My last semester of college I took a Family Finance class and it was probably one of my favorite classes of all my college experience. I finally felt like I was learning something useful I could use in real adult life (aside from my graphic design classes). I highly recommend this class to anyone still in school. It helped me understand taxes, mortgages, budgeting, credit cards, credit score, life insurance — everything there is to finance!
During the budget section of this class, our teacher showed us different ways we can budget. I started with an app called Mint which I liked because I really didn’t have to do anything. It would categorize everything for me! After a few months of being married, I wanted to make new categories but I found that difficult in Mint so I decided to try a different option. During that class I had been Googling Budgeting Excel sheets and I found one that was well put together. I am a numbers girls. I want to know monthly averages, money left over each month, weekly expenses, and weak points of our budget. So I customized the sheet, added a few more things, and made it my own. I’ve been using this sheet for 3 years and now I’m sharing it with you!
Some of you’re probably thinking, “Excel sheet? Those are SO old and there are millions of apps that do the work for you!” Sure, the financing apps make it automatic and easy but I’ve found that manually entering my expenses helps me truly understand where our money goes and I learn a lot more through this sheet than randomly checking an app that did it for me. As you can tell I love this sheet!
Tracking our Expenses and Income
I believe that knowledge is everything when it comes to budgeting. You can’t budget unless you know where you’re money is going; this is the first step. On my personal file, I added another sheet at the bottom after December that gives a list of our budget. I can see what our monthly average for food is and we can try to stay at that or under for the upcoming months, and change accordingly.
The categories we use that I like knowing our averages is: Restaurants, Groceries, Fast Food, Gas, Recreation, Clothing, Travel, and Amazon. We separated ‘Shopping’ into 9 categories since ‘Shopping’ is so general. We have Recreation, Clothing, Amazon, McKenzie Hobby (for my paints, yarn, The Crafter’s Box, etc.), Ryan Hobby (his paints and other things he likes to buy), Home shopping (anything for the house obviously), Necessary Shopping (pretty much whatever else is left, because usually it’s necessary but doesn’t really go in any of the other categories), Gifts, and Target.
It may seem overwhelming at first but I only go on twice a month (usually around the 15th and the 30th) and input the charges from our credit card/debit card. Any money paid in cash I don’t worry about, but you easily could input that as well! It’s so quick and it has benefited our family greatly. If this document seems overwhelming, I created a short video explaining everything below.
If you use Gmail and want to have a Google Doc, you can use the link below. I use it as a Google Doc so that I can access it from any computer.
**Make sure to click File > Make a Copy so that you’re not inputing information on the Main Template! It will get erased there so make your own copy to save on your Google Drive.
Free Download Below
If you’d rather have an Excel document, click the link below to download!
This document can seem overwhelming at first, there are SO many input and numbers! I’ve made a video walking through a few of the things to help you take the first step to understanding your expenses. Ask me any questions you have as well!
I don’t believe this document is for everyone. If you don’t care about having very specific categories or you don’t want to input your expenses manually I think Mint is great for you! If you are curious to see monthly or weekly averages or keep track of weak points of the budget this document is made for you!
I hope you enjoy this sheet, comment below of any questions you have on it and I will make sure to answer them!