Not trying to hijack or supersede anyone's topics here, just figured I'd try to be helpful - this is inspired by "Managing Your Money, Building a Personal Financial Model" and "I Can't Save Money".

This is a budget template I built that I think works pretty well. You can enter your budget by month and expense category, and then track your expenses and income in the "Income & Expenses" tab. Pretty straightforward and dynamic. I generally try to take 10-15 minutes at the end of every week to enter in the appropriate line items and have found it helpful in terms of seeing where I spend more than I'd like.

Hope some people find this helpful.

Office spreadsheet icon budget_template.xls295 KB

Comments (14)


Similar to what I use where the Income & Expenses tab is from a CSV file from Mint.

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I have something similar, but yours looks a lot nicer. +1

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op you left your name as the author on the book.
just thought i'd let you know.


Thank you - would appreciate those who downloaded the older version not stalking me


I use Dave Ramsey's EveryDollar.com

It's gnarly


This puts mine to shame. +1


30 XR + "we're on hold on Project DMX" = awesome budget template that I will never take the time to fill out


This is real pretty.


Do you have any targets for (max) what you would spend on things like a car payment, rent, food, etc.? Thanks for the template. +SB


Really up to you - I spend way too much on food and about 30% of take-home pay on rent / cable / utilities, which is also extremely high, but I also contribute ~40% of take-home pay to student loans / retirement savings, so I'm pretty comfortable with it net-net (all of those numbers are excluding bonuses - I also contribute my full bonus to student loans).

My general rule of thumb is that if I'm able to make meaningful retirement account contributions and loan repayments, then I'm in a pretty good place so I don't stress too much about the rest of the budget. I spend ~15% of take-home salary (again, excluding bonus) on food and ~7% on entertainment, which are really the things I like to spend money on anyway.

I also have ~6 months of expenses in a savings account, which was the first thing I made sure I did.


Great chart. Thanks a lot. In regards to cell AS7, is there a reason why not all of the personal expenses are included in that sum? It seems like it isn't including AS:37:AS44. I could be wrong though. Thanks again.


Yeah that was really meant as a tracker for me to know how I was doing throughout the month on discretionary expenses, so it only includes things that are not essentially "mandatory" from my perspective (I need a haircut every month, if I have to go to the doctor I don't have much of a choice, etc...). They're all technically discretionary but it was really a very fact-specific formula - you could edit it however you see fit and it doesn't flow anywhere else in the spreadsheet.


How would you recommend inputting salary? Does the excel calculation take into account the "unevenness" of a bi-weekly pay system in the sense that in the beginning and end of the month, not all days are from current month (ex. Bi-weekly pay occurs on 11/11, 11/25, 12/9, etc.. but for the 11/11 pay, 9/10 days are from November, 11/25 pay, all are included in November, but for the paycheck in December, 3/10 days are from the month of November.)
Thanks OP for the help and really solid excel and format.


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