How to Create a Monthly Budget

One of the biggest misconceptions about budgeting is that it’s really time-consuming. But a budget is actually simple to make once you know some basics. And it only takes about 10 minutes!

A budget gives you control over your money. You get to tell it what to do. That feeling of power is a great way to start each month with the confidence you need to reach your money goals. Here are three important things to remember when making your monthly budget:

1. Budget before the month begins. Pick a day late in the month to budget for the following month. Block out a certain time to focus solely on your numbers—no Netflix or Spotify distractions allowed. But don’t be afraid to bring along a bowl of your favorite ice cream or some other treat. Make this a fun time!

plan your budget before the month begins

2. Budget down to zero. Enter next month’s income so you know how much money you have to pay bills, invest, and spend on clothes and concerts. Include all the money that comes in—your regular paychecks, side jobs, bonuses and so on. Then determine an exact amount to spend for each category as well as any debt or savings goals. Once you’ve done that, every dollar you will make next month should be accounted for.

budget your money down to zero

3. Track your expenses. Keep tabs on how much you spend to keep yourself on track. This will help you achieve your goals and keep you from overspending. If you budget $100 for eating out and spend $20 at a restaurant on Saturday with friends, track that transaction so you’re aware that you have $80 left. If you spend it all before the end of the month, you know to warm up some leftovers in the microwave that last weekend. Make it easy with EveryDollar Plus on desktop or iPhone! We’ll enter your transactions for you so you don’t even need to keep your receipts! Just drag, drop, and you’re done.

track your expenses

Create a plan. Follow it. Reach your goals. It’s that simple! With an EveryDollar budget, you can have your money plan up and running in just a few minutes.

Create a free budget in less than 10 minutes with EveryDollar!