WorkSheet: Balance Your Budget


As you fill in the applicable boxes, the fields below will be automatically updated to show the funds available for flexible monthly expenses and for discretionary income (money that's still available after spending on all budgeted items). This "left over" money is important for covering unplanned expenses, such as impromptu social events, unexpected auto repairs, medical emergencies, etc.

Monthly Net Income
(after taxes & other deductions from your check)
Job #1 $
Running Totals
Job #2 $
Scholarships, Student Loans, etc. $
Interest Income $
Rent Received $
Alimony/Child Support Received $
Other $
Other $
Other $
Total Monthly Income $  0.00
Monthly Fixed Expenses
These are expenses that remain fairly stable and predictable from month to month. Even though the payments are fixed, there may be ways to reduce them by moving, getting a different car, choosing a cheaper plan, etc. Click on any of the budget item links below for some things to consider about that item.
Rent/Mortgage Payment $
Home Owners Association (HOA) Fee $
Renters/Homeowners Insurance $
Car Payment $
Car Insurance $
Health Insurance $
Credit Card Payment $
Cable $
Phone $
Cell Phone $
Internet $
Electricity & Gas $
Water & Garbage $
Tuition $
Other Loan Payment $
Other $
Other $
Other $
Total Monthly Fixed Expenses $  0.00
Monthly Flexible Expenses
(Amount available after fixed expenses: 0.00). These are the expenses that fluctuate more from month to month. They may be easier to control by cutting back on how much you spend on each one.
Savings $
Groceries $
Dining Out $
Transportation (Gas, Bus/Train Fare, etc.) $
Clothing $
Entertainment $
Extra Cell Phone Minutes $
Books/Supplies $
Hobbies/Sports $
Other $
Other $
Other $
Total Monthly Flexible Expenses $  0.00
Your Budget
Total Monthly Expenses $  0.00
Remaining Discretionary Funds $  0.00

The total monthly expenses shown above in this worksheet will help you to forecast your monthly spending. Print the worksheet out, then, at the end of the month, re-total what you've spent to reflect your "actual" expenses including fixed, flexible, and unplanned -- to see exactly how much you've spent.

The first few months' budget will provide you with a lot of information about where your money really goes. Next month, adjust your budget appropriately (cut back on flexible expenses, reduce the size of fixed expenses, better calculate unplanned expenses, etc.) for the remainder of the year, and stick with it!


The following table shows how your budget compares to some general guidelines for how much of your income should go toward different expense categories. If you live in an area where transportation is higher than normal or rents/mortgage are higher (such as the Bay Area), you may need to make adjustments to these guidelines. Your individual situation will dictate how achievable and realistic the guideline percentages are for you.

Category Guidelines Your Budget
Housing 30% 0%
Transportation 18% 0%
Food 16% 0%
Miscellaneous* 8% 0%
Clothing 5% 0%
Medical 5% 0%
Recreation 5% 0%
Utilities 5% 0%
Savings 4% 0%
Other Debts 4% 0%
* Includes remaining discretionary funds.


This interactive calculator is intended as an educational tool, not investment advice. The information presented is not intended to advise you of strategies applicable to your specific situation but rather to highlight issues for your consideration. Therefore, you should always consult your financial or tax advisor (see our Investing page for details on consulting a Provident Financial Consultant). Your own goals and investment timeline will help you develop a specific investment strategy.
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