Start your journey to financial freedom. Read this budget planner step by step guide and use the StriveZen Budget Planner to its full potential.
If you are reading this now, then you have accepted the challenge. Congratulations! Not everyone dares to look at their finances with a closer view. You’ve taken the first step to financial freedom.
How are you financially? Let’s have an overview of your finances per month.
1. Determine your income and your total assets
a. How much do you earn per month?
On the planner, write down your salary, business income, or whatever source of living you receive per month.
b. Also, declare your assets (examples are in the planner) and their corresponding value.
2. Now to the heavy part, write down all your monthly expenses, from the essential ones to the not-so-essential ones.
a. Your monthly payments should come first, e.g. rent, mortgage, medication, etc. Everything you need to pay on a monthly basis, which most of the time, gets the bigger chunk of your monthly income.
b. Optional expenses are those expenses you can live without. It is something that you can consider a luxury. In this part, you may just consider the usual things you do or buy. How often do you eat out, watch a movie, or go shopping in a month, and the average amount you pay every time you do, then add everything up.
This section is meant for your debts. Student loans, personal loans, mortgages, credit card debts, etc.
So how are your finances at the moment? If they are in good shape, then you are on the right track. If they are not, don’t worry, just continue and don’t be discouraged. Keep track of your finances and keep planning.
Financially speaking, where do you want yourself five or ten years from now? What are your financial goals? List them all in the space provided. Don’t hold back, write everything down even if you think it’s far-fetched.
The next part of the planner will allow you to devise a strategy on how to achieve your financial goals.
a. Based on your financial status at the moment, what do you think you have to work on to achieve your goals?
b. What are the improvements you need to have?
- Ask for a bigger salary, have another source of income, or improve marketing strategies to sell more if you are into business, etc.
- Once you get additional earnings and you can pay more than the minimum, pay your debts first until you get rid of them.
- Cut down on non-essential expenses (eating out, going to movies, buying clothes, etc.)
- Set a budget for groceries and stick to it.
- Give up some of your “luxuries” for a while, until you get used to them, and until you can afford them again.
- Set a portion of your salary for a rainy day and emergency fund. You don’t need to spare a big chunk of your salary for it, just be consistent.
This section of the budget planner will help you achieve your financial goals.
Monthly Budget– This allows you to record your budgeted amount to be paid for each month and the actual amount you paid.
Monthly Goals– How much is the ideal amount you spare for savings and investment and the actual amount you’ve put into them?
Cash Flows– Record the money you receive and disburse on a weekly basis. By the end of the week, write the total amount on hand in the difference column.
Expense Tracker– List down all your expenses religiously. Doing this will help you be more aware and cautious of what and where you spend your money.
Debt Tracker– This part of the planner is for you to record all your debts and the amount you pay on a monthly basis.
Savings Tracker– Save for your vacation, for a new gadget, etc.
Investment Tracker– One of the most common ways to generate passive income. Keep an update on all your investments in this section.
Monthly Financial Reviews– The overview of your total expenses, savings, and debts payment in a month’s time.
Annual Financial Summary– Here you can review your financial status for the whole year. Fill out the amount you were able to spend in paying your debts and buying investments in each corresponding month as well as the money you were able to save.
You made it through the year! Based on your financial review, were you able to hit your goal? If you did, congratulations! Keep on using this budget planner until you get to achieve financial freedom.
If you’re still struggling with your finances, don’t worry. You’ve taken the first step, and that is already something to be proud of. Don’t be disheartened. Continue to read this budget planner step by step guide and use the StriveZen budget planner religiously. Attaining financial freedom takes time, but hang on, it will be worth it.