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How I did it: I've had my budget for about 8 months now, and it is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me. I simply made my own in Excel spreadsheet to track income and expenses in month-by-month (one semester at a time) columns on the left and week-by-week (one month at a time) columns on the right . In the both the monthly and weekly columns, I put what I estimate I will spend and earn in a certain area each month (i.e. income: job, scholarships, parents; expenses: rent, gas, car payments, groceries, individual utilities, tuition, etc.). I have everything linked by the summation formula so that I can just plug in a number and it will add up totals.
Once the week or month is over, I plug in the exact amount that I've spent for that particular month or week. That way I can have a more accurate estimate for my earnings and expenditures in the next month or semester. Plus then I can know if I went over or stayed under my budget.
Because I used Excel, I was able to customize it completely to my own needs rather than using something I found off the Internet. Ask me if you have any questions!
Lessons & tips: Just play around with Excel's summation formula and stuff. You can make it really easy to create different scenarios and thus choose the best options for things like monthly payments and grocery budgets.
- Microsoft Excel
- online budget examples
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