Managing personal finance is not as daunting as it may seem. There is no argument about the need for money. For a well-grounded quality of life, maintenance of living expenses is essential. It is attained by managing finances properly.
Among the best methods of doing so is creating a budget that can help keep finances organized and control the amount of debt needed to live in the manner you prefer. Budgets help plan for expenses, needs, activities, and your financial future.
A budget spreadsheet offers a way to determine the state of your finances and help plan spending over a month or year. It can be the most helpful tool for organizing finances to avoid falling into debt that is difficult to overcome. With a spreadsheet, you manage money by allotting every expense an amount that fits within the available money.
Like a business, people benefit from using spreadsheets for their finances—all the information you need is in one easy-to-read place. A spreadsheet helps see how much income a person has and how much money is spent. It is a means of budgeting money appropriately for your needs.
How to Use a Spreadsheet
There are many ways to use a spreadsheet. Some people like to track expenditures, while others do not. The easiest way to use it begins with a three-step process.
- Putting together all sources of income and expenses
- Creating savings goals
- Coming up with budget amounts.
A personal budget spreadsheet is different from a household spreadsheet. Couples can combine their individual income sources to determine the final income amount and use the same process for expenses. If there is money left after subtracting expenses from income, make plans for what to do with that money, rather than spend it on random things. You may want to set it aside for an emergency fund or travel.
You can also allocate money left over for expenses. Many expenses, such as a mortgage, rent, and insurance payments, are fixed. For others, such as groceries and utilities, you may have a pretty good idea of how much you spend each month. You will determine other expenses, like savings and entertainment, when you know what amount remains after paying necessities. Couples need to discuss what they would like to spend on incidentals honestly.
Creating the Spreadsheet
Budget spreadsheets help track spending and plan for future expenses. Here are the steps to creating a simple spreadsheet. You will need a laptop or desktop computer that has Microsoft Excel installed, or you can use Google Sheets.
Excel is not a free program, but when you learn to use it, there is no limit to its record-keeping, chart-building, and number-crunching abilities. If you have Excel 2003 later version on your computer, there are some free downloadable spreadsheets on this website, Excel Worksheets.
Run the program and open a new spreadsheet or file. Enter the details so that the program can calculate the figures in the file. Basic spreadsheets are labeled with Income and Expenses that the program will total. Click on this hyperlink, Make a Monthly Budget in Google Sheet, for an illustration of a simple budget spreadsheet. There are other videos available that go into more detail if you prefer.
Other Budget Spreadsheet Sources
There are many personal finance and budgeting spreadsheet available online. The number and simplicity of premade spreadsheets make using them easy. Follow the directions above or use one that is suggested below.
Household budgeting spreadsheets are user-friendly and can be used by first-timers and beginners.
The features are not terribly complicated and help put a budget in order. Willams Budgeting spreadsheets are helpful for monthly budget items. This link, Budget Spreadsheet — Words of Williams, takes you to the website that contains tips for customizing the free spreadsheet and a video to help you understand the program better.
This link, Personal monthly budget is for a free monthly budget template that is simple and easy to use. You can compare estimated monthly income and expenses to what you actually receive and spend. You can use it for tracking expenses, such as transportation, entertainment, and food. You customize the categories to fit your income and expenses. There is a button on the website to use for downloading the template.
Google Sheets are among the most popular budgeting tools. They are incredibly collaborative, powerful, and flexible. Besides the one demonstrated above, there are thousands of others. Information about some of them can be found on this link, 20+ Best Free Google Sheets Budget Templates of 2022. Some you may want to explore are Simple Budget Planner, Best-Personal-Budget-Planner, and Yearly Budget Template.
Vertex42 offers free Excel templates, which are an excellent way to increase productivity. They let you do incredible things, even if you have only a basic understanding of spreadsheets.
With the availability of downloadable and online budget spreadsheets, it is simple to manage finances. The tools are not only helpful for budgeting routine daily expenses and income, but they also help save for future goals, such as a college education, starting a new business, or a family vacation.
As you become familiar with using a spreadsheet, you can generate graphs illustrating your earning, saving, and spending habits. Spreadsheets offer control over finances and make planning, tracking, and viewing personal finances much more straightforward.