How to create a successful monthly budget.

Get useful tips about how to make a functional monthly budget to help you stay on top of your finances.

A monthly budget is a handy tool for any household, no matter your income. It can help you control your spending, save money, and make the most out of every penny. Here are some good tips for creating a monthly budget that will work for you.

Calculate all your income.

Add together all the paychecks coming into your household. If you make money from, for example, investments or royalties, list it as well to keep track of your entire income. In case your income is inconsistent, make your budgets with a thin month in mind.

Prioritize your expenses.

Essentials like food, rent, utilities, transportation, insurance payments, and debt must be your top priorities. Only after you've made them the priority should you then account for things like entertainment and travel.

Start every month from zero.

If you had money left over from the previous month, don’t carry it over to the next — save it instead. It’s easier to build up your savings if you calculate every month’s budget from zero.

Revise your budget.

Every month is different, and unexpected expenses happen. Don’t be afraid to trim your budget if life throws you a curveball. There’s no shame in shopping at discount or dollar stores if that’s what it takes.

Keep track of your budget.

Write your budget on a spreadsheet and use it to record every purchase. It’s too easy to forget about your budget if you only keep tabs in your head.

It’s also important to let every member of your household know the month’s budget. You can easily convert your spreadsheet to a PDF online to share it with your family. You can also use Adobe Acrobat to convert documents to PDFs and much more even without an internet connection.

Find out more ways to work with PDFs online, and discover everything else you can do with Acrobat.