Written A Budget

Budget
"A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it."
--
William Feather

Today, I did something I think most adults should do, but somehow, I had gone a long time without doing it. It's a lot of work, but it's beneficial to know where my money is going. I started with a spreadsheet template I got from Microsoft's website. If you're interested in doing this, go check it out here:
Personal Monthly Budget Template

The template is split up into twelve sections:
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Housing: This includes rent or mortgage, utilities, repairs, and supplies
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Transportation: This includes vehicle payments, insurance, bus or cab fare, licensing, gas, and maintenance.
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Insurance: This includes health, life, and renter's insurance.
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Food: This is easily our largest expense. Between groceries and dining out, the cost adds up very quickly.
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Pets: We have one pet, a fish. He's not as expensive as a dog or a cat would be, but there are expenses involved with this.
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Personal Care: Medical expenses, haircuts, clothing, and gym memberships belong to this category.
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Entertainment: If I buy CDs, movies, concert or sporting event tickets, it goes here.
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Loans: Student loans, credit cards, and other loans are accounted for in this section.
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Taxes: I didn't use this section because I decided to make this budget on my post tax income.
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Savings or Investments: Every month I put a little money away. This is portion of the budget is where I set that aside.
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Gifts And Donations: This is where I separated out birthday gifts, charitable donations,
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Legal: We currently have no liens or attorney fees, but this can be a factor in someone's monthly budget

This was both a valuable and an eye-opening experience. I can't believe how much we spend on food. I'm definitely going to start bringing my lunch to work. This is an important thing to do, but the hardest part is trying to stick to it. I recommend this to anyone that has not done this before.
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