The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on and organize all areas of our lives. Every January I go through my Annual Get Organized Checklist to get my house, family, finances, and life in general in order. With one child in college and another on her way in just a couple of years, I’m working extra hard to buckle down on our spending. I’ve shared Money Saving Tips and Money Saving Tricks before, but today I’m sharing free printable family budget worksheets to help you reach your financial goals.
The first, and most important, step in our financial plan is establishing a budget. Below is the worksheet I use each month to establish a budget and track how much we actually spend.
I use the notes section to explain unusual variances between our budgeted and actual expenditures, as well as to jot down ideas or reminders to make changes to trim costs further.
Many of your costs will be fixed, at least in the immediate future (e.g. rent or mortgage, car payment), but it’s a good idea to set goals or establish guidelines for how much of your income you want to commit to different types of expenditures. You’ll get a lot of conflicting information on what percentage of your income should be allocated to housing vs. debt. This Recommended Monthly Budget Percentages worksheet from the Michican Counseling Association is a great place to start to set your own spending goals.
Ideally, your income will more than cover your expenses so you can also set some savings goals. Everyone should have an emergency fund to pull from in case of well, an emergency, so that a tough situation isn’t made worse by adding debt to the stress of whatever unexpected event has occurred. Once you have a comfortable emergency fund though, you will probably want to set aside money for holiday spending, retirement, education, vacations, or your dream home.
I’m a big believer in writing down your goals so that you have a greater chance of reaching them. Here’s a savings goal worksheet to help you visualize your goals and progress towards them. In the “Goal” column, write down how much you expect to set aside each month for each category (in the “Budget” row) and your goal for the end of the year (in the “End Bal” row). Track your progress over the course of the year. Hopefully your Ending Balance in December matches your goal!
I am very motivated by seeing progress over time so I created this next worksheet to watch my savings grow and my debts shrink over the course of the year.
If you prefer to use pre-printed budgeting sheets, you might like some of these options from Amazon.
I hope you find these worksheets helpful in setting financial goals and reaching them this year. To get all three forms, just click the image below.
Prefer a version you can edit? Purchase an Excel file with all three worksheets below.