How to Create a Budget Spreadsheet [Easily Save in 2023]

A huge lesson we learn as we grow older is that if you don’t budget your earnings, you won’t get very far in life. When we see people living a luxurious budget-free life, we wonder how they got there. The answer is they all started with a plan.

In this guide, we’ll help you make a plan for yourself by showing you how to create a budget spreadsheet. Read on to learn more.

Why Make a Budget Spreadsheet?

There are dozens of tools for making a budget spreadsheet, tracking bank accounts, and creating savings goals. A budget spreadsheet keeps your spending in check and ensures your savings are on track for the future. Not only that, but It also helps you keep your eye on the prize and helps ensure you don’t spend money you don’t have.

Once you start budgeting, a lot of your money can go into savings, which helps lead to a happier retirement. Or maybe an early one too! The new hobbies and activities you pick up to fill your leisure time in retirement can often come at a cost. A well-planned budget will ensure you get the retirement you deserve!

In addition, once you start budgeting, you will always have some extra cash to help you prepare for emergencies. And if you’re someone that has an impulsive way of shopping, budgeting can help shed light on bad spending habits.

But before you invest in complicated money management tools, it might be better to simply make a budget in Google Sheets. You can create your own free Google Sheets spreadsheet template for bills in less than an hour. And by building your own budget, you’ll learn more about your money and how you think about it.

Before You Begin

In this article, we will detail how you can create a budget spreadsheet for tracking expenses in a budget spreadsheet, and we will also provide you with a template that can help you manage your money more effectively.

But before you begin, remember to avoid malicious websites. Downloading a budget spreadsheet or template from untrusted websites can place you at risk of a cyber-attack. Do some research. You can avoid phishing viruses by reading online reviews and downloading budget templates from websites you trust.

One of the well-known websites to find a template for setting up a budget spreadsheet is known as the FTC, better known as the Federal Trade Commission, which has a website where consumers can learn about money, including how to budget.

But as we know it, budgeting can be intimidating due to numbers and formulas. Google Sheets is an excellent tool for managing or tracking your budget. Even If you’ve never budgeted before, Google Sheets is a great place to start.

In Google Sheets, there are two ways you can stay organized financially. Either by creating an expense spreadsheet or a budget spreadsheet. For this article, we will focus on the latter. Let’s not wait any longer and dive into the step-by-step guide on making a budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Budget Spreadsheet

For this guide on creating a budget spreadsheet, we will use the following template, which includes the monthly earnings, expenses (rent, utilities, vehicle payments, etc.), budget, and savings from January to December.

Once we have created a monthly report from Jan to Dec, we will create an annual report from this data. You can use the provided basic budget template and make some alterations to the sample budget spreadsheet to fit your needs, or you can create a new sheet with inspiration from this one. Let’s begin!

How to Create a Budget Spreadsheet

Monthly

Step 1. Fill in all your data in the template sheet.

Step 2. Calculate the total earnings using the =SUM function

Use SUm to get the first total

Step 3. Drag the function forward to all other cells.

Click and drag for totals

Step 4. Calculate the Actual Spent value using the =SUM function

Work out total spending

Step 5. Drag the function forward to all other cells.

Copy across total spending

Step 6. Calculate the difference between your Budget and the Actual Spent value using the =MINUS function

Work out the difference between the forcasted spend and actual spend

Step 7. Drag the function forward to all other cells.

Work out monthy savings

Step 8. Calculate the monthly savings using the =MINUS function

Work out spending for all months

Step 9. Drag the function forward to all other cells.

Condtionial Formatting

As you can see, the cells for difference and monthly savings are colored green and red. That is due to conditional formatting added into these cells. To add this to your Google Sheets, go to the cell with the value, in this case, cell B17. Add condition 1, if the value is less than 1, color the cell red. Add a second condition, if the value is equal to or greater than 1, color cell green. And you are done! If you’re having trouble with this, check out our full guide to conditional formatting.

Annual

Step 1. Calculate the total earned using the =SUM function.

Calculate total earned for the entire year

Step 2. Calculate the total spent using the =SUM function.

Calculate total spent for the entire year

Step 3. Calculate the total saved using the =MINUS function.

Calculate total spent for the entire year

And you are done! You have now set up a budget spreadsheet of your own.

Additional Things to Know

Now that we have gone through all the methods of how to set up a budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets, there are still a few things you must take note of once you have completed creating a spreadsheet for yourself.

First and foremost, as your budget period progresses, keep your budget spreadsheet up to date with all your actual transactions. This keeps track of your progress as it serves as the main point of why you need a budgeting spreadsheet in the first place.

Also, you may need to adjust your budget to account for unexpected expenses or income. After getting into it, you will come to learn that budgeting is the process of becoming aware of the money that enters and exits your life. You should be okay when your budgeted and actual income and expenses differ. The more you use your budget, the more precise it becomes. Budgeting from scratch can be easy.

To conduct a thorough financial check-in, you don’t need a complicated spreadsheet with advanced formulas. But, if you’re familiar with spreadsheets, add some extra features to make your budget spreadsheet more informative and visually appealing.

In addition, knowing how to stop Google from rounding up values and knowing how to remove the dollar sign (important if you’re calculating in any other currency) is important.

Be sure to check out our other articles discussing how to achieve this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Google Have a Budget Template?

There’s no budget template on the Google Sheets template library. You can use many free add-ons from Google that can help you use Google Sheets to create a budget spreadsheet. Many of these applications only require you to set up categories or subcategories for income and expenses, then enter your transactions. An Expenses tab will allow you to analyze your expenses by category for every month and compare that to your budget. You can also buy templates, but it is suggested that you do some research and read reviews before you pay for anything. Or you can download ours here for free here.

What Should Be Included in a Budget Spreadsheet?

A perfect budget spreadsheet has various keys to it, the first one being your income from work. Once you write that down, you’ll have an idea of how much money you are making annually from your main work, and after that, you write down your Income from side hustles and other sources. Then comes all of your spending, all of your bills, including revolving debt like credit cards. And lastly, your savings.

Is Google Sheets Good for Budgeting?

There are dozens of tools for making a budget, tracking bank accounts, and creating savings goals. But before you invest in complicated money management tools, it is better to make a budget in Google Sheets.

You can create your own free Google Sheets budget template in less than an hour. Whether you’re looking for how to make a finance spreadsheet or how to set up a spreadsheet for a budget, Google Sheets has you covered.

Google Sheets also allows you to create a beautiful, fully-customized dashboard. Not only will a dashboard make your financial budget template more aesthetically pleasing, but it will also provide great insight in a laid-out way.

Conclusion

We have gone through all the possible ways one can use to create a perfect budgeting plan.  There are various other websites you can use to create a budgeting spreadsheet, but Google Sheets offers the simplest, most intuitive way to create your own budgeting spreadsheet. This article details all you need to know to get up to speed. Now that you know how to create a budget spreadsheet, you may find these other articles helpful.

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Talha Faisal

Talha Faisal

Talha is a seasoned technical writer that specializes in Automation and SaaS. Google Sheets is central to his work, and he uses his writing to make Google Sheets easy to use for everyone.