Starting the Budgeting Journey

Welcome to the overview of the Master Money Monthly and Yearly Budget! We’re glad you started on this journey! I would first recommend learning more about the importance of budgeting. This can be done by clicking this link for that blog! Done? Yay, let's get started budgeting. To start click this link or go to the template tab and download out FREE Master Money Monthly Budget and Master Money Yearly Budget.


Now that both are downloaded, we will start with the Master Money Monthly Budget. When first opening up the template a few things will stand out. Most simply we can look at the layout and see four tabs. This blog will be an overview of the Master Money Monthly Budget Form Tab?


Let’s learn!

The first tab closest to the left is the ‘Form’ Tab. This tab’s main purpose is to collect transaction information. Filling out a budget can be long and difficult; this makes it much easier. Budget users fill out the light blue boxes then click the whale gif and it will be submitted to the next form/ step. As mentioned the light blue boxes need to be filled in to then be submitted. So how does it work?


Master Money Budgeting Program: This image shows the Form Tab from the Master Money Monthly Budget Template

Let’s see a few examples:

On October 25, 2021, you buy $205 of groceries at Costco.

  • Date: October 25, 2021

  • Amount: $205

  • Income/ Expense: Expense (Spent Money)

  • Category: Needs (Expense- Needs/ Not wants-- This category decision is up to the user and what they define in each category)

  • Comments: Groceries at Costco (Any information to provide context)

  • Click the whale gif to submit the form!


On June 25, 2023, you get your paycheck of $2,000.

  • Date: June 25, 2023

  • Amount: $2,000

  • Income/ Expense: Income (Earned Money)

  • Category: Main Job (Income- Main Job, Interest, Others)

  • Comments: Paycheck of the week xxx (Any information to provide context)

  • Click the whale gif to submit the form!


Do you see the pattern? Pretty simple right?


Budget Goals and Categories

When you budget it is very important to understand your needs and how to cater your budget to your personal financial situation. On the main page, there is also a section to think about your goals and what you would like to work towards in your money management. Goals are important as they guide you in the right direction. However, when you write goals it is important to provide details. A great way to write goals is using the SMART method. Check out this pdf by the University of California. (https://www.ucop.edu/local-human-resources/_files/performance-appraisal/How%20to%20write%20SMART%20Goals%20v2.pdf).


Let’s look at an example: Pay off all debts. This is a great goal but being able to break this down and in time manageable options can help this seem more obtainable and create more motivation. Instead, the goal could say: Pay off all credit card debt in six months, school loans by two years, and all other debts in five years. This will be done by reducing spending from $500/month to $200/month.


The form allows you to add up to three goals, however, you are not limited to just three! Now that we have addressed the topic of goals, how can this help us with our budget? The great part about budgets is the ability to customize them to a user's needs. In the Master Money Budgets, they are organized by the following:


The categories included in the form tab of the Master Money Monthly Budget Template. This is in the form tab.

Income:

  • Main Job

  • Interests

  • Other

Expenses

  • Needs

  • Wants

DSI

  • Debt

  • Savings

  • Investing


Easy right? Master Money simplified these categories to make them simple to understand. Let’s look at these more in detail.


Income

  • Main Job: The ‘Main Job’ category is the primary source of income. This could be a 9-5 job or a self-employed job.

  • Interests: ‘Interests’ include any income from investments. Examples could be saving account interest or retirement and brokerage account gains.

  • Other: The ‘Other’ category pertains to any other income like side hustles, gifts, or income that does not fit in the other two categories.

Expenses

  • Needs: Expenses that are necessary to you can go into this category for some this may include housing (mortgage/ rent-- utilities, gas, water), transportation, insurance, or even food in cases.

  • Wants: On the contrary, any ‘fun money is spent on things like subscriptions, nights out, shopping, or gym memberships.

DSI stands for… well what you guessed. Debt, savings, and investing. The order is pretty important as I think it is best to pay off as much debt as you can (at least the minimum) then save for that emergency fund, and lastly, invest that money and watch the miracle of compound interest make that money grow. (This category is the most complex and is talked about in a separate article. Click here to read it!).

  • Debt: The best way to start improving your finances is to pay off those debts. The high-interest rates are tying you down. If you can not pay more than what is asked, at least pay the full balance of your credit card, mortgage/ rent, or other debt-related items.

  • Savings: Another small step to better finances is having a savings account. This should at least be three months of expenses but a good start is $5,000.

  • Investing: The rest of your money should be invested! Yes, there are lots of speculations on risky investments, but guess what? You can invest money with a little risk and ease using ETFs. (Check out this article for information on that!).


There you go now you understand the first tab of our Master Money Monthly Budget. This ‘Form’ tab creates an easy-to-use entry form making budgeting transactions easy. It is important to keep in mind your goals as the reason for a budget is to enable you to use your money and not restrict you. The easiest way to understand the ins and out of your money is by categories. Master Money has simplified the budget types by categorizing transactions simply while still being an effective tool in budgeting.


Thank you for joining the Master Money adventure for information on the Master Money Monthly and Yearly Budgets click here. For information on the next tab ‘Data” check it out here.


Remember

Master money so money cannot master you.