Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget

By glblguy

Gazelles in Kenya
Photo by: Paul Mannix

One of the key things you can do to save money is create and follow a budget. I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say many times that when you start following a budget, it’s like getting a raise. I’ve found that to be very true. When you start tracking and pruning your expenses, you find money that you were previously just blowing.

One of the many reasons people don’t budget is because they think budgeting is too complicated. It really isn’t, but I can fully understand why people think this. I struggled with maintaining a monthly budget for most of my life.

Gazelle Budget Lite

Dave Ramsey and his team of folks over at Lampo Group recently announced a slick little online tool called Gazelle Budget Lite. Literally it allows you to create a budget in about 60 seconds.

To use the tool, visit the web address for Gazelle Budget Lite. You then optionally type in the name for the budget, enter your income for that month and presto, you have a budget. What the tool does is use Dave Ramsey’s percentage guidelines and categories and automatically allocates your income to the categories based on Dave’s recommended percentages. The categories and percentages are:

  • Charity – 10-15%
  • Saving – 5 – 10%
  • Housing – 25-35%
  • Utilities – 5 – 10%
  • Food – 5 – 15%
  • Transportation – 10-15%
  • Clothing – 2 – 7%
  • Medical/Health – 5-10%
  • Personal – 5 – 10%
  • Recreation – 5 – 10%
  • Debts – 5 – 10%


If you want to adjust the numbers, there are slider bars on each category that allow you to raise or lower the recommended amounts. Once your remaining amount is $0, you print your budget and you’re done. Dave uses a zero based budget concept where every income dollar gets a name and is “spent”.

I created a sample budget using a $3000.00 monthly budget, here is a screen shot of the result:

Sample Budget in Gazelle Budget

Getting more sophisticated

Gazelle Budget Lite is a simple and very quick way to create a budget. Being a lite version though it doesn’t have anyway to enter or track your expenses. Gazelle Budget Light is a teaser to Dave’s full blown online budgeting software Gazelle Budget package on MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com.

I’ve been using You Need A Budget and while a little different, it is right in line with Dave’s process for managing your budget. I’m working on a review of it and we’re using it to manage our budget right now, and it’s working great.

If you’ve been wanting to create a budget but haven’t for some reason, head on over to Gazelle Budget Lite and spend 60 seconds to create a budget. Doing so is easy and it will significantly pay you pack for the time spent.

Do you use any of Dave’s other tools as part of his MyTotalMoneyMakeover program? Any tips or suggestions for those wanting to create a budget? Add a comment!


20 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget”

  1. Sean Says:

    Just tried it out. Looks like a great tool for those just getting started. To be honest, budgeting was the one area that we struggled with the longest. It took us a while to figure out that it had to be flexible; we literally tried and failed for years. It was seldom that a budget lasted past the first month!

    Although we now use a spreadsheet (as was the majority in your poll if I remember), I can see where programs such as these could be a great tool.

  2. Laura Says:

    What a great tool! It’s not perfect, but it’ll help many budget-phobics. :)

  3. justin Says:

    That’s some cheap utilities you got there.

  4. Lynnae @ beingfrugal.net Says:

    Thanks for mentioning this. I’m still having trouble with our budget. I’m tracking our spending, but actually living by the numbers is killing me. Maybe this would be a good place to start.

  5. Randall at CreditWithdrawal Says:

    Very cool. The only problem is I have Gazelle Money. It runs away from me faster than I can keep up with it!! :)

    Budgeting goodness.

  6. m_s Says:

    Hey, thanks. I’m really looking forward to your review of YNAB!

  7. Ron@TheWisdomJournal Says:

    No miscellaneous category? I gotta have my miscellaneous!

  8. glblguy Says:

    @Justin – Not mine, just what the software defaulted to. All the numbers are defaults. I just put in the 3000.00 income (made up number, not my real income).

    @Ron – Misc implies un-planned expenses…that’s a no no in Dave’s world.

    I might try out the 30-day trial of the real version and write-up a review.

  9. Lynnae @ Being Frugal.net Says:

    Oy. I tried it, and as usual our housing number was less than our rent. PNW expensive housing prices get me every time!

    My budget needs a lot of tweaking.

  10. 2million net worth goal Says:

    Nice — that is pretty handy. My take home pay is around $3k/mo and this is a good rule of thumb although housing seems low unless you don’t have a family.

  11. Ben Says:

    Thanks for the kind review! I’ll pass it along to the guys who built it.

  12. Lisa Says:

    I’m going to file this one. It looks like a great suggestion. I’ve been using my own excel spreadsheet, which is working really well for me, however, I am always open to improvement.

    Once I get my blog converted over to dreamhost/wordpress (thanks for that suggestion, too, by the way!) I’ll have some time. I’ll give you some feedback then.

    Lisa

  13. mattW Says:

    Hi GLBL, I’ve just found your site recently and I’m finding it really helpful. I found your careful reflection on the scriptures really refreshing and inspiring for me to work on my finances, my wife and I are both students so its pretty important to watch our cash flow.

    I’ve just started using YNAB and it has taken some tweaking seeing as I haven’t got a buffer saved and have a small credit card debt. I was originally counting my (only)credit card balance as a negative account in the register so the whole thing came out of my total income but now I am just keeping track of it separately and budgeting payments. I am debating my priorities on whether I should pay off my credit card as soon as possible and then save up the buffer so I can do the budget properly or getting a buffer first so I can be more frugal in my efforts to pay off the credit card. My credit card bill is about $800 and I’m trying to get a buffer of around $2200 which do you think I should do first? (this is my first budget).

  14. justin Says:

    @mattw: I would pay off that CC ASAP and then throw the money that was going at the CC into the buffer. That way you stop paying the interest and possibly start earning some.

  15. glblguy Says:

    @MattW – Hi Matt. Glad you found me and glad you are enjoying my site. Save yourself a $1000.00 emergency fund, and then begin funneling everything you can into paying off your debt. I really like the YNAB software, but I don’t think you need a whole month buffer. $1000.00 should do. Please read through my series http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com/2007/07/03/how-to-get-your-finances-under-control-one-small-step-at-a-time/

    That should provide you with a good start. Good luck! btw, I don’t have the buffer either :-)

  16. car hire in birmingham Says:

    Great budgetting system. I love how simple it looks to follow.

  17. Rob Says:

    From Dave’s Financial Peace book, he has Miscellaneous and BLOW $$ under the Personal category (see Work Sheet 5 on page 295).

    My question is… how can he recommend Saving be 5 to 10% when Baby Step Four is to save 15% for retirement. He has Retirement Fund under teh Saving category in Work Sheet 5 on page 293.

    Any ideas?

  18. Andrea@Build Real Credit Says:

    This software is fantastic, their is also a pro version. After reading the Total Money Makeover we were inspired to use those principles when creating build real credit. The software has the same features as the gazelle lite, but it also has credit card and credit repair and debt settlement software. I feel Dave Ramsey has a great program but their are many people who need help just getting to the point they can start making baby steps.

  19. Emily Says:

    I listen to Dave several days a week, but didn’t realize he had this available. It’s a good tool, though we would never use it. We figure out how much we generally spend in each category and budget accordingly, instead of using percentages.

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