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Friday, July 10, 2009

Provident Living - Budget during unemployment

As part of Frugal Friday, I decided to share how I budget since I recently showed my mom and she exclaimed "I was trying to figure out how to do exactly this!". I'll explain what I do and then there is an image of my spreadsheet (with made up numbers).

All the financial books I read tend to do budgets on a monthly basis. That probably works for those who have a monthly paycheck or even twice a month paychecks. But for us, we've always had bi-weekly paychecks. So a long time ago, I started using Excel to do our budget. I've tweaked it over the years and right now I'm loving it.

Across the top, I have two columns per paycheck (if Love and I both have a paycheck on the same day, that day would have 4 columns). At the top of each column, I put the date of the paycheck. Next comes the expected amount. Then those two columns per paycheck are broken down into the date the bill/payment is due or paid on the left and the amount to come out of that paycheck on the right.

Going down the very first column on the far left are a list of all our expenses/bills. The next column shows how much is generally paid for that expense. Then I look at when that bill is due. I then assign each of the next upcoming bills to a paycheck, making sure it's before the bill is due. I also leave a few rows blank at the bottom for various expenses - like a trip or birthday (then instead of the due date, the expense is written in the left column of that paycheck)

At the bottom of each paycheck, I have the spreadsheet automatically total how much I've assigned out to expenses for that paycheck. Then underneath that it shows how much I have remaining. If I have extra after expenses, I then add a second Savings line for an additional amount to add to our savings.

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