While Mrs. AR and I don’t typically keep a firm budget, every so often I like to keep tabs on our expenses and see where there is room for improvement.
This tool provides an easy way to do that, as well as a useful way to forecast expenses for the year as well.
We use Personal Capital to tie all the data together, and from there I enter it all down into this spreadsheet.
My spreadsheet works with both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. It is a simple and easy to use template.
How to Use The Budget & Expense Tool
First up, go ahead and download the Simple Yearly Budget & Expense Tracker
- For both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel users, click here to “make a copy” of the Simple Yearly Budget & Expense Tracker
- For Excel users only, you will then want to click “File” then –> “Download” –> “Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)”
Ok, now that you’ve got the file, you need to go ahead and start to fill it out.
- Enter the Budget Year, and the Data Entry Date
- Fill out your Yearly Budget (Column C)
- If you don’t currently have a budget, it will be useful to enter in last year’s expense information as a starting point.
- Next Up, Fill out the Year-to-Date Expense Data (Column D)
- Log in to Personal Capital (or your CC)
- Pull up a report for Year-to-Date Expenses
- Search and log each expense category or major expense
- Projected Expenses (Column E) will auto-populate as you do so
And that’s that. You’ll be able to see any expenses that are projected to be over budget in red, and anything under budget in green:
As you can see by my made up numbers, we are under-budget. Whoop!
Staying on-budget is harder than ever these days.
I know that I’ve gone over budget myself this year, and to stay on track, my wife and I look over which areas we might be able to cut back on, subscriptions we may want to cancel, or service providers that might make sense switching.
My recommendation: indulge in the things you love, and cut out the rest!
I hope this helps you, and please let me know if you have any questions at all!