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Try Our Free Household Budget Worksheet

Try Our Free Household Budget Worksheet

When you’re ready to start your personal or household budget, one of the best ways to begin is by downloading a free budget template like the one we provide below.

Our free budget spreadsheet is easy to use and completely free.  It is detailed enough for nearly anyone to customize to their needs, and it is simple enough that even a beginner can use it.  We’ll provide a few simple steps on how to use the spreadsheet, a video with some advice to get you started, and the link to download the template below.

How to Use Our Budget Sheet

If you’re comfortable using spreadsheets, then this is going to be very self explanatory and straight forward.  Make sure you have a spreadsheet program available.  I use OpenOffice.org instead of Excel because it’s free and just as easy to use.  If you prefer, you can use Excel or even an online program like Google Docs.

Once you’ve got your spreadsheet program up and running, you’ll want to download the budget worksheet and save a copy to your computer.  I have saved it in an .xls file but it will open in any of the spreadsheet programs that I previously mentioned.

Next, open the spreadsheet and take a look at how it’s formatted.  You’ll see that there is a budget analysis at the top, but because all the fields are empty, it doesn’t make any sense yet.  As you look further down the spreadsheet you’ll see that the first budget category that you’ll need to fill in is the income section, followed by the non-discretionary expenses, the discretionary expenses, and then your investing activities.  Make yourself familiar with all of the categories so that you don’t get confused when you try to start entering your information from the top.

It’s important to know that we formatted this template so that you only have to enter your information into the cells highlighted in yellow.  Once you do this, the formulas in the other cells will automatically be calculated and summarized.

Free Household Budget DownloadYou’ll notice that there are two columns for each expense and income category.  One is for a monthly expense and one is for an annual expense.  That’s because some expenses are incurred each month while others only happen once or twice a year.  You’ll want your budget to include a portion of the annual expenses in each month, that way your finished budget will represent an average monthly budget.  Money that is not actually spent that month should be saved in your account for when the annual expense does arrive.

Also, as you start going through the expense and income categories, you’ll probably find many expenses that don’t apply to you.  You’ll also likely find many expenses that you have that aren’t included in this spreadsheet.  For these reasons, you’ll need to learn how to add and modify rows in the document.  It is easy to just change the name of an expense to one that meets your requirements, as all of the formulas will remain intact.  However, if you need to add a row, make sure that the formulas that should include that expense are changed to reference the newly added row.  If a row is added in between two other existing expenses, then this should automatically be done for you because the calculations are typically based on ranges.  Just in case you make any mistakes or a formula gets changed, you’ll want to look your budget over closely when you’re done and make sure that everything seems in order and checks out.

How to Analyze Your Budget Using The Spreadsheet

When you’re finished entering all of your information, there will be a few rows of calculations automaticaly calculated for you at the top of the spreadsheet.  Specifically, it will tell you what percent of your income is spent on non-discretionary expenses, discretionary spending and investment or savings.  It will also show you how much money you have left over after all of these expenses.  Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the final number is positive.  If not, you’ll be going into debt each month until you can reduce your budget.

Once you have completed the budget worksheet and are comfortable using it, we recommend making a copy of the sheet and filling it in with your actual expenses for each month.  Once you do this, you can then compare your monthly budgets over time to see if you are making progress.  Use the general budget to set your goals, and then measure your actual expenses against the budget you set.  These are the basics to budgeting and hopefully this will make it easier for you to accomplish your financial goals.

Watch Our Video on How to Use the Free Budget Template

Here is the video that we created to give you a quick explanation of how to use the template.  Some people learn faster by seeing and hearing, so if you are one of these people, we hope this video will help you get up and running quicker.

Download and Save to Your Computer

Here is a copy of the spreadsheet that we’ve discussed  throughout this post.  After downloading and using it, please leave us a comment below.

 

To download, click on the button above and select “save as”. Then, download to your computer and open with any spreadsheet program.

We hope you enjoy using our free budget download. Don’t forget to leave us a comment below.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Tom L April 28, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Thanks for this spreadsheet. I live in the UK so some of the expenses were a little different than the ones listed, but I was able to use this as a good start to personalizing my own budget.

    Reply
  • DianneMcQuade April 29, 2012, 12:40 am

    Thank you for posting. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but making my own made it seem like too overwhelming of a project to even begin. This definitely takes some of the load off.

    Reply
  • UsoMoney April 29, 2012, 11:23 pm

    Great tool on this blog. I was able to get this going this week and already am seeing obvious leaks that were just going right past me. I live in a big city and don’t have automobile expenses like maintenance, parking, or insurance, but was able to customize it to reflect the subway and taxi fares. I’ve even cut down on taxi rides already and am starting to plan in advance so I can keep my transportation expenses down a bit. I had not realized I blew THAT much money on taxi’s per month until actually sitting down and adding it all up.

    Reply
  • MrsFlipFlops April 30, 2012, 9:37 pm

    This is a very comprehensive budget spreadsheet. I love how detailed it is and how it has so many categories to remind you what you actually might need to spend money on. I have been using Quicken, simply because it provides a cash flow option, which other services do not have. I’ve been looking for a much simpler way to complete my budget without paying a yearly (and monthly) fee. I think starting May 1, I’m going to use this and try to simplify things.

    Reply
  • Paul78 April 30, 2012, 11:45 pm

    That is a good idea to copy it and compare from month to month. I’m on track now with dealing with a budget every month, but I’ve been saving over the same one each time instead of seeing how far I’ve come.

    Great site. Lots of good information here.

    Reply
  • dcprechtl May 1, 2012, 3:59 pm

    I am helping a friend to try to create a starting budget and your website will help him out greatly. Thank-you for everything you have provided.

    Reply
  • FinalStraw May 2, 2012, 4:16 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for the spreadsheet. I’d struggle to make one myself so this has saved me the struggle. It will help me keep track and hopefully I can start saving some money!

    Reply
  • Kayde May 5, 2012, 7:19 pm

    This is such a helpful tool! Thank you for posting it. It is always seems so hard to set up a budget on my own, but now I have no excuse not to use a budget!

    Reply
  • Stephanie May 8, 2012, 2:17 am

    I truly like this budget program. It’s the only one that has a column for yearly expenses, which are the things that were throwing my budget off. Wow! It calculates how much I need to set aside each month.
    I have been working with a life coach and setting up a budget is what we are currently working on! Now, I’ll be prepared for my next session. Thanks a lot!!

    Reply
  • Rzashida July 3, 2013, 11:04 pm

    Thank you for taking the time out to make a chart. my husband and I will make sure we keep up with our budget. It’s really hard to keep track of my own expenses and track what my husband is doing so this should be helpful.

    Reply
  • saragk July 16, 2013, 7:32 pm

    Thanks for the awesome budget sheet! It’s great that I don’t have to start my own from scratch. The video was also really helpful.

    Reply
  • Dara February 21, 2015, 9:24 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing this useful program. Thanks. Dara

    Reply

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