Personal Budgeting

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A penny saved is a penny twice earned. ~Somebody Smart

What is this doc for?

I created this to help participants of come up with a budgeting plan. It’s based on the plan I used to follow when I was trying to build savings. Each person’s situation is different, so think of this doc as a source of ideas. You need to come up with something that works for you and those you are responsible for, and that might be different than what worked for me. I put instructions for how to get started below.


do NOT put account numbers, social security numbers, or anything sensitive like that into this doc.
You are responsible for your finances. By reading or using this document, you agree you must independently verify everything and I’m not responsible for any decisions you make or resulting losses.

How does it work?

There are a few pages that provide different educational material and tools for your use.
provides a list of categories for you to divide your income into and explanations for each
gives you the ability to customize how much of your income goes to each category
provides a list of steps you can take to implement a savings plan
has tips for how to start investing your hard-earned money once you have enough saved
has links to other resources you can use to further your knowledge.

How do I get started?

If you want to put your own numbers in, make a copy of this doc for yourself:
Nobody can see your copy besides you (unless you share it).
Go to the page and familiarize yourself with the categories.
This is the essence of the whole budgeting system. If you read nothing else, read this page.
How you choose to budget things is up to you; you’ll need to adapt this to your situation (although some calculations in the might break if you change anything besides the numbers ).
Create a bank account for each of the . (see my notes on free bank accounts below)
@Necessary expenses
@Optional/fun expenses
@Long-term savings/investments
Go to the page and answer the questions. This is how you configure your budgeting plan.
Every month, you can follow the steps on the page.
If you want, you can customize this doc or follow tips on the to start investing your savings.

How can I find this doc again?

Your version:

Can I share this doc?

Yes! All I ask is that you provide credit to me as the original creator, don’t say I endorse your copy or changes, and provide a link back to the the “original” (link above). If you find this useful, I’d also love to hear from you. You can send me an email via .

What if I have a problem or suggestion?

I’d be happy to help. You can send me an email via .

What are some good banks to open an account at?

First of all, try to go with a bank that won’t charge you monthly fees. Secondly, make sure they won’t charge you for things you do often (like pay bills). Make sure to confirm the info, as it can get out of date.
no monthly fees if your total balances (including all accounts) are $5,000 or more
they’re good because they have lots of branches, good customer service, and a great website/app
once you get above $15,000 in combined balances, you also get free checks, rebates of non-Chase ATM fees, a free safety deposit box, and other perks
Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and other banks have similar programs with different requirements/perks
no monthly fees (with no minimum balance)
they’re online-only, but they a decent website (not as good as Chase’s)
Charles Schwab
no monthly fees (with no minimum balance)
they’re good if you travel internationally or want to use any ATM without paying fees
their website isn’t great for banking
no monthly fees (with no minimum balance)
they’re good if you like banking with a local credit union

There are lots of good banks and credit unions. These are just a few options, but you can find many more online or by asking friends.

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