Once you’ve completed the Quick-Start Budget, choose one of the following to track your expenses each month:
After just 3 months of budgeting, 84% of people say they feel more in control of their money.
How to Budget Using Simple, Zero-Based Budgeting
Don’t expect your budget to run smoothly the first month or two. It usually takes a few months to get a good feel on where all your money is going. Give it a little time, and be patient!
Write down your total income.
This is your total take-home (after tax) pay for both you and, if you’re married, your spouse. Don’t forget to include everything—full-time jobs, second jobs, freelance pay, Social Security checks, royalties from your chihuahua’s acting gig, and any other ongoing source of income.
List all your expenses.
Think about your regular bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) and your irregular bills (quarterly payments like insurance or HOA) that are due for the upcoming month. After that, total your other costs, like food, gas, food, entertainment, food, and anything else that comes to mind (like food). Every dollar you spend should be accounted for.
Subtract expenses from income to equal zero.
This is called a zero-based budget, meaning your income minus your expenses should equal zero. If you’re over or under, check your math or simply return to the previous step and try again.
Track your expenses throughout the month.
Once you start the budget, you'll still need to stay on top of your expenses. The good news is that EveryDollar makes tracking your expenses (and budgeting for them) extremely easy. Visit EveryDollar.com to learn more!
We Can Help!
Whether you want to create your budget on paper or create it online, we’ve got you covered!
Not a fan of budgeting on paper? EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey’s new online budgeting tool. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to give every dollar in your budget a name!
Stuff You'll Love
- Add and split transactions in a jiffy.
- Personalize your budget to meet your needs.
- Drag and drop transactions into your budget.
- Track progress through Dave's Baby Steps.
- Create funds for personal saving.
Our envelope system is the easiest way to keep track of your cash! If you want to stay on budget and take control of overspending, the envelope system is perfect for you!
From the Blog
The worst part about the budget isn’t that it’s difficult (because it’s not). The worst part is all the misunderstanding and myths floating out there about why you shouldn’t budget.
How does a little indulgent and guilt-free spending sound? Learn the importance of including fun money in your budget.
Budgets don’t have to be about complicated formulas and tedious math. Just like many other aspects of your life, keeping it simple usually works wonders.