Discover the Best Free Budget Spreadsheets & Templates for Personal Finance Management with The Ways To Wealth

Best Free Budget Spreadsheets Templates for Personal Finance Story The Ways To Wealth

Introduction

Setting up a budget can be an intimidating task, but it is key to establishing financial stability. The best way to make sure you are able to maintain a budget is to use a budget spreadsheet or template. These templates create an easy to read format to ensure you are able to track your finances and identify areas that might need improvement.

In this article we will explore some of the best free budget spreadsheet templates available:

Benefits of budgeting

Budgeting is a great tool to ensure you stay on track with your financial goals. A budget helps you understand where you are in relation to your spending and how to allocate resources in order to reach your desired future financial position. By creating a budget and regularly tracking it, you will be able to make adjustments, if needed, in order for you to reach your goals more easily.

The main benefits of budgeting include:

  • Gaining control of your finances: A budget helps keep track of income and expenses, ensuring that any extra money is allocated properly
  • Prioritizing spending: By tracking income and expenses, a budget can help identify areas where money could be saved or better used. This will help prioritize spending, ensuring money is going towards important items rather than unnecessary purchases
  • Accessing financial opportunities: A budget allows for the identification of financial opportunities that may not have been evident before. This could possibly result in savings or additional income
  • Long term planning: By tracking current spending and setting goals for future saving/spending needs, a budget can help plan for long term changes such as retirement or large purchases like a home

The importance of budgeting

Budgeting is an essential element of financial planning and management, as it helps to keep spending in check, identify any gaps or areas of overspending, as well as provide an understanding of your financial position. Despite its importance in personal money management, many individuals find budgeting to be a dreaded task that requires a lot of time and complicated calculations.

However with the advent of high powered spreadsheets and budget templates, tracking your finances can be made easy and hassle-free. Spreadsheets offer pre-defined formats and already populated formulas that can automate tedious tasks so you don’t have to worry about miscalculations/errors while entering data manually. What’s more, they are highly customizable and can be tailored to represent various financial situations. The right spreadsheet will make budgeting very manageable and help you save money by managing your expenses better.

With that in mind, we have put together the best free budget spreadsheets for personal finance storytelling available online today:

  • Vertex42 Money Manager Template
  • Easy Envelope Budget Aid Spreadsheet (EEBA)
  • YNAB
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB) Spreadsheet
  • Zero Based Budget Template from Vertex42
  • The Simple Monthly Budget Worksheet

Best Free Budget Spreadsheets

Managing a budget is a key part of personal finance and it is important to understand your financial situation and make a plan to manage your money. Fortunately, there are many budget spreadsheets available online that can help you manage your finances.

Here, we’ll look at some of the best free budget spreadsheet templates available to help with your personal finance:

Mint

Mint is a popular budgeting software program that is entirely free to use. The program syncs with the online accounts you have, from checking and savings accounts to credit cards and other financial instruments, and provides an easy-to-understand overview of your entire financial situation.

Its budgeting tool allows you to set budgets for various spending categories and view your monthly expenses in easy-to-read graphs, empowering you to make better decisions about where and how you spend your money. What’s more, Mint also offers other services such as:

  • Bill tracking and prompt payments
  • Availability of voice or email support when something needs attention
  • The ability to use the Mint app to add their current location to transactions so they can easily track what was spent where.

YNAB

YNAB (You Need A Budget) is free budget software for both Mac and Windows. It offers a full suite of tools that go beyond basic budgeting. With YNAB, it’s easy to see how much money you have available for spending and investing. Plus, the program’s reporting capabilities help you to get a handle on where your money is coming from and where it’s going.

The main interface of the app provides an overview of all the budget categories. You can easily view your categories at a glance, plus check out your inflows and outflows. YNAB also provides built-in savings tracking, so you can see how quickly money piles up when you start saving well in advance.

YNAB also includes goal tracking features to help motivate you to stay on track with particular goals. You simply create goals for every category and break each down into smaller steps over time to measure progress more accurately. Goal-tracking allows users to set goals from either a long-term or short-term perspective, as well as revisiting missed deadlines or goals that were never completed. YNAB makes it easy to monitor spending against these goals so that any changes made over time have an evident effect on the overall finances more quickly than relying on historical data alone would show.

Goodbudget

Goodbudget is a fan-favorite free budget spreadsheet that helps you to plan and track expenses. Developed in 2006, it’s simple and easy to use for individual or family budgets. This free budget spreadsheet template operates as an envelope-style budget where you can assign your money to specific categories such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food and entertainment.

Goodbudget provides a visual display of transactions so that users can analyze the money they’ve earned against what they’ve spent. The app divides the users’ money into categories of expenses and can accommodate up to ten different envelopes in each category. It also features a customized budget based on user’s income and goals, living expense records, and breaking down of spending by month. With Goodbudget you can also share finances with your family members for better financial planning for all involved.

Every Dollar

Every Dollar is a free budget spreadsheet developed by financial expert Dave Ramsey. After a short setup, the tool breaks down your finances into four separate categories: income, fixed monthly expenses, guilt-free monthly expenses and investments. As you make entries in each category, Every Dollar automatically updates the remaining balance to show how much money you have “left” for spending or saving.

Every Dollar’s easy-to-follow interface makes it a great option for those new to budgeting. And since it’s supported by Intuit (the company behind QuickBooks and Mint) users can quickly import transaction history from their bank accounts and credit cards into the spreadsheet with just a few clicks.

The tool also offers access to useful extras. For example, its advice hub has dozens of articles that help you understand some common money management topics such as retirement planning and debt reduction. And its goal tracker allows you to assign your future registrations—like vacations or an emergency fund—a monetary value and track your progress over time as you work towards them by saving more money.

PocketGuard

PocketGuard is a great free financial tracking app that helps you easily take control of your budget. It helps you record your spending and income for any given month, create spending plans and keep track of how much money you’re saving to achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals.

It works by connecting with hundreds of different bank accounts, credit cards, bills, loans and investments so that it can monitor all your spending in real time. It also includes convenient features such as automatic categorization, reminder notifications and highlights updates.

PocketGuard is extremely easy to use with a no-fuss user interface which means you won’t need to be a budgeting pro in order to stay organized. This personal finance software comes with an array of helpful features such as:

  • Automatically sorting transactions into categories based on merchant type.
  • Building custom budgets tailored to spending plans and goals.
  • Reminding users when bills are due or when there isn’t enough funds left for upcoming expenses.
  • Tracking progress on goals or budgets over time via colorful visuals within its dashboard tab.
  • Offering insightful insights on subscriptions charged throughout the month giving users the opportunity to truly understand where their hard earned cash goes throughout each billing cycle.

How to Use a Budget Spreadsheet

A budget spreadsheet can be a great tool for managing your personal finances and keeping track of where your money goes. They help you to easily enter in all of the money you have coming in, as well as all of the money you have going out. This way, you are able to create a budget and make sure you stay on track.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use a budget spreadsheet to manage your finances and help you reach your financial goals:

Identify your income sources

Before you create a budget, it is important to identify all the sources of income you receive during the month. This includes money you earn from your job, side hustles or business ventures, rental income, and any other cash sources. When listing your income sources, include the amount you typically receive from each source each month. Make sure to also factor in irregular payments like bonuses or credits that take place throughout the year.

Once you have identified each of your sources of income for the month, total them up and record the sum in a cell at the top of your spreadsheet. This grand total will be used as one variable in calculating your budget later on. It should serve as an anchor around which all other categories can be balanced based on how much money comes in and how much goes out every month.

Track your expenses

The best way to budget effectively is to track your expenses and income. A budget spreadsheet will help organize your finances by arranging them in an easy-to-read and comprehend format. This can help identify areas of overspending and where funds could be saved.

When setting up a budget spreadsheet, you should enter all fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent payments and then identify your variable expenses such as grocery bills, entertainment costs, cell phone bills, etc.

Once all of your income and expenses have been entered into the spreadsheet it will be time to compare those numbers. Look for areas that you could cut back on or where additional funds can be allocated towards other items. For example, if your entertainment costs are high consider cutting back on trips to the movies or eating out at restaurants every week. Reducing certain types of spending may allow you to reallocate money for more important areas such as saving for retirement or paying off debt faster.

By regularly tracking your income and expenses with a budget spreadsheet, you’ll gain clarity on where money is going each month so you can make informed decisions about how to use it most wisely going forward.

Set financial goals

When you create a budget spreadsheet, the initial step is to identify your financial goals. This could include saving for a home, car, vacation, or saving for retirement or college. Determine the amount of money that you need to save each month and then subtract your expenses to ensure that there is enough funds available for savings. Depending on the timeframe of your goal and how much you will save each month, you may need to make adjustments further down the line.

Once your goals are identified and established in your budget spreadsheet, it will be easier to track overall progress and successes throughout the year:

  • Track overall progress.
  • Track successes.

Track progress

Tracking your progress is essential when using a budget spreadsheet. The progress column can be set up to show the amount you have remaining for each category. This allows you to assess where you are financially throughout the month and make adjustments if needed.

An example of tracking progress through a budget spreadsheet would be setting up the following columns:

  • Category
  • Budgeted Amount
  • Progress
  • Remaining Balance

For each month, enter your budgeted amounts in the Budgeted Amount column and keep track of what is left after expenses are deducted from this total by entering them in the Progress column. The Remaining Balance column will automatically calculate what is left for each category as you add in expenses throughout the month; this will let you know quickly how much money you still have in each category and make adjustments accordingly.

Other Ways To Manage Your Money

While budget spreadsheets can be a great resource for managing your personal finances, there are also other tools and methods of tracking your finances that can work just as well. From financial tracking apps and websites to budget envelopes and even cash envelope systems, there are many different ways to ensure that you are on track towards your financial goals.

Let’s explore some of the top money management tools that you should consider using:

Automate your finances

One of the most effective ways to simplify your money management is by automating the task. Automation allows you to take the guesswork out of what bills you need to pay and how much money needs to be transferred from one account to another. It can also help ensure that you stay on track with other goals such as saving for retirement or paying off debt. Consider setting up automatic transfers, payments and deposits on a regular basis in order to streamline your finances without having to do any extra work.

Automation solutions vary depending on your financial goals and preferences. Here are some options available:

  • Linking bank accounts – Linking multiple bank accounts will allow for easy transfer of funds from one institution to another, making budgeting easier and more efficient.
  • Automatic bill pay – bills are deducted automatically from your linked accounts so you never have any late charges or forgotten bills again.
  • Credit cards/ Automatic Payments – You can set up automatic payments for credit cards so that whatever outstanding balance you have for that month will be collected automatically each month or paid off in full if there’s enough balance left in your linked account after all other mandatory expenses are paid
  • Debt repayment plans – Automatically deduct a pre-determined amount each month towards repaying debt while monitoring the interest rate charged by lenders and recalculating repayment plans when necessary.
  • Investment accounts – Setting up automatic transfers into investment accounts allows a portion of savings or income be allocated toward investing regularly without manual interventions every time.

Create an emergency fund

Creating an emergency fund is an essential part of financial planning. It provides a cushion in case of unexpected expenses or income disruptions and helps ensure that you’re prepared for financial difficulties that may arise. An emergency fund should be set up with liquid assets, such as savings accounts or money market accounts, which means that it must be easily accessible and have minimal risk. Ideally, you should aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of expenses, but it’s important to start small and build up your savings over time.

In order to accumulate the funds necessary for an emergency fund, you should establish a budget and practice sound fiscal discipline. Setting aside a set amount each month from your regular income is an effective way to ensure a steady accumulation of funds in your emergency account. Additionally, you may want to look for opportunities to maximize the money coming into your household by exploring options such as side hustles or passive income streams. When possible, try not to dip into your emergency funds unless absolutely necessary – as this will help prevent debt problems in the future.

Invest in stocks

Investing in stocks can be one of the most profitable ways to grow your money over the long term. It is a great option for those looking to build financial security and benefit from potential market gains in the future. When investing in stocks, it is important to understand how to analyze markets and identify which investments are best for you.

It can be beneficial to invest in an index fund as a low-cost broad market alternative, but you may want to supplement this part of your portfolio by selecting individual stocks or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that best align with your risk tolerance and goals. Factors such as industry type and analyst ratings should be taken into account before making a decision. A variety of resources exist including research data, newsletters, brokerage firms, blogs, and more that can help you gain insight into stock investments.

Diversifying your portfolio by allocating across multiple sectors can also minimize risk in case one sector experiences volatility or performs below expectations. Additionally, buying dividend-paying stocks on a regular basis may provide additional income over time while providing opportunity for capital appreciation if prices increase. Ultimately, it is important to set a strategy that works with your personal temperament while maximising return potential within limits set by your investment goals and risk parameters.

Pay off your debt

In order to start managing your money properly, you will need a practical plan for reducing debt and increasing your savings. Paying off your debt can be one of the most effective ways to improve your financial situation. Create a budget that includes payments toward all debt. Allocate part of each month’s income toward any debts. If possible, set some aside for an emergency fund in case life throws an unexpected expense your way.

Prioritize the debts you will pay off according to their amount and interest rate; you should strive to pay off smaller holdings with higher rates first, followed by larger balances with lower rates (which can save you money in the long run). Consider taking out a personal loan or using funds from a savings or checking account if available, to settle outstanding balances quickly.

Once debts have been paid off work on manageable strategies such as:

  • Automatic deposits into a savings account
  • Setting up recurring transfers into that same account each month

This disciplined approach towards saving can help make sure you are setting yourself up for long term financial success.

Conclusion

In conclusion, budgeting with a spreadsheet can be a great way to stay organized and better manage your finances. It can help you to track income and expenses, create savings goals and analyze where improvements can be made. There are many templates available to get you started, and the ones we reviewed offer great features to help manage your budget.

Summary

Choosing the best free budget spreadsheets for your personal finances is an important step for getting control of your money. There are a lot of options available, from basic templates to apps and downloadable software packages. To make sure you get the most value for your money, understand the functions of different spreadsheet templates and make sure you find one that fits your budgeting needs.

Before selecting a spreadsheet template, consider the purpose you’re trying to accomplish. You can prioritize your spending with a financial goal tracker, or analyze historical spending patterns using an activity-based budgeting template. If you have complicated accounts receivable or balance sheets to track, consider databases with more detailed tracking abilities.

Finally, there are multiple ways to find budgeting tools and templates designed to keep track of finances without breaking the bank: many companies offer free downloads through their websites; alternatively, there is an abundance of online resources providing a variety of spreadsheet formats that offer various levels of functionality in terms of expense tracking options.

Ultimately, finding the right budget spreadsheets should be weighted against personal comfort levels with technology as well as overall financial needs and available funds – evaluating pros and cons is critical in order to ensure that you select a plan that works best for you and your family!

Takeaways

By creating your own budget spreadsheet, you can easily track and plan for your finances. The most important takeaway from this article is that there is no one size fits all approach to budgeting – you need to consider what works best for your individual circumstances. By utilizing a well designed budget template, you can plug in your income and expenses and customize the columns and categories based on what’s important to you.

Whether you start with a free template or use a premium version, once you have set up a tracking spreadsheet it will be easier than ever to keep track of your financial progress – small tweaks that add up over time will make all the difference in staying on top of your personal finances! With that in mind, it’s time to take control of your future by taking charge of your present finances.

Kylie Mahar

Kylie Mahar is a financial guru who loves to help others save money. She writes for cycuro.com, and is always looking for new ways to help people make the most of their money. Kylie is passionate about helping others, and she firmly believes that financial security is one of the most important things in life.

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