip

    • Transfer this budget to a spreadsheet or word processing file if possible so that you can update the information regularly.

    About the Author

    Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.