According to a survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only 40 percent of Americans have a budget. When establishing a budget, the main challenge is changing your habits and behaviors, so that you can start saving money and paying off debt. A smaller part of the challenge is putting your income and expenses into a basic format that is easy to follow and understand. Create a personal budget planner using software to make managing your finances simple and straightforward.
Use a Microsoft Excel worksheet to create a personal budget planner. This is a simple and straightforward way of planning your budget; you may already have the program on your computer. It's a useful tool due to the formulas and automatic calculations offered by the program. You can download a personal budget worksheet template from the Microsoft Online Website to get started (see Resources).
Create a personal budget planner using My Budget Planner software. The format is similar to a spreadsheet format only specifically dedicated to budgeting activities. Enter your mandatory bills, flexible bills, income and the amount you want to save. Update your budget planner file whenever you have a new transaction or change to your expenses or income. If you want to get a young person involved in budgeting, the Website offers separate software versions for kids, teens and college students.
Sign up for Mint's online budget planner as another option. This is a full service, online solution that allows you to manage your accounts from your browser. Enter your bills and income, then review the results in a convenient format. You can also add information about your cash accounts--such as bank accounts and PayPal--and update the balances automatically. The software informs you of trends in your spending, how financially "fit" you are and ways that you reach your savings goals.
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.