Tips on how to create a personal budget.

Learn how to make a personal budget and how it can help keep your finances in check.

The idea of making a budget can be both boring and scary, particularly if you’ve never done it before. But a personal budget can be a vital tool in controlling your finances. Let’s take a look at how to create a successful personal budget.

Monitor your spending.

Before you can start personal budgeting, you need an idea of your average monthly finances. Save your purchase and payment receipts for two or three months to see where your money is going before you begin.

List your income.

Gather all income statements and calculate the total. If you get one paycheck a month, it’s easy, but don’t forget to include any possible investment revenue and other income sources, too. If your income is inconsistent, base your calculation on a low-earning month.

Calculate the cost of essentials.

Prioritize food, rent, utilities, transportation, insurance payments, and debts in your budget. These expenses probably stay about the same every month and give you an idea of your minimum costs.

Add in varying expenses.

Once you’ve gone through the essentials, add the estimated cost of inconsistent expenses to your budget. They could include entertainment, clothes, eating out, and other activities.

Compare your income and expenses.

With everything tallied, compare your income to your expenses. If your costs are higher, look for things you can trim from your budget. Remember, your priority should always be the essentials.

Keep your budget in mind.

If your budget only exists in your head, it’s easy to forget about it. Write your personal budget down on a spreadsheet, and then convert it to a PDF that you can open anywhere on any device, so it never slips your mind.

With Adobe Acrobat, you can easily convert spreadsheets to PDFs, view them, or share your budget with others if you need help with putting it together.

Find out how you can work with PDFs online. Discover everything else you can do with Acrobat.