Create a Budget that Works
4.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
78 students enrolled
Wishlisted Wishlist

Please confirm that you want to add Create a Budget that Works to your Wishlist.

Add to Wishlist

Create a Budget that Works

Learn how to make a personal budget a practical, approach in 5 easy steps using tools that are adaptable for life.
4.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
78 students enrolled
Created by Judy Lawrence
Last updated 4/2013
Current price: $12 Original price: $30 Discount: 60% off
4 days left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 29 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

Training 5 or more people?

Get your team access to Udemy's top 2,000 courses anytime, anywhere.

Try Udemy for Business
What Will I Learn?
  • Be aware of and prepared for the majority of budget busting “surprise” expenses that pop up year round – Plus have a plan for handling them.
  • Be on top of your gift and holiday expenses.
  • Understand and see clearly why your debt balance keeps growing, even though you are making good money.
  • Have a monthly spending plan that makes sense and finally works.
  • Have more mindfulness and mastery over your finances in general.
  • Learn where the spending leaks are and what you can do to stop them.
  • Have a sense of financial confidence and mastery.
View Curriculum
  • All materials will be provided, however, it would be helpful to have Adobe Reader and Microsoft Excel (any version from 3.0 up) installed on your computer to utilize the handy worksheets provided.
  • There is no specific knowledge requirement, however a willingness and determination to learn and do the work will make all the difference for success.

"Creating a Personal Budget: How to Make a Personal Budget" guides you through a five-step process, using transformative tools and concepts, for finally developing a spending plan that works for you and incorporates all those various financial puzzle pieces that make up your personal financial world.

This Creating a Personal Budget course will teach you how to budget by explaining and showing how all the pieces work together.

Based on the best-selling workbook, The Budget Kit: Common Cents Money Management Workbook (Kaplan Publishers), which has been selling in national bookstores for over thirty years, the tools and concepts are flexible and adaptable, making them tools you will use for a lifetime. You can use the tools as a stand-alone budgeting system or apply them to other software or online programs you’re currently using.

Even though you may have used variations of these budgeting tools with the many budgeting products available, there was probably still something missing.  This course provides the missing piece.

After going through this Creating a Personal Budget course, and learning how to make a personal budget, outline and work with a comprehensive and realistic budget/spending plan for the month, as well as the year, you will have a better understanding of why your other budgeting attempts were not working.

You will receive many valuable materials including "The Budget Kit 6th Ed." eBook, PDFs of the dozens of worksheets found in the workbook, along with an Excel Package of prime worksheets.

With nearly three hours of video by the author sharing her decades of experience with you and specific homework using the course materials, rest assured, this time you will have a lifelong system that works and will bring you mastery, confidence and financial peace of mind.

Here’s what some satisfied customers/clients said about Judy’s style and body of work:

“Just wanted to thank you for your time and assistance today. You were very helpful in resolving my problems. As we discussed, I have your budget software to be really great. I have tried several in the past. However, I found your software and book to be outstanding!!”  - Larry

“I continue to study (and love your Budget Kit. Thanks for holding my hand and getting me going.”  - Elfriede

“Working with Judy, and her Budget Kit book, has helped me bring order to my financial life on a monthly basis and to clarify my big-picture financial goals. Her supportive, practical coaching style guided me towards budgeting solutions and behaviors that fit my own core values and lifestyle, and has given me a greater sense of peace and personal success.”  - Jonathon

Take this Creating a Personal Budget course and learn how to make a personal budget.


Who is the target audience?
  • People of all ages, education, and experience can still benefit from the tools and concepts introduced in the course.
  • Whether you've tried budgets in the past or never started a budget.
  • Past audiences include: professionals, couples, Boomers, young families and twenty-somes.
Compare to Other Business Budgeting Courses
Curriculum For This Course
30 Lectures
Documents to Download Before You Begin
3 Lectures 00:18

To begin this course you are receiving a download of The Budget Kit 6thEd eBook. This workbook is loaded with numerous handy worksheets, all of which are included here as printable PDF worksheets.  Out of all the worksheets in the book, this course will focus on the core worksheets from Part Two, all of which make up the cornerstone of a solid budget

To download all of these materials you are seeing, be sure to click the down arrow icon on the far right below.

There will be a few more downloads before you actually begin the video course.

Please note the three headings at the top and remember to use the “Questions” and “Notes” throughout this course for your convenience.

Click on “Next Lecture” at the bottom of the screen to continue downloading the materials included with this course.

Document Downloads - The Budget Kit 6th Ed.eBook
229 pages

The Budget Kit workbook has been in continuous print and available in bookstores since the 1980s and recognized for the numerous powerful worksheets. Even though this course will focus on core budgeting worksheet tools from Part Two of The Budget Kit to create and maintain a comprehensive budget, be sure to take advantage of the many other worksheets available throughout the workbook, found in this full set of printable PDFs. 
Please note that the lecture numbers I refer to verbally in the video do not match the lecture number on your screen. Also, when there is a reference to a chapter number, this actually refers to the section numbers.  This change occurred after creating the videos so I thank you for your patience making these adjustments as you listen.
Download Documents - PDF Worksheets from The Budget Kit eBook
88 pages

Out of all the worksheets in The Budget Kit, this course focuses on the core worksheets from Part Two, all of which make up the cornerstone of a solid budget. There are three powerful worksheets that comprise the core concepts for creating a budget.  All three have been converted to Excel spreadsheets, looking exactly like the worksheets in the book, yet including all the powerful formulas and calculations for ease of immediate information feedback. 
The core three worksheets included here are the "Yearly and Monthly Budget Worksheets" (which includes two of the core worksheets being discussed) and the "Monthly Expense Record".  In addition, the "Debt Payoff Record" worksheet and the "Instructions for Budget Kit Excel" are included as additional helpful tools.
Document Downloads - Excel Package
STEP ONE Introduction and Gathering the Pieces
4 Lectures 17:03

This Section presents a short overview for learning how to create a budget that works.  To get started, a number of course materials have been included and introduced to insure the most success.   Downloadable course materials at the beginning of this course included a copy of The Budget Kit 6 Ed. eBook along with numerous printable PDF worksheets and a Budget Kit Excel Spreadsheet Package. 

Preview 03:40

Getting started with a budget can often be overwhelming without a roadmap for some specific directions. This lecture will guide you through some handy lists of various documents to pull together for a more thorough review of all sources of money coming in and money going out. Creating a budget will be more manageable when armed with this personal, more relevant information. 

Documents to Get Started Successfully

Before moving on to learning a new habit or way of doing something, if often helps to have a better understanding of how this subject or way of doing something, was or was not handled in the past. There is a quick review of what techniques or behaviors were used effectively and not so effectively in the past. 

What Worked and Didn’t Work Before

While discussing different forms of income, "Variable Income" is discussed briefly in this section. If your source or sources of income are not fixed and vary each month, this worksheet provides a graphical explanation of a supplemental tool that could be used. This two-page "Variable Income" worksheet is included in the set of PDF worksheets found in The Budget Kit. For your convenience, you can also download it here.
Preview 2 pages
STEP TWO Discovering the Missing Link
7 Lectures 53:44

The Course Worksheets Folder consists of all the different worksheets referred to in this Section 3.  All of these PDF documents are in the earlier PDF download containing all the worksheets in The Budget Kit workbook.
However, to expedite access to these specific worksheets, they are all listed here in a separate folder.

Before you continue with the videos, please take a moment to download these specific worksheets listed. Having these worksheets available, will be handy to review while listening to the videos. Plus they will then be available for your use at the end of each lecture when it’s time to do your “homework”.

The "Yearly Budget Worksheet" (Sample and Blank) is the core worksheet for this chapter while discussing periodic expenses.  The three additional worksheets provided here, offer tons of supplemental information that can be added to the "Yearly Budget Worksheet" for a thorough picture of periodic yearly expenses.
Documents for Section 3 - Course Worksheets Folder
1 page

This Section introduces the first of three hands-on activities for learning how to create a budget that works and discover the missing link that may have been missing with all previous attempts at budgeting. 

The goal of this course is to help you anticipate those unexpected periodic and surprise bills throughout the year, know how to plan out each month in advance and learn where all your money is going, so you can achieve a greater sense of financial peace of mind. 

Preview 05:06

The "Yearly Budget Worksheet", is introduced and explained as a concept, as well as a tool.  With this tool and through this course, the missing link of periodic expenses is discussed.  Homework is given to stay actively involved in the process of identifying all the periodic expenses that derail the household budget. The homework will involve creating a plan for being proactive rather than reactive when "surprise expenses pop up.  

Getting started –Uncovering those Periodic Surprise Expenses

As the "Yearly Budget Worksheet" homework is being completed and the concept discussed, there are additional supportive documents, or worksheets introduced. These additional documents are designed to trigger a thorough review of the potential household expenses. Included are expenses for transportation, home, health, children, activities, pets, gifts and much more to include while developing a thorough, workable budget.
If you haven't already done so, please download the worksheets from Lecture 8 "Documents for Section 3 - Course Worksheets Folder" for valuable tools to gather more comprehensive information regarding your true household and personal expenses.
Managing Hidden Lifestyle and Holiday Surprise Expenses

Continuing with the missing link concept and the "Yearly Budget Worksheet" tool, another huge area of overlooked expenses while planning a budget is discussed in this lecture. Homework is assigned to help get a better handle personally on these expenses and be more prepared and proactive about handling these expenses as they come up throughout the year. 

Most Overlooked Expense of the Missing Link

Finally really see and understand why so many household budgets are often running short each month, have so little to show for all the good money coming in, and why the debt never seems to go down each year.  Finally be able to put your finger on just what has been missing with previous planning and why you can’t seem to get a complete handle on the budget. 

With this new information, learn how to create a proactive plan for anticipating those periodic budget busters from the past, and master finances in general. 

Master your Finances while Conquering the Missing Link

Read what others have to say after finally understanding and fully utilizing the "Yearly Budget Worksheet" tool and gaining a true sense of mastery over their "surprise" expenses.
Preview 5 pages
STEP THREE Create a Monthly Spending Plan that Works for You
7 Lectures 57:26
This section focuses on creating a monthly budget and utilizes the "Monthly Budget Worksheet" tool from The Budget Kit workbook.  The printable PDF worksheet downloads, provided with this course, include a separate worksheet for every month of the year.  
There is also a corresponding "Budget Kit in Excel Spreadsheet" download as part of this course that looks exactly like the print version, but includes all the formulas for calculations.  In the Excel version, there are separate monthly tabs at the bottom for every month of the year.

Documents for Section 4 - Course Worksheets Folder
1 page

This lecture introduces the second of three hands-on activities for learning how to create a budget that works. The  focus is on developing a well planned, realistic monthly budget that is going to allow you to “spend without guilt and save with more ease”. 

The "Monthly Budget Worksheet" tool, and especially the concept of the tool, will be used during this chapter to foster a better understanding of monthly budgets.  This tool and concept also provides a flexible template for creating budgets that can be adapted, maintained and used for a lifetime, regardless of what software, app or personal system used. 

Overview for Creating a Monthly Spending Plan

Learn how to outline and anticipate a very practical and thorough monthly budget for each upcoming month and avoid those potential monthly shortfalls and crises situations  The "Monthly Budget Worksheet" tool will be used to streamline the whole bill-paying and budget planning process, starting with the known fixed expenses. "Pay yourself first" is a key concept while discussing fixed expenses and savings.  

Managing Your Income and Fixed Expenses More Mindfully

Find out what most budgets are missing. Learn how to outline a practical monthly budget plan that includes all those variables and often forgotten incidental expenses in a way that makes sense and provides more value. Learn how to incorporate all the periodic expenses from Section 3, credit card payments, along with all the rest of the monthly expenses, and still be able to pull it all together in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand.  

The Forgotten Monthly Expenses

Once all the pieces are pulled together and a clear monthly budget is outlined for the upcoming month, learn how to handle those months that could potentially run short, so you still stay in control. For those potential months that could end up way in the black, explore different ways to use that extra money more effectively.

This will be the time for reviewing spending style, habits and attitudes. Find out how you finally can start to spend money without guilt and save money with more ease. 

Don't be surprised if those impulsive budget-busting splurges and urges start to fade away.  

Now What? Putting All the Information Together

This process of managing the bills and expenses around the income and available money seems to be one of the more challenging issues in most  households. 

The "Monthly Budget Worksheet" not only provides a tool for outlining a practical monthly budget, it also provides a planning guide for coordinating the timing of income with the due dates of bills and approximate times of expenses. This lecture reviews how to be proactive versus reactive. Learn how to be prepared ahead of time step by step to know just how much money will likely be available at different times of the month to cover the various expenses at different times.

Timing and Planning Is Everything

Read how others transformed their lives once they started using the "Monthly Budget Worksheet".  Learn how they mastered the way they handled all their monthly expenses. 
How Others Created Successful Monthly Spending Plans
5 pages
STEP FOUR Tracking the Spending Leaks
6 Lectures 44:04
Now it's time to address the concept of tracking expenses and identifying those spending leaks. Tracking the spending leaks will go more quickly and efficiently when using the "Monthly Expense Record" manually with the printable PDF worksheets or electronically with the Excel version of this worksheet. These worksheets are one of the core set of worksheets from The Budget Kit workbook for creating a workable budget. 
There are twelve two-page sets of printable worksheets to cover all expenses and income for every single month.  The Excel version is designed to look exactly like the print form to keep the transition smooth and convenient. The monthly tabs along the bottom of the Excel worksheet provide new worksheets for recording daily expenses every month.
The most powerful tab on the bottom right for the Excel version of the "Monthly Expense Record" worksheet is the "Yearly Summary". Watch the impact of every daily entry as it changes the total yearly picture. This awareness alone has changed the spending behaviors of many households. 
Documents for Section 5 - Course Worksheets Folder
2 pages

This section introduces the third and last hands-on activity for learning how to create a budget that works.  The  focus is on finding the spending leaks. The "Monthly Expense Record" tool and concept will be used during the lectures in this section to foster a better system and mindset for tracking daily expenses during the month. This tool and concept also provides an adaptable template for modifying other software, apps or personal systems currently being used for tracking expenses. 
Preview 06:42

Finding the spending leaks becomes a lot easier when introduced to the “Monthly Expense Record” concept and tool.  Since there are many sections to this worksheet, each section is pointed out and explained. Of all the worksheets in The Budget Kit, this particular worksheet has been the favorite for over three decades. Many readers love the simplified, practical categories that reflect most of their spending. 

Various common questions and concerns are addressed like “How long will this take?” “What’s the easiest way to capture all this information?” “Why can’t I just keep this in my head?” “What do I do with all those receipts?” and more. 

Successful Tracking Techniques

Find out about the connection between these famous people and the concept of tracking daily spending. Learn why the multi-sensory approach to tracking expenses plays such a significant part in changing your behavior around money.  

What Bill Gates, Beatles, & Ben Franklin Have in Common with Tracking

This final discussion of the fourth step (tracking your spending leaks) reviews and compares Section 4 and Section 5. 

Section 4 explained the concept of projecting the upcoming anticipated monthly budget using the "Monthly Budget Worksheet". The monthly budget plan was basically a forecast based on estimates and ideas of potential expenses.

Section 5 focuses on the actual expenses that were recorded for the month. Both of these activities and tools are compared and explained. 

At the end, there is a review of the budgeting process with a reminder to relax and accept this as a gradual process. Most importantly, you are being encouraged to review the overall spending and notice if the spending is in alignment with your overall priorities, values and goals. 

Notice if Spending is in Alignment with Your Priorities

Learn what others had to say once they started tracking their expenses regularly. 
Notice how the common theme continues to be "Once I started tracking my spending, I found I was spending less, saving more, yet my overall lifestyle surprisingly stayed the same!"

As Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, says "You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure…”

What Others Discovered by Tracking Their Expenses
5 pages
STEP FIVE Financial Wrap Up - Review, Compare and Adjust
3 Lectures 12:32

Remember to JUST START and take that first step for creating a budget that works. Go beyond good intentions and take action. Make the decision to take time and utilize all the valuable, powerful tools and concepts introduced in this course. 

Decide to follow through and take that critical first step. You'll be so glad you did. 

Summary – Taking That First Step

This final Step 5 reviews the entire program and all the four previous steps. You are encouraged to take the time to  review your planning, spending and information at the end of every month. As you review this information notice what you discover about yourself, your mindset, your spending habits and your overall household/personal financial status. 

May you leave this course with a sense of NEW HOPE, CONFIDENCE, and DETERMINATION to make the changes you truly want and deserve in your life.

Five Step Review – Conclusion

If you are the type who functions better with some one-on-one communication and personal accountability, as you embark on a new project, I would love to be your "Sherpa" on this financial trek, and coach you through the process. 
Please call or email me. Judy 505-554-2638 or 
Special Coaching Package for UDEMY Students
3 pages
About the Instructor
Judy Lawrence
4.0 Average rating
1 Review
78 Students
1 Course
Financial Counselor and Coach

Judy is a professional Financial Counselor, Budget Coach and the founder of She is the author of The Budget Kit: Common Cents Money Management Workbook 6th Ed (Kaplan Publishers -Over 425,000 copies in print). The Budget Kit is a perennial bestseller for Kaplan Publishing (previously Dearborn Publishers) for over 15 years and other publishers before that.

This time-tested workbook is now in its fourth decade serving generations. When Judy originally self published “Common Cent$” she was ahead of her time with her pioneering concepts for creating a basic, complete and understandable budgeting system in layman’s terms along with visual hands-on worksheets for quick understanding.

Judy has appeared on numerous national networks including CNBC, Style Network,USA Radio Network, Business Talk Radio,and featured online and in print for decades.  

Ms. Lawrence’s Master’s degree in Counseling enhances her financial counseling skills.Her down-to-earth style of books, coaching, and workshops continue to help thousands of couples, individuals and solopreneurs get out of debt, gain financial control and have more financial peace of mind.

Customers, clients and workshop participants appreciate her encouraging, supportive, and easy-to understand approach for breaking through old financial beliefs, patterns and barriers around money issues.

After spending ten years in the Silicon Valley Bay Area in CA, Judy recently moved back to Albuquerque, NM and offers financial counseling/coaching nation-wide by phone.  Locally she offers in-home visits for financial counseling and presents public budgeting workshops. Other services include developing and providing financial training for recipient families involved with Habitat for Humanity in Albuquerque, NM and budget consultation for divorcing couples as a member of the Albuquerque Collaborative Divorce Alternatives Group.

Judy also enjoys being active with the TEDxABQ community and traveling to New Zealand to visit her “Kiwi family”.