The best budgeting templates to manage your money

Whether you’re trying to break the paycheck-to-paycheque life cycle, get out of debt, or accumulate savings, a…

Whether you’re trying to break the paycheck-to-paycheque life cycle, get out of debt, or accumulate savings, a well-planned budget can help you reach your goals faster. By tracking your income versus your expenses, a spending and saving plan can ensure that you are in control of your finances.

Think of a budget as the framework that keeps your financial house from collapsing — it tells your money where to go to cover day-to-day expenses and achieve various goals at the same time. A budget should not be restrictive either. Rather, it lets you control spending to make sure you can afford the things you want.

“A budget helps you reach your financial goals because it gives you a complete understanding of your spending and savings,” says Jim Wang, founder of WalletHacks.com, a personal finance blog. “It helps you find areas where you can reduce your expenses so you can increase your savings elsewhere.”

[Read: The Best Free Budgeting Tools.]

Budgeting can often seem daunting, so Bobbi Rebell, certified financial planner and personal finance expert for credit-building tool Tally, advises to start simple. “Look at your disposable income and write down your priorities, then work from there and see where you can make adjustments,” she says, adding that a notebook is a great place to write down your expenses and purchases so you have a better idea of ​​your expenses. habits.

For those ready to get into budgeting, there’s no need to create a spreadsheet from scratch. Save time and hassle by using a pre-built budget spreadsheet. Some models allow you to manually enter your information for free, or you can subscribe to a service that regularly imports your financial data for effortless financial tracking.

Here’s a look at seven of the best budgeting worksheets to start your journey to financial wellness:

– The Budget Mom’s Budget Package

— Google Sheets

-Microsoft Excel

—Vertex42

– bar money

– Mint

— Personal capital

The Budget Mom’s Budget Package

Sometimes putting pen to paper helps you feel more connected to the habits you’re following, which makes TheBudgetMom.com’s Monthly Budget Packet a great resource for budgeting beginners, says Rebell. This free printable template provides a detailed income and expense tracking chart where you enter things like fixed and variable expenses, debt, and savings. You even get a bill tracker and a monthly spending chart, so you have plenty of options to test out what best suits your money management needs and preferences.

Google Sheets

Create a custom budget spreadsheet or grab a ready-to-use template through Google Sheets, making it easy to track finances. With many budgeting templates to choose from, you can find a tracker to suit your needs, whether you’re looking to manage your budget on a weekly or monthly basis, or want a budgeting template for specific events like that a wedding or upcoming vacation. Google Sheets has built-in categories as well as formulas that make it easy to calculate expenses versus income. Some even come with pre-formulated charts and graphs to help you visualize your overall financial picture. Other features include the ability to filter spend by category and even send queries on certain purchases directly to your partner’s email via the spreadsheet. Another advantage of Google Sheets is that it is easy to share with family members and you can access it on multiple devices if you save it in Google Drive.

[READ: Best Personal Finance Courses.]

Microsoft Excel

If you have Microsoft Office, consider Microsoft Excel for your budget needs. Its suite of budgeting templates is designed to meet many different financial needs, from personal family expenses to basic monthly budgeting to specific financial tracking for vacations, weddings, vacations and more. If you prefer to create your own custom template, basic Excel skills will do.

Vertex42

This site offers a range of monthly budget templates designed for Excel users, all for free. Choose from a variety of spreadsheets, including income and expense tracking, personal monthly budgets, wedding budgets and more. For those who need help managing day-to-day expenses, the budget calendar template lets you track expenses using a calendar format, showing you when monthly bills are due. It includes daily account balances to help you avoid overdraft charges on your account. Before downloading a template, you can click on the budget spreadsheet link for a full description and a screenshot of the layout to see if it will work for you.

bar money

Entering your own financial data into a budget spreadsheet can be tedious, so Tiller Money offers a solution. The site streamlines your financial accounts and automatically updates a budget template in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel with your expenses, income, and balances each day. This helps make it easier to keep track of your finances, which is a hurdle many people face in taking control of their money, Wang says. You can create your own budget spreadsheet or use an existing template, giving you more flexibility to format the budget to suit your personal needs. After a 30-day free trial, Tiller Money costs $79 per year. Tiller also offers a free, non-automated budgeting template.

[READ: Clever Ways to Track Your Money Goals.]

mint

While the Mint app takes budgeting one step further by streamlining your digital financial accounts in one place, you can also find budget templates designed through Excel on the Mint website with custom options tailored to different stages of budgeting. life. For example, students can use the college budget template to create a financial tracking chart tailored to their needs. Meanwhile, a new parent might find the child care budget template helpful in managing all of the new expenses associated with the birth of a baby.

Personal capital

When your finances get a little more complicated and you have multiple investment accounts and sources of income, a basic budgeting template may not be enough to optimize your money management. In this case, Personal Capital can provide a better solution for your budget needs. Link all your financial accounts through its personalized dashboard to get an overview of your total financial situation. Along with monitoring your expenses, investments, savings, and other goals, you can also track your net worth through this dashboard.

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The best budgeting templates to manage your money originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 8/4/22: This story was previously published on an earlier date and has been updated with new information.