Do you know where your money goes every month? If not, you need to start creating a spending plan worksheet. A spending plan is a document that outlines how much money you will spend in each category each month. This includes bills, groceries, entertainment, and everything else. Creating a spending plan can help you stay on track with your finances and avoid overspending. Find out how a spending plan worksheet can help you get your finances in order!
What is a Spending Plan Worksheet and Why do You Need One?
A spending plan worksheet is similar to a spreadsheet. It outlines how much money you will spend each month. When creating a spending plan, it is important to be realistic and get a real capture of how and where you normally spend your money so you can focus on your financial goals
We all need a spending plan because it reduces stress, builds our confidence, improves relationships with others, and gives us a new level of empowerment. I know once I started tracking my spending, I had a clear view every month of where my money was going, and life was more joyful.
What is the Difference Between a Spending Plan Worksheet and a Budget?
Absolutely nothing except perspective. Many people immediately think about lack and the things that they will have to remove out of their life when they create a budget. Spending plans turn the focus and give you permission to allocate your money to different expenses. In short, it is a mind shift from scarcity to abundance. Both spending plans and budgets help you keep track of your money and help you determine where you want to allocate your funds each month.
How do I Create a Spending Plan Worksheet?
First, List all your expenses and put them in a category of variable, fixed, personal, or business expense. Now quite sure what these are? Here are some simple definitions:
Fixed Expenses– An expense that does not change or is stable (i.e., rent/mortgage, insurance, etc.).
Variable Expenses– Amount can vary from month to month (i.e., groceries, utilities, etc.).
Personal Expenses– A broad category that may not be essential expenses, but I am sure they make you happy (i.e., hair, nails, entertainment, yoga, etc.).
Now that you have created this list do an inventory of the expenses that only come quarterly or yearly, such as, car insurance, homeowners’ insurance, car registration, property taxes, etc.
Look at you! Do not judge me I like celebrating small wins…
Ok, add up all those amounts to get a total.
Next, list all your monthly income. Do not forget to include child support, alimony, dividends, disability payments, and other household members if they contribute to your expenses. You know what is next, add up your income to get the total.
Lastly, subtract your expense total from your income total. Did you have a negative or positive number?
I am hoping along with you that it is a positive number. If it is then you are in the green! If it was a negative number than you are in the red. Do not fret, we are going to find where you can tighten up and hopefully find some extra money each month regardless of the number you saw.
Show me the money
Now that you have had your first reality check, are you ready for the second one? It is time to go through each of those expenses and decide if they are truly things you need to keep spending money on.
Do you need to have takeout four nights a week? Do you need the premium cellphone service? Do you need the five different streaming services? Do you need to get your hair done every week? If the answer is no, than get rid of it. If it is something you genuinely want to keep in your spending plan, can you cut back on the amount you are spending? If so, do it!
How much extra cash did you find? I hope it was a nice chunk, if not it is time to find some more income. Check out Sadie Smiley’s Etsy course, it helped me earn some extra cash selling digital products on Etsy.
Here is one of the most important steps in creating your spending plan, TRACK YOUR SPENDING FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS. Yes, I said the next 30 days. We all know despite having set bills each month we all spend on miscellaneous items that we forget about just as quickly as we spend the money. Whether it is a new system for your business, coffee every other day, or a couple of extra nights of take-out – those things add up!
Fast Forward to 30 days
Let's revisit the Spending plan worksheet after 30 days. There will most likely be areas you can tighten up and find some extra money now that you have seen where you have been spending your money outside of the set expenses.
To help you determine how much you should be allocating to expenses, savings, fun, etc. Work towards 60% for expenses, 10% savings for financial inconveniences as known as your emergency fund, 10% for entertainment, birthdays, vacation, etc., 10% invests (education, courses, coaches, business equipment), and 10% debt. Remember these amounts can vary, so if you are not able to put away 10% in each of these categories, it is okay. Focus on having a minimum of $1000 in emergency fund, and whichever financial goal you set.
What is Your Financial Goal?
For me this is the fun part. It is time for you to focus on your financial goals. You have just found some extra money on your spending plan worksheet that you did not realize you had, or you knew, but you were not doing anything specific with it. Is your goal to be debt-free? Is your goal to save $2000? Or do you want to invest in a coach or course to further your education? Whatever the goal, now you can adjust your spending plan around that.
Here is an example if you want to save $5000 in a year. Break up that amount across 12 months by dividing $5000 by 12 = $416.66 monthly. By breaking it down into small pieces it does not make the goal seem too far away. Apply this to any financial goal you have. Of course, you can add more money to it each month to speed up the process. If you get any large bonuses or tax refunds you can do the same, or invest that large bonus towards an investment to make it grow!
Guess what?! Here is an excel spending plan worksheet I have on Etsy ready for you to create your own spending plan. If you are someone who prefers to write things down and track your spending and expenses that way, then this budget planner will be perfect for you.
A spending plan is a list of what you want to spend money on and how much. It is as simple as that, but it can be beneficial for your budgeting process. As we all know, sometimes we need help managing our finances better – this is where the idea of creating a spending plan worksheet comes into play! A spending plan helps keep track of your income and expenses so that you do not overspend or underspend in an area unintentionally. You may also want to include saving goals in your spending plan so that you have one place with everything accounted for making it easy when time comes around to pay those annoying bills again! If you are someone that needs one-on-one support to get this done book your financial wellness, call for us to connect.