If you want to keep your finances on the right track, you need a budget.
The right budget will help make sure you’re saving enough, give you an idea of how much you should be spending on different categories of items, and let you know how much you have left over at the end of the month for fun spending.
It’s not always easy to set up a family budget, but these seven templates will give you the structure you need to get started.
Family Budget Planner from Vertex42
This single-sheet budget template is one of the most compact available, and focuses on giving you a good idea of how your finances progress over the course of a year.
The simple format makes it easy to work with, and the large number of categories makes it a breeze to categorize all of your spending. There’s also a dedicated row near the top of the spreadsheet to keep track of your savings.
The graphs at the top of the page show you how your spending, savings, and earnings fluctuate throughout the year, and help you quickly view your current financial state and determine how best to make changes to improve it.
Personal Monthly Budget from My Money Shrugged
This budget focuses on the difference between your projected income and costs versus your actual income and costs, showing you exactly where you should make changes.
With a number of sections and a variety of categories within those sections, you’ll have places to put just about any kind of cost that you’ll have on a monthly basis, from electricity bills to life insurance to your credit card debt.
By completing this budget each month, you’ll get a better and better picture of your overall finances over time. You could even use Google Sheets’ ability to create graphs to get a visual representation of your finances across several months.
Personal Budget Template from MyMoneyBlog
This budget comes pre-built with a sheet for each month, a master budget sheet where you can change your estimated expenses, and a yearly overview, so you could do all of your financial planning from this one spreadsheet.
After inputting your budgeted expenses and your actual earnings and expenditures, you’ll get a “planned vs. actual” cell for each category, showing you exactly what you need to work on.
Each month also contains space for a line-by-line breakdown of your expenses so you can see where your costs come from. The spreadsheet can look overwhelming when you first open it, but the amount of things that are automatically populated help keep everything easy to use.
Family Budget Planner from Spreadsheet123
With a huge range of options for inputting costs, you won’t have to worry about forgetting about something. There are sections for kid-related costs, financial obligations, legal fees, gifts and donations… even a section for pets! Similar to the spreadsheets above, you’ll input a master estimate of income, which will be automatically populated into your monthly pages.
This spreadsheet also includes a number of visual representations of your estimated and actual expenses, helping you better visualize what your budget looks like at any given time. There’s also a sheet at the end for helping you track your savings goals.
Super Starter Budget from Christian PF
If you’d like to be walked through the budget creation process, this spreadsheet is the one for you. By using a number of macros, the spreadsheet will give you prompts to explain how each field should be filled in. (Of course, with the recent spate of macro-based malware, you might not feel comfortable using this feature.)
The file also includes a pie-graph generator on the final sheet to give you a visual on how your budget is going. If you’re creating a budget for the first time, this template will help you along. Also, despite needing to add it to your cart and check out, it’s free.
Monthly Budget Spreadsheet from Words of Williams
Another spreadsheet that gives you a lot of assistance during setup, this sheet from Words of Williams actually comes with detailed instructions and a video to give you all the help you need to get up and running. With a fuel cost calculator, a savings sheet, and color-coded categories, this is one of the better free family budget spreadsheets available.
You’ll have to sign up for the Words of Williams newsletter to download this template, but once you’ve done that, you’ll get it for free and you can start keeping track of your family’s finances with ease.
Budget Spreadsheet from Gather Little by Little [No Longer Available]
While this spreadsheet is organized across a large number of tabs, making it a little unwieldy, it does have the advantage of being organized by pay period instead of by month, which could make it more convenient for the many people who get paid twice a month, instead of just once.
This spreadsheet could be especially useful for people who have an unstable income—freelancers, consultants, part-time workers, and others who have an idea of how much they’ll earn every two weeks, but don’t have a definite number. The format makes it a bit easier to make adjustments for income and expenses for these budgeters.
With these seven spreadsheets, you have plenty of options for finding tools that will help you get your family’s finances in order. Choose the one that appeals to you most, and start making a budget! Be sure to visit the best personal finance websites to get inspired, too. You can even learn a lot from finance-focused subreddits!
What sort of spreadsheets do you use to keep track of your family’s finances? Share your favorite useful resources below!
Image Credit: Young Man Looking At Woman Inserting Coin In Piggybank by Andrey_Popov via Shutterstock