Hello there, my fellow Real-Human-In-Training!
I’m so honored and grateful you chose to utilize my yearly budget calculator Excel template. This budget worksheet has been a lifesaver to me over the past two years, and I pray it can bring some much-needed order and relief to your life as well.
If you’re looking at this instruction manual, I assume it’s because you’ve already downloaded theExcel spreadsheet from my Etsy shop. If you haven’t, please do so now by clicking on this link! I’ll add the link again at the bottom of this page, in case you want to take a look at the spreadsheet first.
Now let’s dive into the spreadsheet!
Table of Contents:
How to utilize the tabs
First, it’s important to understand how the tabs work in your new budgeting calculator.
|When you open the spreadsheet, the first thing you'll notice is 16 tabs across the bottom. You'll be on tab 1, "Income Totals".|
The tabs across the bottom are: Income Totals, Income Statement, Bills, Upcoming, and then monthly expenses. Each month has their own "Expenses" tab.
|If the huge number of tabs is overwhelming, you can always hide the tabs you're not currently using. For example, if it's January, you can hide the remaining 11 monthly expense tabs.|
Simply right-click the tab you would like to hide, and click "Hide".
|When you're moving onto the next month and it's time to unhide a tab, right-click one of the visible tabs. Then click "Unhide".|
|You'll see a list of your hidden tabs. Click the tab you would like to make visible, then hit "OK".|
If you notice on the first two tabs of your Excel spreadsheet (Income Totals and Income Statement), I’ve frozen Column A. Since the column is frozen, you can scroll back and forth across the months without losing view of your descriptors.
|Tab 1 is the "Income Totals" tab. This tab will provide your net income for each month. On this tab, you'll record any money you make throughout the year, as well as any withholdings.|
|The first section is the "Income" section. This includes affiliate commissions, investment dividends, and any passive income, such as Swagbucks. Adjust the filler information to match your paychecks and income streams.|
If you have fewer sources of income than the spreadsheet provides, right-click and select "Clear Contents".
|The next section is your "Withholdings" section. If you have income withheld from your paycheck before you see it, do not include this information here. This is only for income withheld after you receive payment.|
If you're a freelancer or manually send taxes to the IRS for any reason, include this here.
|Finally, you'll see your family's "Net Profit" for the year. This row will automatically calculate your income minus your withholdings, and determine your net profit! Column "N" on the far right will provide your running total for the year.|
The second tab is great because it provides a clean overview of everything you spend throughout the year. In the first few months, this overview will give you a great idea of where you’re overspending, and which categories are eating up the biggest chunk of your take-home pay.
|The "Income Statement" tab is where you will see your total expenses for each budget category. Nothing on this tab should need to be filled in manually - all information should be pulled from other tabs.|
|The first row on your sheet - row 3 - pulls information from the first tab (Income Totals). Each month, the information will be pulled from "Net Profit" and automatically fill in on the Income Statement.|
|Throughout the year, this spreadsheet will fill with your total expenses. At the very bottom of this tab, on the far right of row 18, you will be able to see your total expenses for the year. Underneath the expenses, you'll see your net income (net profit minus expenses) for each month. Finally, you'll see "Income YTD", which is a total of your net income for the year.|
|In Column O, you'll see "% of Total". This column shows what percentage of your total expenses each budget category makes up. Because many choose to take tithe or charitable giving out of pre-tax money, this category is not included in your total expense breakdown.|
The benefit of this tab is really to make sure you never lose track of any recurring expenses.
|The "Bills" tab is short and simple. This information will need to be manually entered, though the total for each section (in the grey bars) will automatically populate.|
The purpose of recording every bill you have, and breaking them down by frequency, is to ensure you're always prepared for a bill once it arrives (or automatically withdraws from your bank account).
|The first section is for monthly bills. These are the bills which need to be payed every month. For some bills (such as utilities), an average is fine. Most of these bills will be categorized under "Fixed Bills" on the "Expenses" tabs.|
|The grey bars under the bi-annual and annual bills sections will provide the total amount you spend for all bills together. Using this information, you will know how much to put away each month into savings before these bills are due.|
The “Upcoming” tab is useful for future planning.
|Use this tab to record any expenses you know will be coming up in the future (for example, a car or home repair), as well as your wants or long-term goals.|
|Information from this tab will not populate into another tab, and will need to be manually entered. You can use the "Notes" section to keep track of how much has been saved for each expense, or to remember how much needs to be saved per month before payment is due.|
The final 12 tabs are all broken up by month. For the purpose of your template, only the first month (January) has examples. All other months are clear for you to fill in. If you want to hide the months not currently in use, check out the tutorial under the tabs section at the top.
As you go through the year, each monthly budget calculator will provide the most detailed information about where you’re wasting money, and how you can cut back on your spending. The bottom of the sheet has a great personal budget template where you can set your budget and see how realistic your spending habits are.
|The first half of the "Expenses" tab is populated by your budget categories. Every expense will need to be manually entered, with the expense type, date on the receipt, establishment, and cost of the expense. You can make a note for the reason behind the purchase, or additional information about the price (for example, if you break up a Walmart receipt into multiple categories).|
|If you scroll to the bottom of the tab, you'll see a "Total" of your monthly expenses, as well as a budget breakdown. This section provides an overview of every expense category, as well as your budget for that category.|
|The first budget category on this tab is the "Tithe/Charitable Giving" category. The total expenses for this category will automatically populate the "Income Statement" tab, under that month's column.|
|In every category, you will fill out the expenses from your receipt or invoice as a line item. If you do not have enough expenses to fill up a category one month, simply leave the line blank.|
If you need additional lines, copy one line from within that category, right click a white row within the category, and select "insert copied cells". This should provide additional lines without disrupting your spreadsheet formulas.
|As you fill in your expenses throughout the month, the total in the grey bar below each category will automatically populate at the bottom of the tab, in the "Spent" column beside the corresponding category. As your "Spent" column goes up, the amount remaining in the next column will decrease.|
|At the bottom of your sheet, the three columns beside each category are for "Budget", "Spent" and "Remaining". In the "Budget" column, you will manually enter your household budget for that category each month. The blue number at the bottom of the category should not exceed your income (otherwise you're spending more than you make - which is bad).|
|The "Spent" column will automatically adjust every time you fill in a line item in an expense category. The red number at the bottom of the column shows your total expenses for the month.|
|The "Remaining" column shows the amount of money you have remaining in each budget category. This number will automatically decrease as your expenses increase. The big green number at the bottom of the column shows the total amount your family has remaining for the month.|
|The final numbers being tracked underneath your expense categories gives you an expenses overview for the month. Your "Income" will automatically populate from the "Income Totals" tab. The "Budgeted Expenses" will automatically populate from the red number above. The "Unexpected Expenses" row (the only category without a space on your overview sheet) will automatically populate from the grey total in the budget category above. The "Net" row shows income, minus budgeted expenses, minus unexpected expenses.|
Finally, the "Savings and Slush" sections will need to be manually entered with any funds you have left in your "Net" row. If you have additional savings accounts, right-click on Row 132 to add extra rows.
Download the Budget Calculator Excel Template
If you’ve just been kicking the tires to see if this is the right way to learn how to budget your money, I hope you’ve found this spreadsheet template worth your time!
See you soon, fellow RHIT!