Learn How to Budget

Want less stress? Follow these four easy steps to take control of your money.



Step 1

Step 1: Write Down Your Total Income

This is your total take-home (after tax) pay for both you and, if you’re married, your spouse. Don’t forget to include everything—full-time jobs, second jobs, freelance pay, Social Security checks, and any other ongoing source of income.


Step 2

Step 2: List Your Expenses

Think about your regular bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) and your irregular bills (quarterly payments like insurance or HOA) that are due for the upcoming month. After that, total your other costs, like groceries, gas, subscriptions, entertainment and clothing. Every dollar you spend should be accounted for.


Step 3

Step 3: Subtract Expenses From Income to Equal Zero.

We call this a zero-based or EveryDollar budget, meaning your income minus your expenses should equal zero. When you do that, you know that every dollar you make has a place in your budget. If you’re over or under, check your math or simply return to the previous step and try again.


Step 4

Step 4: Track Your Spending

Once you create your budget, track your spending. It’s the only way you will know if your spending is aligning with your plan. EveryDollar makes tracking your expenses (and budgeting for them) extremely easy. Visit EveryDollar.com to learn more!



Tools You Need to Get Started

Whether you want to create your budget online or on paper, we've got you covered!

EveryDollar Product Image

EveryDollar Budget

Create a budget and track spending in minutes from your computer and phone with EveryDollar, Dave’s free budget app. EveryDollar takes care of the math—no calculators, spreadsheets or pen and paper needed!

Start My Budget (It's Free!)
  • Budget Forms

    Budget Forms

    Dave Ramsey’s budgeting forms (Quick Start Budget, Monthly Cash Flow Plan, Irregular Income Budget) from Financial Peace University help you get started with budgeting on paper.
  • Envelope Systems

    Envelope Systems

    Prefer to budget with cash? The envelope system is a great solution for those wanting to curb spending in some key budget areas such as groceries, restaurants and shopping.

From the Blog

Budget More, Worry Less

Want less stress? Take control of your budget and your life.

After just 3 months of budgeting, 84% of people say they feel more in control of their money.

How to Budget Using Simple, Zero-Based Budgeting

Don’t expect your budget to run smoothly the first month or two. It usually takes a few months to get a good feel on where all your money is going. Give it a little time, and be patient!

Step 1

Write down your total income.

This is your total take-home (after tax) pay for both you and, if you’re married, your spouse. Don’t forget to include everything—full-time jobs, second jobs, freelance pay, Social Security checks, royalties from your chihuahua’s acting gig, and any other ongoing source of income."

Step 2

List all your expenses.

Think about your regular bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) and your irregular bills (quarterly payments like insurance or HOA) that are due for the upcoming month. After that, total your other costs, like food, gas, food, entertainment, food, and anything else that comes to mind (like food). Every dollar you spend should be accounted for."

Step 3

Subtract expenses from income to equal zero.

This is called a zero-based budget, meaning your income minus your expenses should equal zero. If you’re over or under, check your math or simply return to the previous step and try again."

Step 4

Track your expenses throughout the month.

Once you start the budget, you'll still need to stay on top of your expenses. The good news is that EveryDollar makes tracking your expenses (and budgeting for them) extremely easy. Visit EveryDollar.com to learn more!

We Can Help!

Whether you want to create your budget on paper or create it online, we’ve got you covered!

Quick Start Budget Form Preview

Quick-Start Budget

Download Form

Once you’ve completed the Quick-Start Budget, choose one of the following to track your expenses each month:

  • Monthly Cash Flow Plan Now it’s time to get more detailed. Use this budget form to list every single one of your monthly expenses. Be as thorough as possible!
  • Irregular Income Budget If you’re self-employed or work on a commission, then this budget form is for you!

Not a fan of budgeting on paper? EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey’s new online budgeting tool. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to give every dollar in your budget a name!

Stuff You'll Love

  • Add and split transactions in a jiffy.
  • Personalize your budget to meet your needs.
  • Drag and drop transactions into your budget.
  • Track progress through Dave's Baby Steps.
  • Create funds for personal saving.

Our envelope system is the easiest way to keep track of your cash! If you want to stay on budget and take control of overspending, the envelope system is perfect for you!

From the Blog