Want a Free Google Sheets Budget Planner?
Building and maintaining a workable personal budget is essential for anyone looking to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and figure out what kind of cash flow they have available for investments. I have decided to post my own free personal budget spreadsheets in two formats, for free! I think you will find these versions to be cleaner and much more functional than the aforementioned versions.
Recently, I posted an article about how to create a personal budget, which gave the theory behind creating an easy to use personal budget. The spreadsheets included in this post have brought theory full circle and will give you the functional tool to do it. I have also included an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to use these spreadsheets.
Free Budgeting Spreadsheet – Excel or Google Drive
For the 20somethingfinance.com free Google Drive personal budget planner spreadsheet, follow the link below and either log in to your Google account, select ‘File’, and ‘Make a Copy’ or ‘File’ and ‘Download’:
20somethingfinance.com personal budget planner (Google Drive)
You’ll notice that you cannot edit this spreadsheet. In order to save and edit your own version of this spreadsheet, log in to your Google account, select ‘File’, and ‘Make a Copy’. If you do not have a Google account, create one here. Now you should be able to edit your own version in Google Docs. Do not request to share as that will not do anything – just make a copy and use the copy for your personal use.
If you prefer an offline Excel (.xlsx) or .ods or .csv spreadsheet file, you can also select ‘File’ and ‘Download’ to download the spreadsheet in the format of your choice.
How to Use your Free Personal Budget Planner Spreadsheet
Everyone’s personal income and expense lines are going to vary slightly from what you will find in this personal budget planner. Feel free to delete and/or add in rows. However, make sure that the formulas in the ‘Total’ rows compensate for your alterations. Here is a step-by-step process for filling out your budget.
1. First, grab your W2 so that you can input all of your income rows, in the section as shown below:
2. Next, collect your credit card and bank statements to fill out your regular expenses. If you have consistent one-time expenses (e.g. auto insurance) that you only pay once per year, pro-rate (divide by 12) to get a monthly budgeted amount, and then fill out the cell for the month the expense was paid. All months in which you don’t pay that expense should have $0 posted. The expenses section is highlighted below.
3. Now, you will want to account for one-off income and expenses for each month. First, click on the tab (at the bottom) for the corresponding month:
Next, you will want to fill out your one-time items:
Finally, add your totals on the corresponding rows (12 and 45 in the original) on the ‘Total Budget’ sheet:
You should really only need to update your sheet periodically as an income or expense item changes in amount, or at the end of every month as you you receive your statements. Ideally, this personal finance budget planner will allow you to predict how much cash flow you have available to spend during a given month so that you can plan throughout the year.
Now that you know what your budget looks like, the fun work begins – optimizing your monthly budget. It will be a lot of hard work and a challenge, but completely worth it. Check out a list of money saving products I use, in order to drive your costs lower on things like cell phones, internet, energy, water, insurance, and much more.
Thanks for the spreadsheets. I personally use YNAB but am always looking for free alternatives when friends ask for suggestions.
Question: i printed off my W2, but there are “issues” if you will, for me.
1) what i’m being paid now is (subtly) different then what is on my last w2
2) Is the first field supposed to be the yearly, or the divided-out monthly?
3) i get paid every two weeks, not on a monthly cycle: How do i factor for this? Suggestions?
4) how do i factor for other pre-tax items? Like health insurance?
5) i have more, but i’m stressed out. :P
Here’s my google docs “Good Faith Estimate” spreadsheet with tax, maintenance, and other costs/benefits – lots of detail (see the comments). Download a copy and fill in the yellow cells only (other cells’ formula depend on the yellow cell values).
Thanks for this step by step guide on how to use the spreadsheet. I guess many people need detailed information on how to set up a budget, specially those who need it the most.
I’ve downloaded your personal budget spreadsheet form in Excel format. I’m gonna used this in my early retirement planning and budgeting my hard-earned money. I really love the format.
The Google Docs template was perfect! Thanks for posting this. I hope I can stay on top of things. What helps you to stay committed to budgeting?
This was a great tutorial on how to make a personal budget. Will translate some of it to norwegian, and use it as an example on my blog.
your site is great… I own an iphone and really want an easy seamless way to track my spending now that I am a stay at home mom…or rather especially since this big change. do you have any i phone app that i can use to budget?
I do love the work sheet!
I made a similar one that, while it doesn’t offer a year-round budgeting option, provides a monthly tracker. For myself I just put in what the average year-round cost is for different items. It also allows you to add in each of your different credit cards/loans if you have multiple of the same category. Feel free to copy/use to your heart’s content.
What I’ve found most helpful though is being able to sort based on the due dates and dates of when the bill comes. Sure, most bills will vary by a day or two every month, but it gives a good ballpark.
Thanks so much for this. It really is I great tool and I use it for my budget purposes. I’ve included a link on my site:
I like the concept of your spreadsheet. I personally have found much difficulty in trying to get consistent expense categorization or the lack of categorization by credit card companies. I have found it easiest to just download everything using the .csv download and pasting it into the xlyourfinances.com spreadsheet which automatically categorizes the transactions based on past labeling. This gives a nice summary with the detail at your fingertips and ties into a summary and budget to track how you are doing.
Thanks for the Doc!
I enjoyed the entire article. Great read.
I am using your budget spreadsheet and really like the format except I cant check whether or not the totals are adding properly. the functions do not show for the total cells. Also, for some reason I can not click directly onto the cell that I am trying to edit, I have to click a row below to make a change.
Thanks for any help!
Hey, so I have google sheets downloaded. How do I download this template to use?
I updated the sheet to put the totals of the one-time income and expenses in the budget without needing to do copy and paste:
For the income line, the formula is:
For the expenses line, the formula is:
Just paste this into D12, for income, and copy it to O12.