1. I am graduating college in May and I have started budgeting in 2016 so I am prepared for when I have a real job and significant income coming in. I have been browsing through this series and it is seriously so helpful! Thank you for sharing your experiences and your candid advice!

  2. So I would like you to know that I started using this method at the beginning of this year (2014) and love it. It’s the first time I’ve ever created or tried to follow a budget and it works so well for me. Two years after you posted this I’m still coming back to it whenever I have a question or want to show a friend. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  3. Could you send me a budget worksheet? I use pages for Mac to make our budget now but I think sometimes the way I laid it out makes it confusing. I would like to see your example in actual Pages.

  4. Great post Molly. Budgeting is so important and it gets extra complex if all the family are involved. I love the use of screenshots which have given me some great ideas for my blog. One of the keys to budgeting is not just to do the budget in the first place, but to commit to it and follow it through month by month. If you had budgetary responsibility at work you would do that because you have a boss breathing down your next… why don’t we do the same with our own personal finances?

  5. Molly, seriously how helpfull!?!!
    I’m getting married next month and we’d like to start our budget planning right from the start!
    i was stressed about it but now it seems a little easier than i thought, so could I please get one spreadsheet too??

    thank you soooo much!!

  6. If it’s not too late, I would love a copy of the pre-formatted excel sheet you use for budgeting. Thank you!

  7. I must admit this is the best post I’ve seen on budget management. This is very thorough and totally helpful. I can now make some changes on my own spreadsheet based on your budget sheet. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  8. I love these budget post you’re doing. I think they really apply in the style blogging world, it’s great to hear that new clothes are NOT a need but a want and only if they fit into the budget. We have a pretty tight budget, I don’t use a spread sheet, but I do much the same thing you do. Figure in your take home pay, subtract your rent/mortgage, bills, gas groceries, put money monthly in retirement fund and a emergency fund (since it’s pretty much a given that a car will break down sometime during the cold winter.) and then money is set aside for a little fun budget for everyone. My clothes budget comes from what ever I make from lessons(minus the gas money) and free lancing. (yikes, all I did was talk about me and this is your post!)
    I think you did a really great job breaking this down and making a budget not sound overwhelming. It always surprises me how many people don’t use budgets so this is a really great resource for me to point people towards
    thank you by the way for your comment on my post the other day, you brought up another point I hadn’t touched on and you were so correct on it. thank you for taking the time to write it out, you are such a doll and I always enjoy getting to come to your blog. You have such a well-rounded blog, it really is a delight to read and you are just the sweetest person. 🙂

    1. thank you so much, katie! keeping track, i’ve found, is the most important thing! and thank you so much for your sweet comments, katie. seriously. your encouragement means so much!

  9. I’m an excel sheet nut too : ) I’m actually really good with money, but I feel like excel & constantly making new financial goals helps me stay on track.

  10. I love this! I’m not a numbers person, either, but budgeting is kind of fun to me (dorky! I know!). My husband and I use Excel, too. It’s so, so easy. We store it in Google Docs so we can both access it. And! I found an awesome budgeting tool for my phone. It’s called EEBA (Electronic Envelope Budgeting … something that starts with an A), and it has REALLY helped keep track of where our money is going. That way, I can record expenses on the go and log them on our spreadsheet later. It’s awesome!

  11. Molly- thanks so much for sharing this. I have been really wanting to give the excel budget thing a try so this post is SUPER helpful. I think I might try to get this all set up this weekend and give it a try for Sept. Thanks for sharing!


  12. Love that you took a topic your readers seemed interested in and turned it into a series (with a fun graphic as well!) I’ve always used Excel or just a plain old piece of paper do make a similar list and it’s always worked for me.

  13. Thank you SO much for this, Molly! I’ve been trying to figure out a sane way to keep track of my expenses and earning since I started my job, and nothing has really feel doable (I’m terrible at math as well!). I can’t wait to try out your strategy.

    The Glossy Life

  14. i halfway to this. i have a spreadsheet that totals up all of our bills (the inflexible ones), so we know what we can spend on everything else. the tough part is our bank is based in cali, and we’re in va, so we don’t really use cash that much (i just can not ever be ok with $5 atm fees!) and i think that would go a long way in helping with budgeting. i’ll have to see what banks here offer free checking and that can be our grocery/household account. our bank (union bank) is just way to awesome to give up!

      1. somehow it just hurts more to spend cash. i feel that will help stop me from buying all those little things at kroger during the ten-for-ten specials.

    1. absolutely, lisa! shoot me an email – mollystillman at gmail dot com <3 (by the way i just updated the post with larger screen captures so hopefully you can see the slides a little easier! :))

  15. Wow Molly, that’s very thorough! Great post. One of the best things that anyone can do is track their spending (ALL OF IT)…like you said…every penny needs to be accounted for. It’s such an eye opener!

    It’s the little leaks that will sink a ship!

    Maybe it would be helpful for your readers to see a slightly larger images when they click on the screen captures..a little hard to read!

    Great inspiration as always!!

    Margaret @ Live Like No One Else

  16. Being a finance major you think I would be better about sticking to a budget, but I’m so awful at it. I’ve been thinking that hubs and I really need to start being strick about the budget again. This was a great how to!!


    1. hahah i totally understand – i don’t think you’re the only one! i’m glad it helped! (by the way i just updated the post with larger screen captures so hopefully you can see the slides a little easier! 🙂 )

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