Are you frustrated that you even need to document your expenses?
You are not alone.
First of all, no one enjoys creating budgets except for perhaps accountants.
Budgets are, however, the best way to get maximum distributions from your trust on a regular basis with the least back and forth negotiation.
Why? Trustees love documentation. It is part of the prudent procedure they must follow. So give them their documentation to get your distributions.
Invest about 3-5 hours into creating your first budget.
Then each year thereafter invest 1 hour updating it for changed circumstances.
That’s all you need!
So where to start?
Step 1: Go to our download section and click on Beneficiary Forum Budget (or simply click here)
Step 2: Print the budget (3 pages total).
Step 3: Using a pencil with eraser, fill in all the items that you know exact amounts for. Do this as quickly as possible. Under 45 minutes if you can. (e.g. Housecleaning $60×4=$240/mo = $2880/yr)
Step 4: Next, locate all the household bills you can and fill in exact amounts for the current month (e.g. Electric $298/mo = $3576/yr).
Step 5: Fill in any items that don’t apply with a zero (e.g. trash removal).
Step 6: Tape the budget to the wall above your desk and each time a bill comes in for the next thirty days, fill in the amount right away.
Step 7: For irregular payments (e.g. Veterinary) call your service provider to get the annual amount paid last year. Divide by 12 and enter monthly amount.
Step 8: Estimate smaller items (e.g. movies and theatre) and fill in.
Step 9: Count the number of blank expense entries. When you have less than 10 blank, you are done.Your goal is “COMPLETION NOT PERFECTION”
Step 10: Go back to the computer and fill in the boxes on the budget spreadsheet. The budget is in Excel so you may simply fill in, save and print or get another person to help you do this. Save your budget as [Your name 2008 Beneficiary Forum Budget] and email to your Trustee right away.
We have created a special letter you can use to accompany your budget which can be found in our Letter Library or simply click here.