Budget Calculator


1. Use the SCAN website online version of the calculator – Link here

2. Download the Excel file of the calculator to your device – Download link here

3. Use the online Google Sheets version of the calculator – Access link here

Online - Print Only - Cannot Save Data Download Excel File - Can Save Data Google Sheets Access
Budgets are used to assist and enable organisations to balance their income and expenditure. A surplus or profit is the target. At the household and individual level, a budget serves the same purpose. Estimating a surplus using a handheld calculator can be tedious and prone to error. A far more efficient way is to use a spreadsheet which retains a record of income and expenditure entries into each cell of the spreadsheet. A spreadsheet then does all the tedious work of calculations in the background.

At the household and individual level, there are well established principles of budgeting as follows:

1. Identify your costs (unavoidable at any scale), flexible costs (scalable), and discretionary costs (can do without).
2. Buy what you need and not what you want.
3. Identify the scale of what you need and do not buy more than what you need.
4. Buy quality durable goods which can be easily repaired.
5. Do not buy updates of goods which are currently perfectly OK for your needs.
6. Avoid debt.
7. If you have current debt, then be more frugal if possible and reduce your debt by budgeting accordingly and reduce that debt as soon as possible. The longer you delay reducing debt, the greater your interest payments. Consider selling items you do not need to help reduce debt.
8. Avoid hire purchases - buy second hand essentials instead.
9. Build up a contingency reserve.
10. Buy in bulk to reduce long-term expenditure.

The SCAN Budget Calculator includes a Purchase/Replacement Fund which is an essential component of any budget calculator. To not put aside a fund for replacement of items is to invite some unpleasant consequences in the future. It is prudent to put aside a fund for the purchase of essential items than to take on hire purchase which, with payments of interest, results in greater costs. Entering data into the Purchase/Replacement Fund group and comparing the percentage proportion of this group against total income is a reminder that we can be captives of and be limited by our possessions. The more stuff we own, the greater our insurance, maintenance, and replacement costs. We can become captive by our debt and also captive by the stuff which we accumulate and do not need. Many inheritances involve the burden of getting rid of stuff at the end of a loved one’s lifetime accumulation of stuff.

If you have a surplus after adopting the above principles of budgeting, then consider investing some of that surplus into further reducing your long-term carbon footprint. Examples include installing a solar hot water system, photovoltaic panels, additional insulation where warranted, and a heat pump. After doing that, consider donating part of your surplus to a community project which generates electricity using wind turbines. Focus should be on investing your surplus in ways which reduce your long-term carbon footprint and that of your community instead of squandering your surplus on consumption. Bear in mind that it is impossible for everyone to own an electric car. Consider sharing an electric car with others outside of your family or donating an electric car for community use. Ask yourself whether it is necessary to own more than one car per household. There are alternative modes of transport.

The primary purpose of production and consumption in any economy is the maintenance of wellbeing. If you have the ability to generate a high hourly rate of income, then consider reducing your potential surplus by reducing your work hours and hence your income. Life is much more than just working more to earn more to spend more. Unless you enjoy your work as much as a hobby, then seize your opportunity to increase your leisure time by working fewer hours.