This free online Monthly Budget Calculator will allow you to enter budgeted amounts for each of the twelve months of the year for one income category and nine separate budget categories -- each containing up to ten customizable accounts.
Plus, unlike other online budget calculators, the monthly budget calculator on this page will give you the option of printing out a customized blank budget worksheet and/or a completed budget spread sheet. In both cases you can choose to create the report in a detailed form or in a summary form.
If you would prefer to create a budget based on average monthly income and expenses, as well as see what your spending is costing you in terms of work time and lost interest earnings, please visit the Free Personal Budgeting Calculator.
The primary reason most people fail at budgeting is because they've been led to believe that it should be easy, and therefore should not require any significant commitment of time and energy. Well, I'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, budgeting is NOT simple, nor can it be "made easy."
Believing budgeting is easy, instead of meticulously tracking their spending so they can more accurately predict future surpluses or shortages, most people quickly throw together a simplistic and unrealistic budget based on grossly-optimistic speculation, and then give up on budgeting altogether when their pathetic attempt fails to produce any results.
And the reason budgeting is difficult (NOT easy), is because it's not easy to deny yourself the lifestyle that most Americans feel they are simply entitled to. Instead of being taught to grow slow, paying as we go, we are taught that upon leaving school we are entitled to a luxurious home, a fancy car, extravagant vacations, and the latest release of every electronic gadget known to mankind.
What most people fail to realize, is that this notion of material entitlement is what causes most Americans to lose the most important of all First Amendment rights ... their freedom.
Instead of being financially free to spend to their time serving others based on how much they enjoy their work and to what extent that work serves to solve a problem that's important to them, most Americans enslave themselves in a mountain of debt right out of school. This forces most to choose jobs based on whatever higher paying job comes along next, rather than on how well the jobs are suited to their talents, abilities, genuine interests, and personal and family values.
If someone tries to tell you that budgeting is easy, I suspect it's because they are trying to sell you a product or service that claims to do just that. So do your own budget a big favor by declining to purchase whatever they are trying to sell you. You don't need a computer, fancy budget software, or even a monthly budget calculator to create a budget. All you really need is a pencil, some paper, the ability to add and subtract, and one more thing that I will get to in a moment.
If you don't care how you spend the time you have left on this earth, then I would tell you that budgeting is of little importance to you.
On the other hand, if you desire to spend your days serving others by performing a work that you enjoy and believe in, and you long for the freedom to spend more quality time with your loved ones, then I would tell you that budgeting is absolutely crucial to achieving those desires.
Take if from someone who's been down that road, going from being trapped in an un-fulfilling job to discovering and pursuing a self-fulfilling work requires an ever increasing degree of freedom from financial obligations. And the only way you can free yourself from financial obligation is to create a realistic budget that is based on your past spending habits, and then to work hard at trying to improve your spending habits so that you can first stop increasing your debt, and later accelerate the repayment of your debt. None of this is easy, but it is doable.
Since I personally know accountants and loan officers that have dug themselves into financial slavery, I'm quite certain that it's not your level of budgeting skill that will determine whether you succeed or fail at budgeting. Instead, I believe the key to successful budgeting is having the right motivation. In other words, if you don't know exactly why you are making sacrifices and denying yourself pleasures, then you will not have the motivation you need to create and live within a budget -- regardless of your budgeting skill level.
For me, the right motivation came in 1993. That was the year I stopped mindlessly believing what others had been telling me would make me happy (most of whom were trying to sell me something), and instead started thinking for myself.
After several months of self-analysis and countless hours seriously questioning everything I'd been taught, I took everything I had gleaned from my soul-searching and used it to create a blueprint for what I considered to be my perfect day (doing what I truly love for people and causes that are dear to me). That blueprint proved to be the exact carrot I needed to start giving personal money management the priority it had always deserved. While this did not make it easy to forgo instant gratification for the sake of achieving meaningful, long-term desires, I knew exactly why I was making the sacrifices and exactly what was in it for me.
Once you have the right motivation for creating and living with a budget you too will be able to forgo instant gratification in exchange for meaningful long-term gratification -- which is the ultimate key to successful budgeting.
With that, let's use the Monthly Budget Calculator to create a monthly budget spread sheet for all of your income and spending categories and accounts, for each of the twelve months of the year.
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Load Example Categories and Accounts button: If you would like to clear all suggested titles, for the purpose of entering your own, click the Remove Examples button on this row. To repopulate all monthly budget calculator categories and account fields with suggested titles, click the Load Example Categories and Accounts button in this row. Note that neither button will have any effect on any numerical entries you may have made.
Budget categories: There are ten separate budget categories -- one for income and nine for living expenses, payments, and savings. You can change the names of the last nine of the categories to suit your preferences (make sure you tab out of the field so the calculator stores the change to its internal memory). Click on the adjacent radio button to display a 12-month scrollable budget spread sheet in the lower section of the monthly budget calculator. There you can name or rename up to ten accounts and add, change, or remove budgeted amounts within this category.
Total living expenses, payments, and savings: This is the annual total of all budgeted living expenses, debt payments, savings, and investments.
Budget surplus / -shortage: This is the total of your annual budgeted income minus the total of all annual budgeted outgo (living expenses, payments, savings, investments, etc.). If the result is preceded by a minus sign, this indicates your income is not sufficient to cover all of your budgeted outgo. If shortages are left unchecked, the result will be an increase in your debt (a reduction of your freedom). No minus sign indicates a surplus (more income than outgo). A surplus can be used for reducing your debt (an increase in your freedom).
Account column: This column will display the 10 account names for each category as you click on each category radio button in the top section of the calculator. Simply enter/change the name and tab out of the field and the monthly budget calculator will store the change in its internal memory.
Spread sheet column: This column will display the month by month budget fields for each of the 10 accounts for each category in the top section of the calculator. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the column to go back and forth between months, or simply use the tab key to go from month to month, and account to account, as you make your entries. The monthly budget calculator will recalculate the budget spread sheet as you type in your numerical entries. To fill a single entry to all months of the year, make your entry in the Jan column and then click the greater-than [>] button.
Annual column: This column will display the annual total for each 10 account names for each category. These are calculated, read-only fields.
Printable Monthly Budget Spread Sheet button: To create a printer friendly window containing your budget spread sheet, select either Monthly Summary or Monthly Detail and then click the Printable Monthly Budget Spread Sheet button. This will create a new window containing your present entries. You can repeat this process as often as you like while working with your budget.
Reset button: Click this button if you would like to reset the monthly budget calculator to its original state, which will zero all accounts and restore all example category and account titles.