Free budget planner

Here’s a free tool that helps you get started with budgeting, but don’t get down if you don’t know the exact numbers. Try to get in the ball park now and fix the numbers as you gain experience with your spending and expenses. It’s always OK to change the budget and be wrong about your priorities or spending habits. The point is to keep some track and make sure the spending aligns with your other goals and your personal values.

You can also use the calculator in full screen.

Getting started with budgeting

We have a section on our budget templates page for getting started¬†that can help you build up your confidence and skills, but if you do only one thing today make sure you punch in the numbers you do know and make a list of what you’re not sure about. The templates add a layer where you can keep track of your expenses over time as well. We’re happy to help you learn to use these templates if you drop us a line!

Budget planning is about meeting your financial goals

Do you want to retire soon? We have a calculator for that, too!

Most importantly, though, you need to outline what your goals are. College savings? Retirement? Upcoming vacation? New skis? Paying down debts? Saving some money for a rainy day?

These are all legitimate and good goals to have. They may not all be financially as wise, but I think you should start with goals that are exciting and important to you while you build your budgeting and financial skills. Trying to fix everything at once will be overwhelming.

Start simple

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure about how to budget or what the right numbers are right now. Start with what you know and track your budget for a month with your expenses. You can use receipts with pen and paper, an app, or a spreadsheet. We have templates for those!

Different strokes for different folks

It is easy to give advice about money and there is plenty to be had, but you can safely discard most of it. Keep the ideas and approaches that work for you. Life is a journey and money is not the end in itself. Neither is a budget. We don’t get up in the morning to grind on a budget spreadsheet…well most of us don’t. Find a method and approach that you enjoy and works for you.

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