How to assemble a personal budget:
Let’s assume you already know why you need to budget. Whether you need to make ends meet, live comfortably or manage the way in which you manage cash or build your wealth, we hope to now point you in the right direction as to how to assemble and manage your own personal budget.
Below we have listed some of the more important things to consider when assembling your personal budget.
- Start by generating a list of ALL your expenses and income items (see more detail on this below). A good start would be to draw bank statements for the past three months. This will allow you to list all debit orders and determine the bank changes and interest you’re being charged. You can also average certain expense items if you use a cheque book, cheque-, debit- or credit card against the relative bank accounts.
- Collect bank statements from all your bank accounts. This is to determine the balances and is used to reconcile your cash balances (to account for budget items that may already have been deducted from or deposited into your accounts).
- Develop a budget model spreadsheet. We highly recommend using Excel based or similar spreadsheet based applications as this will allow you to custom design the budget model around your unique environment. From our site you will be able to download a user friendly and automated personal budget model that will help you assemble and manage your budget in no time.Unfortunately, most budgeting software programs do not provide you with the necessary flexibility and provides you with a whole lot of unnecessary and useless graphs and tables that you will probably only look at once. With Excel based personal budgets you will be able to generate your own graphs if required.Our Click-and-Plan Personal Budget Model will give you this flexibility. The highly automated model is user friendly even for non-financial orientated or Excel inexperienced individuals. Our model also caters for up to seven bank accounts. Our model also includes extensive help or tips on how to best utilise the model.
NOTE: There are many budget spreadsheet models available to download. However, many require you to perform various manual functions and do not cater for bank reconciliation. Don’t get confused by the many unnecessary bells & whistles most budgeting software has to offer. It needs to be simple and catered to you specifically.
- Enter information into your spreadsheet. This includes all income & expense items as well as your bank balances.Our budget model will automatically increase your balance by the income items and deduct the expenses in order to determine your closing balance. The model also determines your cash position for the next 12 months.
- Reconcile your cash position for the current month. It is very important to see whether or not you will have a surplus or shortfall at the end of the month or whether you will reach or go over your bank account limits. Therefore you need to account for any budgeted items that may have already been deducted or deposited. The reconciliation would work as follows:Bank Opening balance
plus(+) All income budget items
less(-) All expenses budget items______
equals Bank Closing balanceadd back (+) Expense Items already deducted from account
deduct (-) Income Items already deposited into (reflected in-) account_____
equals Likely Closing Balance (Reconciled Bank Balance)
Most budget spreadsheets solutions do not offer you the flexibility to reconcile your bank account, however our Click-and-Plan Personal Budget Model will not only provide you with an easy reconciliation feature, it also tells you whether or not you have sufficient funds (short fall are highlighted in bold red and surpluses are shown in green).
- Stop the worry or the panic: You never panic when you have a plan, even if it seems challenging. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” – Peter Lakein
BE REALISTIC & BE YOU:
It never helps to be overly conservative when budgeting ones expenses. It’s also of no use if you calculate your expenses based merely on what you think they should be or based on another person’s opinion. Be realistic and base it on your very own spending behaviour. Calculate your averages over the past 3 to 6 months. If the spreadsheet indicates that you have a shortfall every month, only then can you go through all your expenses and see where you could ‘realistically’ cut (and then work on your discipline if need be). This must especially be applied to items such as cellphones, entertainment, fuel and food
Don’t forget to account for:
- Bank charges and interest;
- Provision for unexpected/emergency Items – Medical bills, medication, eye care, home & car repairs/maintenance, traffic fines, etc.
- Monthly or annual licensing or subscriptions fees – Vehicle license, post box renewals, TV license, annual insurance, associations, levies, etc.
- Savings – any monies transferred or kept as savings (also keep separate record if not in separate bank account);
- Increases – i.e. annual escalation or increases in policies, debit orders or general expense items.
- Repayments on loans, credit cards, overdrafts and other inter-account transfers;
With our Personal Budget Model you can account for:
- Fixed or variable income;
- Once-off expense items at any time in the next 12 months;
- Escalation/increases at any point in the 12 months forecast;
- Help/Tips on budgeting;
- Income, expenses and balances within up to 7 bank accounts;
- Reconciled items already deducted or deposited for the current month;
- Choose between 1 or 12 month’s forecast;
GO TO OUR HOME PAGE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR PERSONAL BUDGET MODEL. It will be a great tool for you.