Budget Calculator

 



Budgets Need Goals


A budget is a basic tool for managing God's money. The budget calculator produces expected income and expenses that summarizes the budget. Budgets need goals for the budget period, often one year ahead. Otherwise, the budget is random numbers. And goals need plans showing steps to do the goals.

A budget is a spending plan. It’s the best estimate of time, talents, money and resources to do budget goals in the period. Budgets free, they don’t constrain you. Without a budget, you stumble along, and advertisements dictate spending.

The budget starts with goals, then costs plans to do them. It examines gaps and opportunities during the budget period to seize or overcome.  

Budget Calculator


A budget calculator does the math for you with  two vital parts, income and expenses. The income section (jump to Incomes Form) calculates funds available to do agreed goals. That’s the upper spending limit. After you fix this, estimate expenses (Jump to Expenses Form). You can complete the budget computation exercise in more than one session. Click "Save Your Work" to create this file: expenses.mgm. After saving, click Restore Saved Work button below to view it. Save budget computation forms' results before clicking Create Worksheet.

Preparing the Budget


Budgeting is preparing the budget. We set goals and complete income and expenses forms before the period. After, we check how we are doing and change as needed. Budgeting is iterative and continuous. That's why we developed PEACE Budgetary Control.


PEACE Budgetary Control System


PEACE Diagram


PLAN for a specific period to do specific goals
ESTIMATE and record expenses needed to do these goals
ACT on the plan and record results as you progress to your goals
COMPARE actual spending with estimated expenses and progress doing your goals
EXECUTE needed changes to remain on course to do the goals


Budgeting is the Planning and Estimating phase of PEACE; the counting the cost before acting stage that Jesus mentions in Luke 14:28. After doing the budget, Act—do what you planned, Compare results against the plan and the budget, and then, Execute needed changes. Doing the budget without the control part of PEACE—Act; Compare action with budget; and Execute changes is useless

For more on PEACE Budgetary Control, refer to The New Managing God's Money-The Basics chapters 8-10.

Using Envelopes to Budget


Envelope budgeting puts cash from the expenses form in separate physical envelopes. So, you spend cash that’s in envelopes. The theory is, no cash, don’t spend. Use envelopes with or without a worksheet. When you use envelopes you lower spending.  Click the button below to track spending on each category on a manual worksheet. Or, click "Save to Spreadsheet File" button at the foot of the worksheet to transfer worksheet data to a spreadsheet.

Our envelope system involves these steps:
  1. Decide the total amount available to spend—the upper limit you should not exceed
  2. Decide amounts to spend on each category for the period, usually one month, using the budget calculator
  3. Create a worksheet
  4. Create envelope images showing amounts for each category on the worksheet
  5. Save budget amounts in the spreadsheet for editing and updating
  6. Save worksheet categories to a spreadsheet to track spending against budget
  7. Place cash for each category in an envelope labeled with the name of that category
  8. Spend only when funds are available in the specific envelope—no funds mean, no spending
  9. Refill each envelope to total its budget amount shown on the budget calculator form at the start of each month

Budget Calculator’s Income Section


GPSincome The income budget calculator sets the stage for your expense allocation; it sets the upper limit of proposed spending. As you complete the income and expenses budget calculators, use suitable frequencies for budget categories. If you get income weekly, enter amounts under the weekly section—the system calculates amounts for other columns automatically. If you entered 10 in the weekly column, it divides 10 by seven days and multiplies that result by 365 days to get 521 for the year. After, it divides 521 by 12 to get 43 for the month. This procedure applies to both income and expenses calculators.

Calculate and enter estimated income from all sources. Develop the mind-set all income goes to God's bank account. Your goal is to let Him guide amounts He keeps and amounts available to spend. That's why giving is the first deduction item, even before taxes. Since it's all God's, ask Him to tell you the amount to enter in this row.

Before completing other entries, review this Cost of debt Quarterly Letter, and the Capital Fund.

Budget Calculator’s Expenses Section


GPSexpenses

Complete the expenses calculator only after deciding the amount available to spend. To start, you won't know your spending pattern, so use your best estimates for items on the Budget Computation Expenses Form. What might be income and expenses? Tough question. Answer it with information available. Record spending over the next three to six months to learn your spending pattern; as needed, modify the budget (best estimates) on the spreadsheet file or on the expenses computation form. A spending fast will help during this challenging period.

As you prepare the budget, identify control units. Don't try to"manage" dollar amounts—money isn't manageable, it's the units behind money that's manageable—money drivers. Instead of $250 for clothing without identifying what's included, specify clothing items (units) you wish to buy, then cost each (price). Show the cost on the expenses form. Keep details of these calculations to help with your budget review—the "C" in PEACE. I repeat, the key control unit isn't dollars, but what's behind the dollars. For meals, decide how many times you will eat out monthly and use a cost for each; monitor the number of times you eat out and the budgeted prices. If you focus on dollars only, you won't deal with real control variables, which your behavior influences.

After you enter your expenses on the form, "Save Your Work," then click "Create Worksheet." The name of the file saved will be "expenses.mgm." You can open it only by clicking, "Restore Saved Work"—unlike other files, clicking on it won't open it. The worksheet form will give options to "Create Envelopes" for each category on the budget computation form, and save to "Spreadsheet File." More guidelines are on the worksheet form.

The Money Map


may25widemap The Money May is a key budget worksheet—a budget segment you travel with, not a complete budget. For a full budget, go to the Incomes Form.

Ever wanted budget segments when shopping? For instance, when at the mall to buy budgeted clothes, birthday and Christmas gifts, and bulk toiletries? Or, on vacation and wish to stay on budget for transport, food, shelter, and recreation? The Money Map is the answer. It gives you a separate worksheet (map) with budget expense categories to help you stay on track. Don't leave home without it. 

To activate the Money Map worksheet, enter values in the Budget Computation Expenses Form’s weekly section only. Ignore amounts for other periods. For the Money Map calculations only, don’t enter amounts in the Income Form. Going away for a week and plan to spend "gas" $100, "dining out" $350, "accommodation" $400, and "movies and shows" $50? Enter these amounts in the weekly section of the Expenses Form, then click "Create Money Map"  for the "Money Map Worksheet" screen. There, amounts appear under "Weekly Budget“; change  them as needed. 

The Money Map Worksheet doesn’t replace the budget. It represents selected budget items you want to isolate and track over a period shorter than the budget period. It’s a trip map.

Budget Calculator


You can move between the fields with the keyboard, using either Tab and Shift+Tab or using CTRL+arrow key.

Incomes Form

Goals for Period: 1.
2.
3.
Frequency of Expenses
BUDGET CATEGORIES Weekly Monthly Yearly Monthly
Budget
Salary and Other Income $ $ $  
Less Giving $ $ $  
Less Taxes $ $ $  
Less Savings $ $ $  
Less Capital Fund $ $ $  
TOTAL MONTHLY BUDGET AMOUNT (available to spend)  

Expenses Form

TOTAL MONTHLY BUDGET AMOUNT  
REMAINING AVAILABLE TO SPEND  
Frequency of Expenses
BUDGET CATEGORIES Weekly Monthly Yearly Monthly
Budget
Housing
Costs
Rent or Mortgage $ $ $  
Insurance $ $ $  
Repairs & Maintenance $ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
Groceries $ $ $  
Car
Expenses
Loan Repayment $ $ $  
Gasoline $ $ $  
Maintenance $ $ $  
Insurance $ $ $  
Entertainment
&
Recreation
Dining Out $ $ $  
Movies & Shows $ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
Gifts Christmas $ $ $  
Birthday $ $ $  
Anniversary $ $ $  
Other
Expenses
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
$ $ $  
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$ $ $  
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$ $ $  
BUDGET CATEGORIES Weekly Monthly Yearly Monthly
Budget
Frequency of Expenses
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES  
REMAINING AVAILABLE TO SPEND  
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