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What if I could help make budgeting easier?
We all know that using a budget and tracking our spending is good for us, just like exercising and eating healthy.
But it’s hard to know where to start, which budget will work best, or even how to budget in the first place.
I have good news. I made a simple monthly budget spreadsheet that you can start using today.
No experience necessary.
With this monthly budget spreadsheet you’ll be able to:
- plan for upcoming expenses
- easily track your spending
- track in a glance if you’re over or under budget in every budget category
- stop worrying about the how to budget, and actually start budgeting
- take control over your money and tell it where to go (there’s a lot of comfort and relief when you have more control)
Why Use a Budget?
When you go on a trip, chances are you make plans before you leave.
Whether we’re leaving town for a week or a few days, we plan ahead and think about:
- how long we’re going to be gone
- how will we eat? Dine out or cook?
- what do we need to bring with us?
- where will we be staying?
Even a trip to the grocery store requires a little bit of planning – what are you buying? How much of every item? Are you getting dessert? (hopefully the answer is always yes to dessert).
When you use a budget, you’re doing the same thing, but with your money. You can think of each month like a new trip. A budget helps you think about:
- what is important this month?
- are there any unique expenses or income I need to think about (please tell me I’m not the only one who plans ahead for girl scout cookies!)
- what goals would you like to save money for?
- how much money do you WANT to spend?
- how much money will you have at the end of the month?
- what happens if you start to run out of money?
Any budget will help you plan ahead so that you can be more intentional with your money and spend money on the things that matter most to you.
My Definition of a Budget
Budgeting gets a bad rap and brings up a lot of negative emotions.
I’ve led a few budgeting workshops, and those are some of the most common feelings people associate with a budget.
It’s no wonder so many people avoid budgeting. If I felt fear and stress everytime I sat down to budget, it would be harder to be consistent and use my budget.
What if you felt joy, hope, and excitement when you think of your budget?
How would that change your mindset when it comes to money?
Let’s use a different definition for budgeting that reframes why we use a budget, and how it can change our lives.
“A budget is a list of your goals and priorities. It helps you intentionally spend money on goals and priorities that matter to you, and avoid spending money on things that don’t align with your values.”
Read that again ??
When you think of your budget as a list of your goals and priorities, it changes how you think of money.
Money is a tool that helps us achieve our goals and dreams. It’s the pursuit of goals we care about, and the achievement of those goals that creates joy and excitement in budgeting.
When we were paying off our student loans, we used a zero based budget and worked hard to become debt free. It was really fun watching those numbers fall and even more fun celebrating each loan we paid off.
Maybe you’ve never really thought about your big life goals and dreams, or how money can help you achieve them.
If that’s you, pause for a couple minutes and think about your big dreams and goals in life, and write them down.
Now think of how you can use your money right now to make progress to reach them.
Are there expenses you want to get rid of to make room for your goals?
Would you start to think twice about ordering take out when your big goal is to buy a house or get out of debt?
I know we did. In fact, we stopped going out to eat completely.
Our Budget has Changed Our Lives. Seriously.
When we got married, we had $100,000 of total combined debt. That didn’t jive well with our goal to start a family. Our debt had to go.
With our goal to start a family, it changed the way we spent money, and motivated us to make more money.
Starting a family was the driving force to becoming debt free in 5 years. And our budget was a direct reflection of that goal.
- cutting expenses we didn’t care about (bye cable)
- making all of our meals at home – eating out is amazing and delicious, but our family was more important
- being very intentional and efficient with ALL of our spending
- making more money – extra jobs, after school committees, coaching
And it worked. Our budget changed our lives and helped us become debt free. We saw our priorities living in our budget and we were motivated to keep moving forward.
When you frame your budget as a list of your goals and priorities, it changes everything.
Introducing the Monthly Budget Spreadsheet
With this monthly budget spreadsheet, you’ll be able to:
- set a budget for each budget category
- track your monthly spending every month of the year
- keep a yearly running total of income, savings, and expenses
- intentionally plan for upcoming expenses every month
- customize budget categories for your family
- track your savings goals
- track the progress of your goals and priorities
Is this the best monthly budget on the internet?
It’s easy to use and customize, and the best budget is the one you actually use. I feel strongly that this monthly budget spreadsheet can help you reach your money goals and take control over your money.
This budget is simple, but there is so much to love.
What I LOVE about this Budget Spreadsheet
There are hundreds of budgeting spreadsheets on the internet.
Some are free, and some (like this one) cost a few bucks.
If you’re looking to try a new monthly budget spreadsheet, these are a few reasons I love this one:
- Customizable and flexible to meet your needs
- Comes with video instructions to help you set up your monthly budget
- Automatically calculates monthly totals for income, savings, and expenses
- Includes a table to plan for upcoming monthly expenses for each month
- Has a separate tab that calculates yearly totals
- All the formulas work so very little math is needed
- There’s a new tab for each month
- Comes with a printable version if you prefer pen and paper
- You can easily add a Sinking Fund Tracker or Debt Snowball Spreadsheet so you can keep all of your finances in one spreadsheet
Are you ready to be debt free?
A step by step guide to make your own debt snowball spreadsheet.
Fully customizable and easy to use video tutorials to get set up. Learn how to organize your debt, make a plan, and get debt free.
Budgets are my jam and I love spreadsheets, so when I see ANY BUDGET that allows for easy customization and auto-calculating formulas, I’m all in.
I may be a little biased because I did make this monthly budget spreadsheet myself, but I do think it’s quite good and simple to use.
The Weakest Link of this Monthly Budget Spreadsheet
I hate having a weak link, but this is a new product, and isn’t perfect.
It’s honestly pretty hard to make a perfect budget spreadsheet that works for everyone. That’s why there are so many on the internet, and each one speaks to a different user.
I’m not fully satisfied with the “Yearly Totals” tab on this budget spreadsheet.
It has the power to calculate your yearly totals for income, savings, and expenses, which it does very well.
I also want it to help you track the yearly totals for each individual savings goal, expense, and income.
And that’s where things get tricky.
In order to do that, you have to keep all expenses on every single monthly tab in the exact same order.
The yearly totals tab calculates the totals based on the rows of each monthly tab, so if you don’t have your budget categories in the same order for each month, it will create inaccurate totals.
So it could work brilliantly for you, or the yearly totals for each expense could be a disaster of inaccurate information. It all depends on how you enter your budget categories.
The good news is, the yearly totals in the upper right hand column of the yearly totals tab should be spot on, 100% accurate.
If you have any good feedback on this tab, I’d honestly be happy to hear it.
A Few FAQs on this Monthly Budget Spreadsheet
I seriously love this budget and want to try to cover any questions to help you decide if the monthly budget spreadsheet is right for you.
You can of course always leave a comment at the end, email me, or message me on any of my social media channels. There are links for those at the bottom of every page of my website.
I’m very open to feedback and improving my products and answering your questions. As a teacher, I’m very comfortable getting evaluated and talking about improvement.
Let’s dive into some questions!
Will this Monthly Budget Spreadsheet Work for Me?
What I can say is, if you take the time to consistently use ANY budget spreadsheet, it will help you take more control of your money and reach your financial goals faster.
This budget spreadsheet isn’t any different.
If you use it, it will work.
A friend of mine has a saying he repeats a lot, and it’s pretty accurate.
“If you do the work, it will work.” Pete McPherson
Most any budget spreadsheet you can find will work for you if you put in the time and effort to learn how to use it, AND you commit time to entering your income and expenses consistently.
If you’re not consistent and don’t enter your spending, no budget spreadsheet will work for you.
I do believe this is a very simple, useful, and effective budget spreadsheet to track your spending every month.
If you do choose to purchase this budget spreadsheet (and use it), you’ll notice a few changes.
- You get a good sense of how much you can spend on everything for each month
- You’ll start making faster progress toward your goals like paying off debt and saving money
- Your spending will become more efficient and intentional
- You’ll waste less money on stuff you don’t care about
- You’ll feel more relaxed and in control of your money
I can’t guarantee this monthly budget spreadsheet will work for you, but I do know that if you use ANY budget consistently, you’ll get better results.
The best budget is the budget that you use. I know I’ve said that like 6 times already, but it’s so important. If this one is it, that’s AMAZING! If a different budget spreadsheet works better, please use that one.
My goal is to help you budget, save money, and get debt free.
If I can help you do that, great. If someone else can help you better, go get help from that person.
The end result is that you reach your goals.
What’s the Worst that Can Happen?
This monthly budget spreadsheet costs $5. If you buy it, and after trying it for a few months, the budget isn’t really working, then you lost $5 and can search for a different budget.
It’s like trying a new drink at starbucks and you hate it. You’ve learned that you’ll never buy that drink again, and you kind of wasted $5.
You might be annoyed, but you move on a little bit wiser.
But what if this monthly budget spreadsheet DOES WORK?
Then I think it has the power to change your life, and no, that’s not an exaggeration.
And it only cost $5.
To me, that’s worth the gamble.
And if you put in consistent work to face your spending habits (this takes courage and vulnerability), focus on your goals and priorities, it’s not really a gamble.
It’s an intentional choice to take control of your money, and I believe this monthly budget spreadsheet can help you do that.
What if I don’t know anything about spreadsheets?
Whether you’re level zero or expert level with spreadsheets, this budget can work for you.
I created video instructions to help you set up your budget spreadsheet.
These videos show you some tricks and tools and help you learn how to use this budget spreadsheet. The videos are short and easy to follow. And if you have questions, you can always send me a message.
Also, this monthly budget spreadsheet comes with a set of budget printables.
So if you want to use pen and paper instead, there’s an option for that. You just need to be able to print off the budget spreadsheet for each month.
Both the budget spreadsheets and budget printables come with this download, so you can use whichever one works best for you.
Again, the best budget is the one you actually use.
What happens at the end of the year? Will I get a new spreadsheet?
This is a great question.
For the monthly budget printable, the answer is easy.
You just print off a new set of monthly budgets and start using those in the new year.
If you use the digital monthly budget spreadsheet, it’s a tad more complicated, but it’s a pretty simple solution overall.
When you first upload your spreadsheet to Google Sheets, my advice is to “Make a Copy”. This is in the File drop down menu in Google Sheets.
This makes an exact copy of the entire spreadsheet, including a tab for every month, just like the original.
Now you have your monthly budget spreadsheet ready for next year, the only problem is that it’s blank.
All you’ll need to do is re-enter your income, saving, and expenses into your new spreadsheet, or copy and paste them from the previous year.
Yes, it does take a little set up work, but no budget is without set up.
I use an annual budget spreadsheet, and at the end of the year, I have to do the same process. Once you find a system of copying your budget categories, it’s pretty simple. It just takes a little time.
Are You Ready to Take Control of Your Money?
Your budget is a list of your goals and priorities, and using a budget will help you spend money on the things you care about most.
Whatever you want to accomplish with your money, this monthly budget spreadsheet can help you get there faster.
You can buy this monthly budget spreadsheet right here for $5.
Once you have it downloaded and set up, read this blog post to help you make a budget that aligns with your goals and values.
What are your biggest goals and priorities when it comes to money?