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You guys have been asking for it, and I’m finally providing it – a free zero-based budget template.
It is based on the budget that I designed for my husband and myself after we got married (view it here), but I tweaked it in an attempt to make it more general. After all, most people aren’t rednecks like we are who pay for a monthly WWE subscription.
The format is clean, simple and printable. It is broken into four categories:
- Sinking Funds (If you need more information on sinking funds, click here.)
To Download a Customizable Copy:
Step 1 – Click this link to access the template – Free Zero-Based Budget Template.
Step 2 – Click File, then Make a copy… as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 3 – Rename the file if you would like and choose the folder in which it should be saved, then click OK as shown in the screenshot below.
To Work the Budget:
Step 1 – Fill in your Projected Income in cell D3.
Once this is done, you will notice that cells F3, D9 and F9 automatically populate, as shown below:
Step 2 – Fill in your Due Dates in the Bills category, as well as the Projected Cost for each line, starting with cell D12.
Once this is done, you will notice that cells D6, F6, F12, D23 and F23 automatically populate, as shown below:
Step 3 – Repeat for each line as you progress downward through the budget until your Projected Balance in cell D9 shows $0.00.
To Balance the Budget:
Step 1 – Type in the date the bill was paid under Date Paid, then fill in the actual cost.
Once this is done, you will notice that cells E6, F6, E9, F9, F12, E23 and F23 automatically populate, as shown below:
Step 2 – Repeat for every bill, every debt you pay, every sinking fund you transfer and every purchase you make.
I log into our bank account and credit card accounts every weekday to balance our budget. It’s just easy for me to take those couple of minutes every morning and know that I’m on top of it. Some people only do this once a week. You’ll just need to figure out what works for you.
I really hope these directions help, but please contact me if you have any questions!
Remember, if you’re still overwhelmed and just don’t know where to start, please know that I felt the same way when setting up the first budget of my own several years ago – and again as a new wife setting up a budget with another person for the first time.
If you absolutely have no idea where to even start, my friend and fellow debt free community member Sami Womack offers a budget course that I have taken and highly recommend. She truly has the heart of a teacher, and you can read my review of her course here.
If you’re interested in signing up for her course, be sure to use this link to get $10 off the normal price of $67. You will have lifetime access to the course and can gain support from her private Facebook community.
Best wishes to you!