A guide to budgeting: 4 ways to get started

Budgeting by values

Take charge of your money—and your life—with these budgeting tips and tools.

When it comes to budgeting, there are a few basics: Track your spending, know where your money goes, and don’t spend more than you earn. These fundamentals can boost your financial well-being and put you on a path toward reaching your goals—but going beyond these basics can help you accomplish so much more.

Take a deep dive into budgeting with this helpful guide

Want to wake up each day in a better mood and spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life? In the few minutes it takes to get through this guide, you can start to transform your relationship with money and how you feel about budgeting.

In this quick guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why a financial plan gives you freedom
  • How to set goals based on your values
  • Tips for becoming a saver overnight

Download Guide to budgeting (PDF) Download Guide to budgeting (PDF)

Ready to create a budget that fits your life? Start here

Before you put off budgeting, hear us out: You can get closer to achieving your goals in the time it takes to watch an episode of your favorite show. Download the budget spreadsheet below and make it your own. Want to spend more on electronics than eating out? Cool. Saving for your dream vacation or a down payment on your first home? Here’s how you make it happen—it’s easier than you think!

Download Super budget worksheet (XLSX) Download Super budget worksheet (XLSX)

When your spending aligns with your unique values, it can empower you and provide a greater sense of satisfaction in life. So make your budget even more powerful by personalizing it to your unique interests or passions—also known as values-based budgeting.

Check out this article for more insights on values-based budgeting and tips on figuring out what really matters to you:

Read more: How to spend money mindfully with values-based budgeting

Dealing with reduced—or no—income? This budget worksheet’s for you

When you have to manage living on less or no income, planning ahead can make a world of difference. Whether you hit a bump in your financial journey or are simply taking time off from work for personal reasons, this budget worksheet offers an adjusted template and tips to help your dollars go further until your income is flowing again.

Download Reduced-income budget worksheet (XLSX) Download Reduced-income budget worksheet (XLSX)

Dive deeper: How this budgeting tool can help you get by with less (or no) income

Starting out on your own? This budget worksheet is made for young adults

If you’re just starting to earn an income for the first time, the super budget worksheet may feel like too much for now. But you should still set a plan for your spending and saving so you can reach your future goals easier. This budget template is tailor-made for students or young adults.

Download Young adult budgeting worksheet (XLSX) Download Young adult budgeting worksheet (XLSX)

Spending and saving mindfully is a skill that’ll pay dividends throughout your life. And always remember, your budget is uniquely yours—it doesn’t have to be perfect on paper or look pretty. The best budget is one that works for you, gives you confidence, and helps you worry less.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.