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January 6, 2010

Liz’s gift for 2010: Budgeting

I’m a big fan of budgeting, and I use the worksheet below to make my household budget every year in December. I’ve been promising my coworkers that I’d share it for a while now, so here it is.

You can make edits directly in the spreadsheet above, or you can open it in a new window. You can also save a copy to your computer as an Excel file (just click the “Save as Excel” link in the upper right).

The worksheet follows a pretty simple structure. It compares your anticipated income to your projected expenses, and it breaks expenses down into two types: fixed expenses (the ones you can’t change, like rent and health insurance), and flexible expenses (like going out to eat, traveling, etc.). The categorization may differ from person to person–for example, clothing is a flexible expense for me, but it might be a fixed one for you if you have young children who’ll grow out of all their clothes in the course of a year.

Speaking of children, a disclaimer: this worksheet mostly reflects my budgeting experience, so it’s a little thin on some categories (like children and their attendant expenses).Happy holidays!

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