1: Calculate Your Income
Calculate your total income from all sources (See Helpful Hint #1 & #2)
Income Source #1
Income Source #2
Income Source #3
Income Source #4
2. Calculate your xed expenses
These are items where the amounts typically remain the same
and aren’t easily changed
Property Taxes/Rental Insurance
Child Care Expenses
Total Fixed Expenses
3. Budget Your Variable Expenses Based on Your Priorities
Depending on what you identify as your nancial priorities, you may
choose to complete that section rst to ensure it is top priority:
a. Do you want to pay off debt quickly? (Helpful Hint #3)
Vehicle Loan Payment
Credit Card Payment
Personal Loan Payment
Total Debt Payments
b. Are you looking to increase your savings? (Helpful Hint #4)
Emergency Fund Contribution
Total Contribution to Savings
c. Are you trying to determine your budget for variable expenses?
(Helpful Hint #5 & #6)
Phone & Internet
Groceries & Food
Total Variable Expenses
4. Calculate the difference
Balance (total income - total expenses)
If your balance is negative- revisit to your priorities in Step 3 and see
where you can decrease your expenses. If not, is there any way to increase
If your balance is positive- return to your priorities in Step 3 and allocate.
This means you may be able to repay a loan even quicker or bump up your
5. Zero Balance
Congratulations! When you reach a zero balance all your earnings are
accounted for. Knowing exactly where your hard earned money is going will
allow you to make even better nancial choices!
6. Monitor & Adjust (see helpful hint #7)
Make sure to continually monitor your budget to ensure it is working for
you and adjust as required.
Zero Based Budget Template
#1 Make sure you use the same timeframe throughout the spreadsheet. Is it
easier to make a bi-weekly budget because that’s how often you get paid?
If so, make sure to calculate the bi-weekly equivalent for expenses that are
paid monthly or for a different period of time.
#2 Budgeting when you have irregular income is a little more difcult but
even more important. Consider using the lowest amount of income you
usually make, so you budget to spend no more than your income during
your lowest-earning months. That means in months you earn more, you’ll
have extra money to spend on fun things, put in your savings or use to pay
#3 There are many different approaches to paying off debt. You can choose to
tackle the highest interest rate loan rst, ensuring that you pay the minimum
amount of interest possible or you may choose to tackle the smallest loan
rst-gaining momentum and condence to tackle the larger ones. Do what
works best for you!
#4 Consider opening a separate savings account for each savings goal. Having
a separate place to collect funds towards your goal will keep that money
separate from your day to day spending and give you a sense of
accomplishment as you see your savings grow!
#5 If debt repayment and building your savings are important to you, consider
budgeting for those priorities rst and then skipping to Step 4 to determine
what remains for the variable expenses. However, a budget is only useful if
it’s realistic so it’s important to budget for leisure activities too!
#6 Take a look at bank statements and/or receipts (if you mostly use cash) for the
past 3 months to determine how much you usually spend for each expense
#7 Your nancial institution is here to help you- reach out if you need assistance
or nancial advice!