Budgeting is a process that gets easier the more you do it. You can create a solid budget in an hour or two and then later tweak it every month or so when you are better able to nail down the specifics. So after your initial hour or two to create your budget, you can keep on top of your budget with only an hour or two every month.
I want to be clear the more accurate you are, the better your budget will work for you. If you exaggerate or miscalculate your income or forget about some of your expenses, you won’t have an accurate budget. The goal is to get to an accurate budget that lists how much you make and how much you spend. Remember it’s a process that gets easier over time and once you put in the initial work, it takes less time to adjust.
Don’t let perfection stop you from moving forward in this exercise. Get it as accurate as you can and move forward. We hope you will at least be able to provide a reasonable estimate rather than wild speculation, and of course, don’t rely on your budget until you’ve got an accurate one. Later in the program, we give you tools to make your budget more accurate.
For those of you who want to keep plowing on and just get a budget and not get bogged down in the details, we’ve created a QUICK DRAFT BUDGET tab so you can get right into make a budget. I recommend not relying too heavily on your draft budget until you are able to make it more accurate, which you can do over time. You can use your draft budget to give you an idea of where you are at, as long you realize it may not be entirely accurate. When you have more accurate numbers, go through the non-quick draft budgeting process to give yourself a more reliable budget.
To keep you moving forward, let’s get started with your monthly budget.