So, you’ve decided to get serious about budgeting, but you’re not sure where to begin. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! There are a number of free budget templates online that you can easily access.
1. Keeping It Simple
If you’re looking to start off with a straightforward budget, this four-step budget template in Google Docs splits your finances into four distinct categories:
- Must-have expenses
- Nice-to-have expenses
The broader categories make it easier it divvy up your expenses — you won’t have to spend hours hemming and hawing over where to place expenses like you might with an extensively categorised budget template. All you have to do is input your information and you’ll be on your way!
2. A Step Up
This budget template is a step up from the previous template in that it has a little bit more categorisation detail. There is everything from housing and transportation to personal care and investments. These main categories are further broken down into common expenses. Personal care, for example, includes:
- Dry cleaning
- Health club/gym membership
You can input what you think or hope you will spend in the projected cost column. At the end of the month, you’ll go back and input what the actual cost was. The difference, be it positive or negative, will be automatically calculated in the last column. This is a great way to see how much you think you’re spending vs. what you’re actually spending, which can sometimes be quite the shocker!
Nonetheless, this is a great spreadsheet if you’re ready to start taking a closer look at your expenditures and find areas where you can cut back.
This excel spreadsheet budget is the way to go if you’re looking to parse all your expenses out in great detail. It’s pre-set with typical spending categories and approximate budgets for each. Best of all, every category has the equations already built-in! That means you can go in and estimate different expenses and see how they affect your budget. It will of course also serve you well when you put in your actual spending amounts.
There are additional categories outside the main spread which include:
- Fixed expenses:
- Student loans
- Credit card
- Occasional expenses:
- Emergency fund
- Other savings
The sheet is set up so that you can easily add or take away tabs in these extra categories, so you don’t have to worry about running out of room or having to leave out expenses. As far as free budget templates go, this one is pretty fantastic!
4. Plug In and Go
For those who find that using spreadsheets elicits a certain kind of terror, you can always use this online-based budget template. All the expense categories are already listed for you — your only job is to fill in the costs! When you’ve finished, this worksheet will calculate the expenses and give you a summary of your budget. If you find that a category doesn’t have enough rows or doesn’t list one of your usual expenses, you can just click the handy “add row” in the top right corner of each category.
This template’s only downside is that it’s online, so you can’t save anything. If you’re in a pinch, you can take screenshots to serve as documentation later on.
These four spreadsheets, while some of our personal favourites, are just a handful of the many others available to you online and through various apps. If you’re still looking for that perfect spreadsheet, we recommend checking out our own budget calculators to help yourself start budgeting and saving today!