Making a 2020 New Year resolution to get your finances in order

It’s that time of year again – Christmas. For many people, it means spending more money than usual on presents, food, and drink, and preparing for what your New Year’s resolution will be.

As far as resolutions are concerned, a lot of people will vow to go on a diet and lose weight, while others will decide to strive to cut down on alcohol or stop smoking. Some may be a little more pragmatic and decide to get and keep their finances in order; especially after the festive spending spree.

Time to be a little more financially circumspect

We all tend to spend some of our hard-earned money on frivolities. It’s a way of treating yourself, and if you have the cash to be able to do it – why not? But if you find yourself in financial difficulty from time to time, perhaps you should be a little more circumspect?

Of course, just knocking unnecessary spending on the head may not be enough. It may get you by from week to week without giving your credit card a damned good thrashing. But unless you are able to get into a regular saving habit, you might only be temporarily forestalling a potential financial crisis.

Knocking up an Excel budget template

Your car breaking down or some other unforeseen bill turning up out of the blue is all part of life’s rich tapestry. If you haven’t got any savings to draw on, you could find yourself in trouble. So, making a New Year’s resolution to get your finances sorted could be a good idea and knocking up an excel budget spreadsheet will get you started.

Of course, not everybody is computer literate, and even if you are, it still doesn’t mean that you know how to create spreadsheets. However, just because you are not spreadsheet savvy, doesn’t mean you’re stuck. You can download a predesigned Excel budget template here, and it won’t cost you a penny.

The tricky thing with spreadsheets, Excel or any other, is making up and inserting the right formulae in the right place. If mathematics or algebra is not your thing, it can be a daunting proposition. But when you download a readymade spreadsheet, all of the fiddly formula stuff has already been done for you.

You enter the figures, and the spreadsheet does the rest

You’ll find specific headings for certain things such as your food budget, your transport budget, etc. There is usually even a heading for buying gifts or making charitable donations. All that remains for you to do is to enter your income and outgoings under the relevant headings and the spreadsheet automatically does the rest.

Creating a budget when you have a fluctuating income

Creating a budget for a fixed income is relatively straightforward. It can be a little more challenging when you have a variable income; people that work as freelancers, or salespeople working on commission, or for the self-employed for example.

If you fall into this category, you might like to take a look at “Nine keys to creating a budget on a fluctuating income.” It will give you an idea of some of the things to build into your Excel budget template once you’ve downloaded it.

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