Budget calculator

Fewer things are more critical to your business’ financial future than an accurate and realistic budget. Sounds simple—and it can be—but effective budgeting can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Use this budget calculator to get a clear view of your organization’s financial outlook.

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What is a business budget?

There are different types of budgets depending on what kind of performance measure you want to examine. Here, we’ll define a budget as a projection of how much your company will spend versus how much revenue it will generate over a period of time. Depending on the results, you can then make more informed decisions when it comes to managing your cash flow, allocating money for expenses, and setting revenue targets.

How to manage your budget like a pro

Proper budgeting is key to financial success and your peace of mind. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Research the ins and outs of your industry. Is it seasonal in nature? What are the most substantial threats? How easily will your business be affected by changes in regulations and taxes?
  • Know the difference between reality and optimism. Both are great things when it comes to running a business, but a budget should be an accurate projection and not based on overzealous targets. You may even want to create “best-case” and “worst-case” budgets to give yourself a safety net.
  • It’s okay to keep your budget flexible. In fact, it’s good practice to re-visit your budget often and to make amendments based on actual results versus your projections.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date budget throughout the year will help prepare you for tax time. See how Wave’s accounting software can help you create robust and detailed reports—free.
  • You can use Wave to view a detailed breakdown of your business expenses based on the purchases you made.
  • Check out our other accounting tools that can help you calculate cash flow, budget, burn rate, and more!

How to use the budget calculator

To calculate your budget with this free tool, follow these instructions:

  1. Under "Monthly savings", enter the amount of money you have saved in an emergency fund, stored in investments, and set aside in a retirement savings account.
  2. Under "Monthly expenses", enter the amount of money you spend on regular expenses, including food, housing, and transportation.
  3. Under "Annual expenses", enter the amount of money you spend on annual payments, including home insurance, car insurance, and taxes.
  4. Under "Income", enter the amount of money you earn from monthly pay, tax returns, and other sources of income.
  5. See your results based on the information you've entered and gain a clear picture of whether you're currently over or under your budget.

Essential parts of a budget

There are 5 main elements you should consider when building your budget:

  1. Savings: This is the money you have set aside in savings accounts, rainy day funds, and investments.
  2. Fixed expenses: These are your regular expenses that cost you the same amount of money each month, including rent payments, insurance premiums, and internet bills.
  3. Variable expenses: These are regular expenses that may change in cost on a monthly basis, including car maintenance, groceries, and credit card payments.
  4. Discretionary expenses: These are expenses that are spent on leisure and entertainment, including going out to restaurants, buying tickets to concerts, and vacations.
  5. Income: This is money you earn from invoicing customers, getting paid from your full-time job, and other sources of income.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  1. asdas
  2. asdas
  3. asdasd
  4. asdas
  5. da
  6. asd
  7. asd
  8. asda
  9. asd
  10. asd

There are 5 main elements you should consider when building your budget:

  1. Savings: This is the money you have set aside in savings accounts, rainy day funds, and investments.
  2. Fixed expenses: These are your regular expenses that cost you the same amount of money each month, including rent payments, insurance premiums, and internet bills.
  3. Variable expenses: These are regular expenses that may change in cost on a monthly basis, including car maintenance, groceries, and credit card payments.
  4. Discretionary expenses: These are expenses that are spent on leisure and entertainment, including going out to restaurants, buying tickets to concerts, and vacations.
  5. Income: This is money you earn from invoicing customers, getting paid from your full-time job, and other sources of income.

Benefits of setting up a budget for your business

  • A budget can help you set up a rainy day account money in the event of an emergency 
  • A well-organized budget can help you impress lenders and attract potential investors
  • Know exactly how much money you have available each month to pay off debts
  • Use a budget to help you make financial decisions, like large purchases or investments
  • Know how much wiggle room you have for additional expenses each month

Budget calculator

FAQs

What should I include in my budget?

Your budget should include the following elements:

  • Estimated income: How much money you expect to make from your business
  • Fixed expenses: Consistent costs each month, including rent, insurance, and internet
  • Variable expenses: Costs that may change month-to-month, including groceries
  • Discretionary expenses: Costs you incur from leisure activities
  • Savings: Money you have set aside in savings and rainy day accounts

How do different types of businesses plan their budgets?

Depending on the type of business you run, you may have to set up your budget in a slightly different way in order to succeed in the long-term.

If your business is seasonal, the revenue you generate may not be consistent month-to-month. You may have less cash flow to work with during your slower months, which means you may need to reduce your variable and discretionary businesses to keep your business running smoothly. Predict when you might run into slower periods and adjust your budget accordingly.

If you run an online store, make sure to include shipping costs in your monthly budget. You can charge your customer shipping fees, but make sure you’re also including them in your budget so you know exactly how much you need to cover the costs. You should also include expenses related to website hosting and design to ensure you’re covering costs to maintain your website.

If you run a freelance graphic design or writing business, you should include costs for tools and software you use for day-to-day work. Also include any costs for buying and maintaining equipment you use for your work, such as printers and laptops.

What are some ways I can increase my budget?

When reviewing your budget, you should look closely at your fixed, variable, and discretionary expenses to see if there are ways you can bring those costs down. 

With fixed expenses like internet and phone bills, see if there are promos you can take advantage of with your current carrier, or shop around and see if other carriers offer the same service for a lower price.

With variable expenses like groceries, see if different stores offer discounts on certain products that you buy regularly each month. Keep your eye out on coupons and promos that can help you bring your monthly grocery bills down.

With discretionary expenses, you should set a specific budget each month for leisure activities, like going out to restaurants and other events. Be very disciplined about sticking to your leisure budget so that your monthly expenses don’t start to creep up.

What is an operating budget?

An operating budget breaks down the revenue and specific expenses your business is expected to incur over a given time period. This helps you ensure that your business is staying afloat. Creating an operating budget every month, quarter, and/or year can help you stay on top of your business finances and anticipate any ebbs and flows to your financial performance.

How do I track my expenses?

You can use a tool like Wave to track your ongoing business expenses. With Wave, you can connect your bank and credit card accounts to have your transactions recorded automatically. Your bookkeeping is generated in real-time, and you can see a detailed breakdown of business expenses that you’ve incurred based on your credit card and bank transactions. Learn more about Wave Accounting here.

How to manage your budget like a pro

Proper budgeting is key to financial success and your peace of mind. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Research the ins and outs of your industry. Is it seasonal in nature? What are the most substantial threats? How easily will your business be affected by changes in regulations and taxes?
  • Know the difference between reality and optimism. Both are great things when it comes to running a business, but a budget should be an accurate projection and not based on overzealous targets. You may even want to create “best-case” and “worst-case” budgets to give yourself a safety net.
  • It’s okay to keep your budget flexible. In fact, it’s good practice to re-visit your budget often and to make amendments based on actual results versus your projections.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date budget throughout the year will help prepare you for tax time. See how Wave’s accounting software can help you create robust and detailed reports—free.
  • You can use Wave to view a detailed breakdown of your business expenses based on the purchases you made.
  • Check out our other accounting tools that can help you calculate cash flow, budget, burn rate, and more!
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