This online Free Personal Budgeting Calculator will help you to formulate a realistic personal budget and allow you to print out any number of personalized, free, printable budget worksheets.
Plus, unlike other online budget calculators, the free personal budgeting calculator on this page will alert you to the opportunity costs of your spending as you complete each entry into the budget form.
If you would prefer to enter your budget amounts on a month-by-month basis, and you are already fully aware of the opportunity costs being created your spending, you might want to use the Monthly Budget Calculator.
The number one key to creating a budget that you will stick with, is to make absolutely sure that your budget is based on reality instead of on delusional optimism.
The only way you can base your budget on reality is to create your budget using your past spending as a guide. Only your past spending can provide the necessary proof that you have the self-discipline needed to stay within your budgeted amounts.
In other words, it's one thing to remove "ice cream cones" from your budget on paper, it's another thing to walk past an ice cream stand on a hot summer day without buying an ice cream cone.
If you are not meticulously tracking and tallying-up your day-to-day spending, your chances of creating a realistic budget that works are somewhere between slim and none.
In my experience there is only one way to successfully track your spending, and that is: Never walk away from an expenditure without a legible receipt, and always put all receipts in the same spot in your wallet or purse.
If you allow clerks to put your receipts in a bag, or you fail ask for receipts, the written records of those expenditures may be gone forever, and along with them will go your chance at creating a realistic budget that works.
Once you get in the habit of always getting receipts, and always putting them in the same spot, the next step is to designate a time each day or week to remove your receipts from the designated spot in your wallet or purse, enter all receipts into your spending tracker software or notebook, and then file the recorded receipts into a filing system.
This will insure that you have everything you need to create a realistic budget that works.
Eliminate the word "Spending" from your vocabulary, and replace it with the word "Investing."
As an "investor" of your money rather than a "spender" you will be more apt to weigh what you are giving up in return for what you are getting. What you give up is what's often referred to as, " The Opportunity Costs of Spending."
In case you're not familiar with the term, opportunity costs can be defined as the value of what you give up by choosing one alternative over all other available alternatives.
One of the most overlooked opportunity costs of spending money on non-appreciating purchases (items whose value does not grow over time), is the opportunity cost of lost interest earnings.
For every dollar of your income you spend on a non-appreciating purchase, you simultaneously give up the right to earn interest on that particular dollar ... for the rest of your life. As the free personal budgeting calculator will help you to discover, the opportunity cost of lost interest earnings can add up to millions of dollars over the course of your lifetime.
As an investor of your money, one of the things you give up when "spending" an amount of money, is the time you had to spend earning that amount of money. Therefore, while creating a personal budget you should be asking yourself this question: "How many hours will I have to spend at work in order to earn the after-tax, after-work-related-expense income to needed to pay for the item I'm budgeting for?"
If you hate your job and/or you hate spending time away from your loved ones, then what you get in return for spending your money needs to be high enough to offset the emotional losses you are experiencing from spending time at your job. Otherwise, if the emotional loss from working to pay for the item is greater than the emotional gain from the purchased item, you will have suffered an emotional net-loss (poor investment) from your "expenditure." Suffer enough of these emotional net-losses, and you could find yourself in emotional bankruptcy.
If you are suffering constant emotional net-losses from your "spending," I would suggest investing your money in investments that will allow you to spend less time at a work you enjoy more (education, vocational training, career change, invest in your debt, etc.).
With that, let's use the Free Personal Budgeting Calculator to formulate a realistic budget by calculating and becoming fully aware of the opportunity costs of your spending.
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Number of workdays per week: The average number of days you work each week. This will allow you to indicate when expenses only apply to workdays, which the free personal budgeting calculator can then translate into a total for the selected budgeting time period.
Preferred budget time period: Select your preferred budget time period. For most people this will be Monthly. However, if you prefer a different time period, select your preference and all amounts will be translated into your preferred time period. You can change your preference before, during, or after completing the budgeting form as the free personal budgeting calculator will automatically recalculate the form.
Real hourly wage: Your real hourly wage. This will allow you to see how many hours you will need to allocate to working each budget time period in order to earn enough after-tax, after-work-related expense income to pay for each budgeted item. If you don't know your Real Hourly Wage, be sure to visit the Real Hourly Wage Calculator.
Interest you expect to earn on investments: The annual percentage you expect to earn on your investments. The free personal budgeting calculator will use this figure to estimate the potential future value of the money you are spending.
Number of years to calculate future value: The number of years you would like the calculator to use when estimating future value. The free personal budgeting calculator will use this figure to estimate the potential future value of the money you are spending.
Show opportunity costs in terms of: Select which opportunity cost you would like the calculator to display as you enter your expenses. If you choose Work Hours, the calculator will display the number of hours you will need to work to pay for each budgeting item. If you choose FV Single, the calculator will display the the potential future value of the budgeted amount if you invested one of the period payments. If you choose FV Multiple, the calculator will display the the potential future value of the budgeted amount if you invested all period payments instead of spending them on the budgeted item.
Load Example Categories and Accounts: If you would like the free personal budgeting calculator to populate all categories and account fields with suggested titles, click the left-most button in this row. If you would like to clear all suggested titles, for the purpose of entering your own, click the "Remove Examples" button on this row. Note that this will not clear the numerical entries from the free personal budgeting calculator.
Income: Click the [+] button to expand the budget category. This will display 10 separate budget lines wherein you can enter your sub-category accounts, amounts, and frequencies.
Main category editable fields: Enter a name for each main category. Click the [+] button to expand a category. This will display 10 separate budget lines wherein you can enter your sub-category accounts, amounts, and frequencies.
% column: The free personal budget calculator will calculate the percentage each category represents of the total outflows entered, and enter the result in each main category row.
Category time period column: This is a computed column. The free personal budget calculator will update each category total as you make changes to the corresponding sub-categories.
Fixed / Item column: Enter the names of the sub-categories and click the checkbox for each budget item that is a fixed amount. If a budgeted item is a variable amount, leave the checkbox unchecked.
$ Amount column: The budgeted income amount for each source as it pertains to the selected frequency.
Frequency: Select the appropriate income frequency for each source. The free personal budgeting calculator will automatically translate the amount and frequency into your preferred budgeting period.
Opportunity cost column: This column will display one of three calculations, depending on the opportunity cost you selected at the top of the calculator: Work Hours (number of work hours required to pay the budgeted amount for the time period), FV Single (Future Value of one invested payment), or FV Multiple (Future Value of all payments if invested).
Budget time period column: This is a calculated column that displays the budgeted income in your preferred budget time period.
Total [Budget Time Period] Income: This is the total amount of income you entered, translated into your preferred budget time period.
Total [Budget Time Period] Expenses: This is the total amount of living expense, payments and savings you entered, translated into your preferred budget time period.
Surplus/-Shortage: This is the total of your budgeted income less your budgeted living expenses, payments and savings. A negative sign indicates you have a budget shortfall (more money going out than is coming in). No negative sign indicates a budget surplus (more money coming in than is going out).
Total fixed expenses: This is the total of all budgeted items for which you put a check mark in the box preceding the sub-category name. A check mark in the box is meant to indicate a Fixed budget item. A fixed budget item is one that is typically difficult or impossible to reduce.
Total variable expenses: This is the total of all budgeted items for which you did not put a check mark in the box preceding the sub-category name. No check mark in the box is meant to indicate a variable budget item. A variable budget item is typically one that can be reduced with a reasonable amount of effort.
Total Non-[Budget Time Period] set aside amount: This is the total of all budgeted items in which the payment frequency exceeds your preferred budget time period. For example, if your preferred budget time period is monthly, and your auto insurance premium is paid semi-annually (twice per year), the free personal budgeting calculator will add 1/6 of the premium to this set-aside amount. This helps to insure that you will have the cash set aside to pay all non-preferred-period expenses as they come due.