Taking Your Budget to the Next Level

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This is the eighth and final post in the Creative Savings’ Beginners Guide to Budgeting Series. To read all posts in order, start with Why You Need a Budget, then continue reading the rest of the series on this page.

Take your budget to the next level with this fantastic budgeting tool. Gives you a great overview of each month and year!

If you’ve been following along with our budgeting series, you should feel in more control of your finances than ever before, especially now that you’re armed with a budget that works. 

Today, we’ll be taking the series to the next level with a tool that combines all our basic printables and spreadsheets into one end-of-year statement!

Maybe you’re still very new to all this, and the number crunching we’re about to do sounds a little scary. That’s totally OK. Concentrate on developing the habits we talked about in previous posts, and then move on to this step when you’re good and ready. It’s just a little something extra for nerds like me who like to analyze absolutely everything!

For this post, we’re going to get a good overview our finances with a quick snapshot of the entire year, and I honestly think there’s no better way to do this than to create our very own Personal Profit/Loss Statement. If that sounds more like a boring business term than one we’d use for our household budget, you’re almost correct.

Here’s the thing….

Your Household IS Your Business

Way back in the beginning of this series, we talked about how to look at your finances as a business, and why it was so necessary to pull in a “profit” each and every month. While a business measures profitability via an end-of-year Profit/Loss statement, we also need to measure our own success with a Household Profit/Loss statement.

Think of this document as the entire puzzle rather than just a small piece of it. It not only measures your monthly success, it gives you a yearly overview, and includes vital information to help us make smart decisions and budget even better!

Measure your budget's success with this FREE household Profit/Loss Statement!

Download the Printable File

Download the Excel File

All the information you need to fill in these blanks are located right on your Income Tracker and Expense Tracker.  As you finish out each month, you will want to to transfer the totals from your trackers to your Profit/Loss sheet, then subtract total expenses from your total income.

The result is either a profit or a loss for the month, and by end-of-year, an annual profit or loss. Simple, right?

Measure your budget's success with this FREE household Profit/Loss Statement!

How to Measure Results

Anyone who wants to manage money better needs to be able to measure the results of their budget. As you look through the income and expenses for each month, note how often you break even, take a loss, or bring in a profit/savings. 

If you consistently find yourself at a loss, go back through your Expense Tracker and figure out which category is pushing you over budget, then work on cutting back costs as you can. And if you have a profit, consider starting a new column in one of your Account Trackers and use that extra money to save up for an Emergency Fund, Retirement, or pay off excess debt.

Some months, your profit/loss numbers may seem a little chaotic, especially if you have an unexpected car repair, or a month with an extra paycheck. Whenever something like that happens and creates a significant loss or savings, just make a quick note underneath that month to remind yourself. It usually resolves itself by the end of the year anyway, and that’s the number that really matters!

Measuring Your Budget's Success | Creative Savings

Using a Profit/Loss Statement to it’s full potential takes consistent tracking of all income and expenses, but if you commit to doing this, I promise you will have an even better budget that ebbs and flows consistently with each season of life. Plus, it’s so much fun to look back on previous years and see how far you’ve come with all your savvy expense-cutting skills. At least for me, anyway!

Goodness, I’m so sad to see this series come to a close, but it’s been such a great experience to rework and tweak my budget right alongside you. If you still have questions about anything we’ve talked about, make sure to check out this FAQ page created from your invaluable feedback.

I’d also love for you to let me know if you completed the series, and how it changed your finances for the better. Do you feel more confident about handling money? How have you been doing on your budget? Leave a comment below and let me know one thing that surprised you the most about this entire process!

Again, thanks so much for joining me…..{this is some seriously tough stuff!}, but you made it, and you should be proud. I know I certainly am!

What’s one thing you’ve learned since starting this series?

 

 Tweetables:

  • Have you ever considered creating a profit/loss statement for your home? Here’s why your household IS your business! <– {Click to Tweet}
  • Make smart decisions and budget better with this fantastic budgeting tool! <– {Click to Tweet}

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16 Comments

  1. I’ve been trying to self help my budget for years. I really think your system WILL work for me. I have printed out the worksheets and ready to give it a try. Thank you for all of the details.

  2. I’ve been looking for a system to help me with my budgeting phobia. Once I read your system which was clear and concise I am hooked. I know I can do this! Thank you and God bless you.

  3. I really liked that you have a spreadsheet for purchases instead of using the envelope system. My boyfriend and I have been talking about doing the envelope system but I agree with you about carrying around so much cash. All the other budgeting blogs I’ve read never really explained much about anything except the envelope system. So thank you for helping in that area!! πŸ™‚

  4. Quite honestly, your spreadsheets are so colorful and laid out in such a way that I personally couldn’t have come up with, that it lit a fire under me and I’m excited once again to get back on track. My fiance and I like to keep our finances in a his/her/joint kind of way. Ideally we would love to be able to live off of one income and save the other. (I know, common dream). In order to do this, your spreadsheets will be a godsend. I know where my problems lie. I am curious to see his.

  5. This is a great way to teach kids to budget. I already do this for my household (in QuickBooks) & it works amazingly well. It is really nice to have all of the steps written out with printables.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Chele! I agree, teaching kids to budget is essential and this would be a perfect way to start!

  6. Thank you for all the free printables! I’ve been looking for something comprehensive without being complicated. I love them, now I just need to be diligent about using them!

  7. Your series has really started me on the track to learning how to better manage my money. I so appreciate that you are offering this advice for free. I cannot put into words how life changing your information has been. God bless you tremendously! Thank you again πŸ™‚

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