The word "budget" is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many people. They assume that making and sticking to a budget is complicated or boring. Often quite the reverse is true, and all they need to know to get started is how to find a good online budget worksheet. A good online budget worksheet is one that works for you. Type "online budget worksheet" into a search engine. Visit several sites and evaluate the worksheets to find the best fit for your lifestyle.
At its most basic, an online budget worksheet is a downloadable template with fields you fill in to detail your income and expenses. The aim of any budgeting exercise is to limit your spending to less than you make.
Look for an online budget worksheet that includes only the categories you need, particularly if this is your first budget. Obvious categories are household bills, travel and leisure expenses, transportation costs and food bills; a good online budget worksheet includes all of these basics. However, some include items you don't need, such as saving plans, investments or interest payments. These are important topics, but they can make the initial budgeting task more complicated than it needs to be.
Start as simply as possible. Look for a basic online budget worksheet that you can print out, rather than one you need to recreate in Excel or some other spreadsheet program. Budgeting -- finding out where your money is going and learning how you can make it go further -- can be fun, satisfying and even liberating if you tackle it in bite-sized chunks and keep it as simple as possible.
An online budget worksheet need not be restricted to managing the household monthly or weekly budget. You can also download worksheets for holiday budgeting, Christmas gift budgets and budgeting to get out of debt worksheets. Used creatively, online budget worksheets may be the only financial helpers you need.
A useful tool to use alongside your online budget worksheet is a small notebook. On each page draw three columns. In the first column write the date of the purchase; in the second column put what was purchased and in the third column enter the cost. List every expense, no matter how small. You may be surprised just how many dollars are spent on small impulse purchases.