Managing your personal finances can feel like more hassle than it’s worth. You know it’s important, but it can be so hard to keep on top of everything – especially without the right help.
However, once you’ve found the best system for your lifestyle, managing your budget will be effortless. Spreadsheet tools are a really simple way to keep track of your spending – but they’re surprisingly effective. You’ll be able to easily monitor your monthly budget, and access a range of special features to really tailor your budgeting template to your needs, too.
This handy guide will take you through our top 5 recommendations for the best budget templates, and will also take you through all the key aspects to look for in a free budgeting spreadsheet. If you’d like any further information, scroll to the bottom for the answers to some commonly asked questions.
The Top 5 Budgeting Spreadsheet Tools
With so many excellent spreadsheets for budgeting on the market, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 free budget spreadsheets available now, to help you make the right choice!
1- Vertex42 Spreadsheets
Description: If you’re looking for something you can get to grips with quickly, then Vertex42 is an excellent choice. With several different budget spreadsheet options for families, holidays, or personal spending, you’ll be able to effortlessly find what you need and start managing your cash flow.
Vertex42 provides a range of different categories for you to neatly separate your expenses, so that you won’t miss out anything important! You’ll also have the ability to customize each spreadsheet to your needs, which makes Vertex42 an incredibly versatile option. Whether you’re planning a year of family finance, or just need help with your Christmas budget, all your needs will be covered!
How to Use: Vertex42 budgeting spreadsheets come in the form of free downloadable content, and they can function with a range of software, including Excel and Google Sheets. Once you’ve selected your template, simply open it with your preferred spreadsheet software, and start budgeting! If you’re just starting out, or need some advice, most of their budget spreadsheets come with handy videos to guide you, too!
Is it Free?: Yes.
2-PearBudget Free Budget Spreadsheet
Description: If you’re looking for a budget spreadsheet that’s easy to use but also helps you to fully analyse your spending, then PearBudget spreadsheets are ideal. With a range of features, this spreadsheet tool can take your budgeting even further, so you can really keep on top of where your money is going.
You can track your personal and family finances, as well as monitor both regular and irregular outgoings. Try the analysis feature to set goals for yourself and your family, and see how your monthly budget fluctuates over time. You can even individually monitor your different budget categories, to see where your budgeting can improve!
How to Use: PearBudget is really versatile, and provides templates for budgets that work with a range of spreadsheet software. Once you’ve downloaded the sheet, it’s really simple to open it up and enter your transactions. You will have to manually input values, but the intuitive interface makes this effortless. Perform basic cash flow management, or access detailed budget breakdowns with just one click!
Is it Free?: Yes.
Description: Mint Templates are an excellent solution for when you need to tailor your budget spreadsheet to your unique lifestyle. With options for students, parents, and more, Mint is able to support you through all kinds of money management with its incredibly simple setup.
They don’t incorporate a huge amount of added extras, but the sleek and intuitive layouts will allow you to get your budgeting done quickly and easily. It’s perfect for beginners who are just starting out with budgeting, and is great for users who want to be able to customize tools to their preferences.
How to Use: Simply visit the Mint website, and select the best free template for your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a more general tool, Mint has that covered, too. It works well with Microsoft Excel, so you’ll be expertly managing your finances in no time! Once you’ve input how much money you’re working with each month, Mint will help you categorize your expenses in minutes.
Is it Free?: Yes.
4-It’s Your Money! Free Editions
Description: It’s Your Money! budget spreadsheet templates are perfect if you want to take your money management beyond personal savings With spreadsheets for small businesses to manage their bank account, as well as unique options for coupon tracking or price books, It’s Your Money! will be able to meet even your most specific requirements.
Several of the budgeting sheets allow you to break your expenses down and view how they change over time. This way, you’ll be able to really keep on top of your spending goals, and view your info in the clearest manner possible.
How to Use: Every It’s Your Money! free budget spreadsheet works with Microsoft Excel, so you can easily load them into the program and begin managing your spending! The layout is really simple to use, and the useful extra functions will ensure you never miss a payment or lose an invoice.
Free?: Several of the options are free, but some require a small one-time fee.
Description: This is a really convenient option, because all you’ll need to access your budgeting worksheet will be your Google login. If you need to input bank statements on the go, or just need a budget tool that’s as versatile as possible, then Sheets is a great pick.
This budgeting method comes with a range of included worksheets, with options to monitor your spending over every month or every year. You can also download other templates and load them through Sheets, so it’s very easy to tailor your spreadsheet to your preferences.
How to Use: All you need to do is make sure you’re logged in to your account, and then you can access Sheets to create a new budget worksheet. Consult your spreadsheet on your laptop, or sign in on your smartphone to keep on top of your spending while you’re on the go.
How to Use Spreadsheets for Budgeting:
Whether you’re monitoring your household budget, or need to set aside some emergency expenses, a good budget worksheet is sure to make things easier. If you need a budget tracker but are struggling to work out what’s right for you, then here are a few key aspects to look out for:
1- Find a Layout that Suits your Needs
Firstly, it’s really important to use a layout that fits in with your lifestyle. If you’re a college student, choose a template that’s aimed at college students. If not, you might end up with the wrong kind of budget categories, that will make budgeting harder to keep on top of.
It’s also important to choose a free budget spreadsheet that has the right level of complexity. If you’re a beginner who just wants to keep on top of credit card charges, a simpler worksheet will be perfect.
However, if you’re a small business owner, or are managing money for a whole household, a spreadsheet with extra functions and analysis options will allow you to make the most of your budgeting, and find out which areas will need some changes.
Overall, finding something that you can tailor to your requirements will really boost your experience, and make personal finance management effortless.
2- Check What you Can Afford
Options that require charges can be great. They often come with a range of features, and can even link to your bank account to automatically import your expenses and transactions.
However, it can seem strange to spend money on budgeting, especially if you’re trying to save cash. Lots of free budget spreadsheets carry a variety of useful extras, and might actually be the best option for your needs. If you’re just starting out, trying a free money manager spreadsheet is a great way to test things out before you commit.
Several forms of office software already have budget spreadsheets available, so you won’t even need to download anything extra! For example, Google Sheets comes with several different options that you can access on any device. For this reason, a free budget spreadsheet is one of the best ways to begin your budgeting journey quickly and effortlessly.
3- Compatibility with your Platform
Picture this – you’ve found the perfect weekly budget worksheet, and it’s got all the categories you need. Only, when you go to use it, you realise it’s not compatible with your spreadsheet program.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
It may seem simple, but double checking that your chosen monthly budget tracker is compatible with your computer and software is really important.
The majority of free budgeting templates are at least compatible with Microsoft Excel. You can also find options that function well with Sheets, Apache OpenOffice Calc, LibreOffice Calc, or various other programs.
Before you download a spreadsheet, it’s always best to make sure you can open it with your current setup. It’s really easy to contact the manufacturer or check the website for more information, so you can be sure you’ve got the right spreadsheet for your software.
If you’re concerned, choose a program like Google Sheets, which comes with several worksheets designed for that platform, and can be accessed anywhere with your Google login.
No matter how many special extras your budget spreadsheet has, if you don’t enjoy using it, then you probably won’t get much use out of it.
When you’re searching for the right financial management tool, make sure you choose one with an intuitive and clear interface. You don’t want to spend time searching for a simple function, so select a template that will be quick and easy to operate.
A great method for working out if a budget spreadsheet is the best one for you is to check online reviews. You’ll be able to read about how other users found the system, and see if it’s right for what you need.
For some, a simple budget spreadsheet might be the best choice. However, when extra features are tailored to your requirements, they can really boost your budget management, and make the whole process much more enjoyable. Here’s a few things to look out for:
- Easy Access: Spreadsheets that can be accessed on the go and viewed on a range of devices will allow you to stay on track and hit your spending goals.
- Expenses Trackers: Spreadsheets that allow you to monitor fixed and variable outgoings will allow you to see just where your money is going, and can even encourage you to make savings.
- Analysis Modes: If you’re keen to dive deep into your spending, being able to see your data in various different ways can be incredibly useful. Whether you want to compare one month of spending to another, or learn more about your money habits, budgeting spreadsheets with analysis modes have got everything covered.
- Banking Links: Some spreadsheets even have the ability to import data directly from your account, so you won’t have to spend time every month manually filling in your expenses. This is a perfect feature for those who are short on time.
How do I make a good budget spreadsheet?
There are a few different ways to make a budget spreadsheet, and it’s important to work with one that completely suits your needs.
You can make a monthly budget spreadsheet yourself, but this might be tricky if you’re a beginner, and it’s easy to forget key categories.
The best approach to take is to download budget tracking templates that are able to be customized. This will make sure you have a great foundation that you can adapt to fit in with your daily life. Whether you’re working off those student loans, or want to refine your household budget, tailoring your spreadsheet to your needs will make budget management effortless.
Is there a budget template in Excel?
Yes, Excel has several budget spreadsheets that you can use to monitor your savings.
In fact, the program has an impressive variety of choices to suit several different situations. Whether you want to keep an eye on how much money you’re spending on Christmas gifts, or are in charge or your household’s monthly budget, Excel has got your needs covered.
The advantage of Excel is that it also supports the majority of downloadable templates, so it’s a really versatile option.
Does Google Sheets have a budget template?
Yes, Google has a range of options for people who are looking to watch their spending.
In the template gallery, you can access multiple different spending categories, in order to keep track or expenses, or monitor your monthly or annual budget.
A big advantage is that it’s completely free, and can be easily accessed through Google drive with your account login, much like Google Docs. You’ll be able to quickly see your budget spreadsheets while you’re on the go, and with almost any device.
Is Excel good for budgeting?
Excel budget spreadsheets are some of the most popular ways to keep on top of spending.
The software comes with a variety of handy templates included,, and also supports the vast majority of downloadable templates, so it’s a really versatile system.
If you’re looking for more in depth analysis, Excel has a broad variety of different functions so that you can really dive deep into your spending each month. It might not be suitable for complete beginners, but it’s fairly easy to get started with, and there are a number of handy online tutorials to help you, too!
If you’re looking for the best free templates, check out our top 5 list above for more information.