One of the keys to managing your personal finances is having a clear picture of how you’re spending your money. And one of the best ways to organize your finances is to create a budget.
Making a budget doesn’t have to be difficult, though. You can start with a basic budgeting worksheet like this one from the CFPB to see how much you make and spend each month. Or you can use one of the various budgeting spreadsheets readily available online that we highlight below.
The best free budget spreadsheets for anyone
Most of the following budget spreadsheets have the same user in mind: people who know they probably ought to budget, but who aren’t sure how to go about it.
Yet, not everyone is in the same situation in life.
Some people may want a personal budget spreadsheet, while others might need a family budget sheet. Whether you’re looking for personal, household or family budgets, these free budget spreadsheets will help you get the job done.
- Vertex42 budget templates
- Spreadsheet123 templates
- Mint budget templates
- It’s Your Money
- Google Sheets free budget template
- Microsoft Office financial spreadsheets
Features to consider in a budget spreadsheet
Not all budget spreadsheets are created equal. Some are simpler than others. And others may only work properly if you have certain programs installed in your device. A few of the features to consider when selecting a financial spreadsheet include the following:
Many downloadable spreadsheets only work in Excel, while others will need a different platform, such as Google Sheets. If you’re an Excel user, most of the budget spreadsheets we discuss will be compatible (unless your version of the program is really old).
Ease of use
Some budget spreadsheets are very simple and fit in one page, while others, like monthly expense spreadsheets, have multiple tabs and are a little more complicated.
If this is your first time handing spreadsheets, start with a really simple one, like Mint’s. More experienced users may want to manage multiple expense categories. If that’s you, check out PearBudget’s free spreadsheet.
You may be wondering why price is something you’d want to consider in a free budget template. The reason is that some of these free spreadsheets come with premium versions as well.
It’s Your Money, for example, offers both. If you become familiar with the free version and end up wanting more features, you may consider upgrading. Keeping in mind the price of the premium versions might be a consideration for some advanced users.
Vertex42 budget templates
Vertex42 has over fifteen free budget and personal finance spreadsheet templates in Excel available for download. Most of their templates also work with OpenOffice and Google Sheets, both of which are free.
Here you’ll find budgets for special categories like wedding budgets, event budgets, Christmas budgets, and travel budget spreadsheets to name a few. They have a large assortment of spreadsheets for monthly and annual household and personal budgets.
For those who like graphs in a yearly budget planner – all in a single spreadsheet, the budget calculator is a good choice that works with Excel and OpenOffice.
Best of all, you don’t need to be an Excel expert to use these budget templates. Many of these spreadsheets come with how-to instructions and require very little knowledge of Excel.
Spreadsheet123 lists over a dozen free budget spreadsheets for Excel, offering a variety of templates to create household, personal, family, and student budgets. The majority of their spreadsheets also work with freely available OpenOffice and Google Sheets,
For folks who need to get a closer look at their expenses, they have a weekly budget sheet which also includes a bi-weekly budget worksheet. In addition, you’ll find a monthly budget planner and a yearly budget spreadsheet, which are free to download.
You’ll also find spreadsheets for retirement budgets, party budgets, and college student budgets.
Mint budget templates
Mint offers various free budget templates for different lifestyles. You’ll find an assortment of spreadsheets from college to home budget templates available for download.
While all of their templates are for Excel, you should be able to open them in other free programs since their spreadsheets are simple: I was able to open all their spreadsheets with Google Sheets without a noticeable loss of features.
It’s Your Money
It’s Your Money offers free budgeting and personal finance spreadsheets plus other related templates for Excel. While some of their free spreadsheets work in OpenOffice, none are available in Google Sheets as their templates use Excel macros.
The site has several budget spreadsheets available for download, including spending plan spreadsheets, cash flow budget spreadsheets and simple budget spreadsheets.
Google Sheets free budget template
Google Sheets is a free, cloud-based spreadsheet app available to anyone with a Google account. The app comes with a useful template gallery which includes monthly and annual budget sheets.
To access the Google Sheets budget spreadsheets, sign-in to your account and click the upper-right hand grid of nine little dots in the Google homepage. Next, scroll down the apps list and click Sheets, which has a green icon. You’ll find the template gallery at the top of the page.
Microsoft Office financial spreadsheets
MS Office has a number of free financial spreadsheets for Excel. These templates include a family monthly budget planner, a simple budget template, and a household expense budget, among several others.
The best cheap budget spreadsheets
If you’re looking for budget spreadsheets that offer a bit more features and functionality, these sheets can do the job at a low cost.
Pearbudget started out as a free household monthly finance spreadsheet by a husband and wife couple from Virginia. The spreadsheet downloads in Excel and is designed to work with a maximum of 30 expense categories.
Pearbudget also has a premium web version of its spreadsheet that’s easier to use and lets you set up an unlimited number of categories. And you can get a free-trial for 30 days at Pearbudget.
You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a personal budgeting software that connects to your financial accounts to track your budget.
With YNAB you decide the categories most important to you, and give each of your paycheck dollars a “job” on different spending categories. If your spending fluctuates in some categories, your budget adjusts in others to help you come out ahead.
YNAB has a mobile app that syncs with your online budget spreadsheet to track your spending in real time from any device, helping you keep an eye on your goals. This tool comes with a 34-day free trial. When it expires, it’ll cost you about the same as a Netflix basic subscription every month.
Tiller Money is an automated personal finance tool for Google Sheets. It tracks your daily finances seamlessly by connecting all of your financial accounts including banks, credit cards, loans and brokerages using a secure connection.
The platform features automated transaction updates, automatic categorization, and customizable personal finance templates to help you manage your financial goals.
Tiller Money has a 30-day free trial. After it expires, it’ll cost you $4.92 a month.
A budget spreadsheet can help you take control of your finances
Budgeting can help you take control of your spending and help you manage your finances. Of course, you have a choice of tools you can use. But when it comes to keeping your financial big-picture accessible and organized, it’s definitely easier with the help of a spreadsheet.
Whether you start with a free version or are comfortable with a premium offering, a good budget spreadsheet can help you stay on top of your financial life. Start with realistic expectations, and you’ll improve the chances of sticking with your budget.