The Ultimate Budget Spreadsheet

A budgeting spreadsheet #

To understand and stay on top of your spending, you don’t need a fancy app. You don’t need to give some website access to your bank statements. You just need to be aware of how much money you have, where it is promised, and how much is available do fun stuff.

Summary sheet showing amount spent and remaining in each budget category

That’s just numbers, and spreadsheets are good at numbers. And it’s free.

Open Spreadsheet Template

Why am I offering this? #

Because I already built it for myself, and there’s no harm in letting you make a copy you can use. :)

I’ve mentioned this system to friends in the past, and several have shown interest. Unfortunately, the first version of the spreadsheet was highly tailored to my specific budget. The second version was more general purpose, but had some rough edges when it came to certain tasks like reimbursements or tracking an expense from one month that doesn’t clear until the next month. I knew how to work around these, but I would have felt odd handing it off this way to friends.

So I’ve re-worked my spreadsheet again, and this time, I’m confident it can do just about everything anybody needs in a home budget.

Using the spreadsheet #

Daily #

Every time you make a purchase, record it in the spreadsheet and assign it to one of your budget categories. I’ve kept this page slim and mobile-friendly, so it’s easy to update from any smartphone.

Expense entry

Weekly #

Periodically, update the spreadsheet with your current bank account and credit card balances. Check off all expenses that have cleared and double-check you haven’t missed anything. The spreadsheet will help you ensure what you spent and what you recorded balance out.

Weekly balance

Monthly #

At the end of each month, make a fresh copy of the spreadsheet template. Copy over balances from the previous month, and allocate new budget amounts for the new month.

Monthly rollover

Get started