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It's about time that I took my family's finances seriously and built a budget. I'd rather not start from scratch, and am thinking, "surely, I can benefit from someone else's work?" - can someone please point me in the right direction? Need an easy-to-understand and easy-to-use spreadsheet-type tool.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Gail Vaz-Oxlade has a great interactive budget on her website, www.gailvazoxlade.com. If you watch Til Debt Do Us Part, this spreadsheet will automatically tell you how much to put in your "jars" each week in each category too! Good luck.

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maybe the site has changed since this answer was written, i don't see anything named "Til Debt Do Us Part" – Michael Mar 17 '15 at 20:05
    

ChristianPF has a an article with links to 10 free household budget spreadsheets that might be helpful.

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Here is an old version of the spreadsheet we use for our monthly budgeting. If I get an some time to clean it up our current one I'll try to post that, but this should get you started.

Budget Sheet

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There are some excellent sample budgets, but one thing you might want is advice for what relative amounts to budget for rent/housing, transportation, and lifestyle.

The answer to this question has guidelines for some of the above.

You may find that the Bureau of Labor Statistics website may offer some insight, including statistics on average expenses.

This page lists some average consumer expenses, which might help you develop a budget.

And here is an info-graphic depicting average consumer outlays.

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