Happy Saturday! Today’s post is going to be a short, interactive post where you can download a handy budget tracker to get going on your budgeting journey!
Not familiar with what I’m talking about? All during the month of April, we’re talking budgets! Last week, we covered why it’s important to start a budget. On Tuesday, we talked about prioritizing our budgets based on what’s important to us – it could be family, traveling, or paying down debt. The goal of that post was to figure out what matters most, and ruthlessly cut out anything that didn’t get you closer to your goal. Finally, on Thursday we discussed tracking your income and expenses.
On Thursday, I promised you a handy dandy tracking sheet for your income and expenses. And here we are! Click below to download your very own Excel tracking document for your income and expenses for the rest of the year.
How to Use The Budget Tracker
Even if you’ve never worked in Excel, this document will be really easy to figure out. Your estimated income goes in the top Income box, and the first column for each category (Home, Transportation, Entertainment, etc) is what you estimate you’re going to spend. This is your budget.
The second columns are what you actually spend – this should hopefully be the same or less than your budget! Add your expenses as you go – you can either tally up your expenses from receipts and bank statements, then type them into Excel, or use the adding function in Excel to tally as you go. Personally, I think collecting all your receipts and bank statements and tallying them up at the end of the month is more concise and seems to save time. Think of it as your end of the month wealth check 🙂
After typing in your budget (first column) and actual costs (second column), that’s it! Everything else will populate for you, and there’s even a graph at the bottom of the page outlining your expenses by category.
Your expenses by category graph will show how much of you money is going to Home, Transportation, Entertainment, etc. If you realize your spending too much (more than 30%, for example) on one category, re-evaluate why you’re spending that much. If you spend 40% on Home costs, for example, think about how you can reduce those costs (less costly maintenance, shopping at the dollar store for home supplies, maybe even re-evaluating where you live or rent).
Annual Summary Tab
You will track your budget monthly using the tabs at the bottom of the screen. The last tab, titled Annual Summary Sheet, will show you an overview of how much you spent every month. Your goal is to lower your spending monthly. A graph on this tab will show you whether or not you succeed at keeping your expenses low!
If you have any questions about this budget tracker, let me know! It’s based off of Excel’s household budget tracker, so if you’ve ever used that, you should find this budget tracker very similar. But please let me know if you have questions, find a glitch, or want me to make this budget tracker better!