Best free personal monthly budget template (2023)

Much of the anxiety around budgeting your money can be reduced with a little proactivity, persistence, and the right budgeting template.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to a variety of monthly budgeting spreadsheets, worksheets, and planners that can help you in your budgeting journey. We’ll also take a look at’s personal monthly budget template.

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What is a personal monthly budget template?

A personal monthly budget template helps you plan your spending. It lets you compare your budgeted expenses and income versus your actual expenses and income. And most importantly, a monthly budgeting template provides a bird’s eye view of your current financial situation.

While you can create your own budget planner, using a ready-made template guarantees that you’re not neglecting important financial information. In other words, a done-for-you template takes the guesswork out of creating a budget.

Generally, a personal budget template splits your income and expenses into categories like:

  • Income: Wages, tips, capital gains, bonuses
  • Expenses: Food, transportation, medical, utility, debt, pet, and variable expenses

Budget templates also add these individual amounts together, showing you what you’re spending and earning in each individual category.

Download Excel template

Why use a personal monthly budget template?

Now that you’ve got a handle on what a budget template is, let’s look at a few of the benefits of using one.

Helps you track minor details

A budget is only as good as the data it contains. By tracking your expenses and income in a professional template, it’s a lot easier to keep track of minor details.

Without a budget template, minor or variable expenses may fall through the cracks and not be accounted for. And these minor expenses add up. For that reason, you won’t have a true representation of your financial health and you could be missing valuable information that can help you make better-informed decisions.

Visualize your budget

Preparing a monthly budget is essential for anyone looking to gain more control of their personal finances. A well-crafted budget can help you save money, pay down debt, and achieve other financial goals. Having all your income and expenses in one place makes it easier to see day-to-day or week-to-week.

For example, if you’re overspending in a particular category, you’ll be able to see it right away. On the flip side, if you’re under-budgeting in another area, you can make adjustments that better reflect your spending habits.

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Plus, most monthly budget templates come with options to graph or chart your data over time, giving you an easy-to-digest visual representation of your finances.

Aids in long-term financial goal planning

Your monthly budget isn’t just a snapshot of your current financial situation — it can also be a tool for long-term goal planning.

For instance, if you’re trying to save up for a down payment on a house, you can create a budget that allocates a certain percentage of your income toward your goal each month. And if you have debt you’re trying to pay off — you can use your budget as a roadmap for how to get rid of it. A monthly budget also lets you see how your spending fits into your annual budget.

What are some examples of a personal monthly budget?

There are various kinds of monthly budgets with different applications. Here are some examples of how you might use a personal monthly budget.

Google monthly budget sheet

There are many different Google Sheets budget templates out there. This monthly budget worksheet is easy to use and lets you track your monthly expenses and income across a variety of budget categories.

Like most others, it has a summary page that shows your “planned” and “actual” income and expenses, as well as a “difference” column that shows you how over or under budget you were in that particular category.

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If you like working with spreadsheets and you only need a simple tool for your personal or household budget, a Google Sheets template is a workable option. But if you want something with a little more firepower, has you covered — more on that soon.

50/30/20 personal monthly budget template

The 50/30/20 budget is a popular budgeting strategy. The idea behind it is that you should allocate 50% of your income toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings and debt repayment.

The 50/30/20 budget is great for people who want to be more mindful of their spending but prefer a simple and flexible budget. If you’ve never followed a budget before or struggled to follow one in the past, try the 50/30/20 budget.

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The beauty in a 50/30/20 budget is that it’s simple. All you do is calculate your after-tax income and split it into three categories:

  • 50% to needs: Mortgage/rent, utilities, food, etc.
  • 30% to wants: Dining out, entertainment, etc.
  • 20% to debt/savings: Retirement, student loans, credit cards, etc.

From there, categorize expenses and track them regularly. As long as you stay within your overall percentages every month, you’re good to go. Note that the percentage split is just a guideline. Your finances may work out to 55/25/20 or 60/30/10 based on your income and location.

Student personal monthly budget

For some students, attending higher education or living away from home may be the first time you are faced with the need to budget or manage finances. Tuition, books, room and board and everyday expenses like food and transportation are just some examples of what could be in your budget.

That’s where a student-specific budget calculator can come in handy. It comes pre-loaded with typical student expenses, and some even recommended percentages to allocate for each expense category.

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A student budget template can make the process a little easier with a complete overview of your finances.

Now that you’re familiar with a few kinds of personal monthly budget templates, let’s dive into how our template can simplify your monthly budgeting process.’s personal monthly budget template

Our personal monthly budget template is a fully customizable solution that will help you make sense of your money, regardless of how complicated your budgeting needs may be. Powered by Work OS — a digital platform for getting work done — our budgeting template comes with a variety of features to help make budgeting a pain-free and worthwhile habit. For example, with, you can:

Set reminders

Using automation, you can set reminders so you don’t forget to pay your credit card bill, or worse, your student loans.

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Highlight important information

Automatically highlight information — like when you’re over budget on an item — using Conditional Coloring. You can also color-code different information and create custom labels to help important data stand out.

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Interpret data using formulas

Perform simple or complex calculations on your budget data to better understand where your money is going.

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The personal monthly budget template is a lifesaver if you’re new to budgeting and a dynamic asset if you’re a seasoned pro.

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Personal monthly budget tips & tricks

Managing your monthly budget is no easy feat. But with a little know-how and some helpful tips, you can make it work for you. Here are a few budgeting tips to get you started:

Let yourself fail

If you’re a budgeting newbie, your first few monthly budgets will probably be a disaster. And that’s perfectly okay because no one nails budgeting the first time around.

Instead of beating yourself up because your budget flew off the rails, try to see your setbacks as learning experiences:

  • What went wrong?
  • Why did you overspend in a particular category?
  • How can you fix it next month?

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The more you experiment with budgeting, the better you’ll get at it. So don’t be afraid to let yourself fail — it’s all part of the process.

Make a plan

If you want to save money, you need to have a plan. Decide how much money you want to save each month and come up with a strategy to make it happen. If you want a simplified approach, use the 50/30/20 budget.

Use a budget template

If you’re not sure how to create a budget, there are plenty of templates out there to help get you started.’s completely free personal monthly budget template is a great place to start.

Best free personal monthly budget template (10)

The most important thing about a monthly budget is to find a budgeting strategy that works for you and stick with it. Personal monthly budget templates can make the process a little easier, but ultimately it’s up to you to make it work.

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FAQs about personal monthly budget templates

How do I create a personal monthly budget?

You can create a monthly budget in as little as five easy steps:

  1. Spend about two or three months recording your monthly income and expenses.
  2. Separate your income and expenses into categories, such as “salary” and “dividends” for income and “mortgage/rent” and “utilities” for expenses.
  3. Think of any financial goals you want to achieve, such as paying off your credit card or saving for a vacation.
  4. Assign dollar amounts for your income, expenses, and financial goals, and populate a budgeting template with this information.
  5. Track your spending and make adjustments as required.

How do I create a personal monthly budget in Excel?

If you want to create a personal monthly budget in Excel, follow these steps:

  • Enter your monthly income and expenses into two separate columns.
  • Create headings for each category of income and expense.
  • Enter formulas in the appropriate cells to calculate your budgeted amounts.
  • Format the budget spreadsheet to make it easy for you to read.

If you want a faster way, you can export our template as a fully functional Excel template.

Does Excel have a personal budget template?

Yes, Excel has several personal monthly budgets. To find them in the Microsoft 365 version, open Excel, click “New,” enter “personal monthly budget” in the search bar and choose one of the available templates. However, if you want a more flexible budget spreadsheet,’s personal monthly budget template might be a better choice, as it allows for more customization options, including automated reminders and color-coding.


Best free personal monthly budget template? ›

The 75/15/10 Rule: This rule means that from all of your income, 75% goes towards spending, 15% goes towards investments, and 10% goes to savings. This rule helps reinforce investing as a priority every time you get your paycheck.

What is the best way to create a budget answers? ›

How to create a budget
  1. Calculate your net income.
  2. List monthly expenses.
  3. Label fixed and variable expenses.
  4. Determine average monthly costs for each expense.
  5. Make adjustments.

How do I make a personal monthly budget spreadsheet? ›

How to create a budget spreadsheet
  1. Choose a spreadsheet program or template.
  2. Create categories for income and expense items.
  3. Set your budget period (weekly, monthly, etc.).
  4. Enter your numbers and use simple formulas to streamline calculations.
  5. Consider visual aids and other features.

How do I create a monthly budget for myself? ›

Create a Personal Budget: How to Make a Budget
  1. Gather your financial statement. ...
  2. Record all sources of income. ...
  3. Create a list of monthly expenses. ...
  4. Fixed Expenses. ...
  5. Variable Expenses. ...
  6. Total your monthly income and monthly expenses. ...
  7. Budget Spreadsheet Example. ...
  8. Set a goal.

What is the 75 15 10 rule? ›

The 75/15/10 Rule: This rule means that from all of your income, 75% goes towards spending, 15% goes towards investments, and 10% goes to savings. This rule helps reinforce investing as a priority every time you get your paycheck.

What is the 40 20 10 rule? ›

40% of your time should be devoted to your most important priority. 30% of your time should be devoted to your second priority. 20% of your time should be devoted to your third priority. 10% of your time should be devoted to everything else (urgent and obligatory tasks).

What is the 50 20 30 rule? ›

The idea is to divide your income into three categories, spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings. Learn more about the 50/30/20 budget rule and if it's right for you.

How do you layout a monthly budget? ›

Creating a budget
  1. Step 1: Calculate your net income. The foundation of an effective budget is your net income. ...
  2. Step 2: Track your spending. ...
  3. Step 3: Set realistic goals. ...
  4. Step 4: Make a plan. ...
  5. Step 5: Adjust your spending to stay on budget. ...
  6. Step 6: Review your budget regularly.

How do you create a detailed personal budget? ›

Five simple steps to create and use a budget
  1. Step 1: Estimate your monthly income. ...
  2. Step 2: Identify and estimate your monthly expenses. ...
  3. Step 3: Compare your total estimated income and expenses, and consider your priorities and goals. ...
  4. Step 4: Track your spending, and at the end of month, see if you spent what you planned.

Does Excel have a personal budget template? ›

DIY with the Personal budget template

This Excel template can help you track your monthly budget by income and expenses. Input your costs and income, and any difference is calculated automatically so you can avoid shortfalls or make plans for any projected surpluses.

What is a realistic monthly budget? ›

The basic rule of thumb is to divide your monthly after-tax income into three spending categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings or paying off debt. By regularly keeping your expenses balanced across these main spending areas, you can put your money to work more efficiently.

What is the best monthly budget rule? ›

The 50/30/20 rule is a budgeting technique that involves dividing your money into three primary categories based on your after-tax income (i.e., your take-home pay): 50% to needs, 30% to wants and 20% to savings and debt payments.

What is a good monthly personal budget? ›

A good monthly budget should follow the 50/30/20 rule. According to this method, your monthly take-home income is divided into three categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings and debt repayment.

What is the 70 20 10 rule money? ›

Applying around 70% of your take-home pay to needs, letting around 20% go to wants, and aiming to save only 10% are simply more realistic goals to shoot for right now.

What is the 70 20 10 rule? ›

The 70-20-10 rule holds that: 70 percent of your after-tax income should go toward basic monthly expenses like housing, utilities, food, transportation, and personal living expenses; 20 percent should be saved or put into investments, leaving 10 percent for debt repayment.

What is the 50 40 10 rule? ›

Actually, this is how you allocate your money into three different categories – needs, wants, and savings. This is to determine what amount of money should be put into every three categories. This means 40% of your budget will be allocated to your needs, 10% to your wants, and putting 50% towards your savings.

What is the 80 20 budget? ›

The 80/20 budgeting method is a common budgeting approach. It involves saving 20% of your income and limiting your spending to 80% of your earnings. This technique allows you to put savings first, and it's both flexible and easy.

What is the 50 15 5 rule? ›

50 - Consider allocating no more than 50 percent of take-home pay to essential expenses. 15 - Try to save 15 percent of pretax income (including employer contributions) for retirement. 5 - Save for the unexpected by keeping 5 percent of take-home pay in short-term savings for unplanned expenses.

How much savings should I have at 50? ›

By age 50, you would be considered on track if you have three to six times your preretirement gross income saved. And by age 60, you should have 5.5 to 11 times your salary saved in order to be considered on track for retirement.

What are the 3 main types of budgets? ›

What Are The Three Types of Budgets
  • Balanced Budget. A budget is deemed a balanced one if the expected government expenses equal the estimated government receipts during a given financial year. ...
  • Surplus Budget. The second of the three types of budgets are the surplus budget. ...
  • Deficit Budget.
Jan 31, 2023

What is the 36 28 rule? ›

What Is the 28/36 Rule? The 28/36 rule refers to a common-sense approach used to calculate the amount of debt an individual or household should assume. A household should spend a maximum of 28% of its gross monthly income on total housing expenses according to this rule, and no more than 36% on total debt service.

What is the 5x spending rule? ›

It's Fidelity's simple rule of thumb for saving and spending: Aim to allocate no more than 50% of take-home pay to essential expenses, save 15% of pretax income for retirement savings, and keep 5% of take-home pay for short-term savings.

What are the 3 things that should be included in a monthly budget? ›

What monthly expenses should I include in a budget?
  • Housing. Whether you own your own home or pay rent, the cost of housing is likely your biggest monthly expense. ...
  • Utilities. ...
  • Vehicles and transportation costs. ...
  • Gas. ...
  • Groceries, toiletries and other essential items. ...
  • Internet, cable and streaming services. ...
  • Cellphone. ...
  • Debt payments.
Sep 26, 2022

What is the 1 3 rule for budget? ›

The judge of CNBC's “Money Court” tells CNBC Make It that renters and buyers alike need to follow the 1/3 rule, which calls for a third of your after-tax income to go toward living expenses, a third toward your home and the last third toward savings and investments.

What is a monthly budget template? ›

What is a personal monthly budget template? A personal monthly budget template helps you plan your spending. It lets you compare your budgeted expenses and income versus your actual expenses and income. And most importantly, a monthly budgeting template provides a bird's eye view of your current financial situation.

What are the three key sections of a personal budget? ›

The three main elements, or parts, of a personal budget are income, expenditures, and savings.

What is basic personal budget? ›

Try the 50/30/20 rule as a simple budgeting framework. Allow up to 50% of your income for needs. Leave 30% of your income for wants. Commit 20% of your income to savings and debt repayment.

How do I create a simple monthly budget in Excel? ›

How to create a budget in Excel using templates
  1. Navigate to the "File" tab. The "File" tab is on the top ribbon in Excel. ...
  2. Search for budgets. ...
  3. Select a suitable template. ...
  4. Fill the template. ...
  5. Create budget headers. ...
  6. Enter the expenses, costs, and income. ...
  7. Calculate the balance. ...
  8. Create visualizations.
Jul 9, 2022

Is Excel best for budgeting? ›

Most corporations, including government organizations, businesses, and non-profits, use Microsoft Excel for their budgeting. Excel offers them flexibility, familiarity, and ease of compiling, sorting, managing, and analyzing data for budgeting and forecasting.

What is the #1 rule of budgeting? ›

Key Takeaways

The rule states that you should spend up to 50% of your after-tax income on needs and obligations that you must-have or must-do. The remaining half should be split up between 20% savings and debt repayment and 30% to everything else that you might want.

What is the 10 20 rule? ›

The rule dictates that total consumer debt shouldn't exceed 20% of your annual take-home pay and monthly debt payments shouldn't exceed 10% of your monthly take-home pay. This rule of thumb can help consumers cap the amount of debt they hold, which is important for their financial health and their credit score.

What is the average Americans monthly budget? ›

There are folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics who keep track of what Americans spend on everything from cereal to housing. And they say the average monthly expenses for an American household add up to $5,577. That equals $66,928 per year, which is crazy close to the average annual income of $78,743 after taxes.

What is the golden rule for budgeting? ›

The golden rule of government spending is a fiscal policy that a government should borrow only to invest in projects that will create long-term, future benefits. Under the rule, current expenditures should be financed through taxation, not by issuing new sovereign debt.

What is the rule of thumb for personal budget? ›

“Use the 50/20/30 rule to manage spending—apply 50 percent of your take-home pay to needs, 20 percent to savings and debt payments, and no more than 30 percent to your wants.”

How to budget $4,000 a month? ›

For example, say your monthly take-home pay is $4,000. Applying the 50/30/20 rule would give you a budget of: 50% for mandatory expenses = $2,000 (0.50 X 4,000 = $2,000) 30% for wants and discretionary spending = $1,200 (0.30 X 4,000 = $1,200)

What is the 40 40 20 budget rule? ›

It goes like this: 40% of income should go towards necessities (such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and groceries) 30% should go towards discretionary spending (such as dining out, entertainment, and shopping) - Hubble Spending Money Account is just for this. 20% should go towards savings or paying off debt.

What is the 75 25 rule money? ›

"the investor should never have less than 25% or more than 75% of his funds in common stocks."

What does a healthy budget look like? ›

The 50/30/20 rule is a simple way to budget that doesn't involve a lot of detail and may work for some. That rule suggests you should spend 50% of your after-tax pay on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings and paying off debt.

What is the 70 30 rule? ›

The mistake most people make is assuming they must be out of debt before they start investing. In doing so, they miss out on the number one key to success in investing: TIME. The 70/30 Rule is simple: Live on 70% of your income, save 20%, and give 10% to your Church, or favorite charity.

What is the rule of 70 in personal finance? ›

The rule of 70 is used to determine the number of years it takes for a variable to double by dividing the number 70 by the variable's growth rate. The rule of 70 is generally used to determine how long it would take for an investment to double given the annual rate of return.

What should spending on wants not exceed according to the 50 30 20 rule? ›

Our 50/30/20 calculator divides your take-home income into suggested spending in three categories: 50% of net pay for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings and debt repayment.

What is the 60 20 20 rule? ›

If you have a large amount of debt that you need to pay off, you can modify your percentage-based budget and follow the 60/20/20 rule. Put 60% of your income towards your needs (including debts), 20% towards your wants, and 20% towards your savings.

What is the 50 20 20 10 budget rule? ›

Here comes the most crucial part— saving & investments. As per the original budgeting rule, you must dedicate 20% of your income to savings & investments. However, if you have limited debt (lower than 20% of your salary) and limited wants (lower than 10% of your salary), you can invest 20-40% of your income.

Does the 50 30 20 rule include retirement? ›

Important reminder: The 50/30/20 budget rule only considers your take-home pay for the month, so anything automatically deducted from your paycheck — like your work health insurance premium or 401k retirement contribution — doesn't count in the equation.

What is the best to create a budget? ›

We recommend the popular 50/30/20 budget to maximize your money. In it, you spend roughly 50% of your after-tax dollars on necessities, no more than 30% on wants, and at least 20% on savings and debt repayment.

What is the best way to create a budget banzai posttest answers? ›

What is the best way to create a budget? Divide your income into categories and plan how much you'll spend on each.

What is the best way to budget quizlet? ›

The zero-based budget is the best method of budgeting because: The zero-based budget ensures that every dollar you make is assigned a specific purpose.

What is budget answers? ›

A budget is a spending plan based on income and expenses. In other words, it's an estimate of how much money you'll make and spend over a certain period of time, such as a month or year.

What are the 4 most common budgeting methods? ›

The five most commonly used business #budgeting methods are the zero-based budget, incremental budget, activity-based budget, value proposition budget, and Flexible budget. each of these methods has its #advantages and #drawbacks, so it's important to choose the one that is best suited for your business.

What programs offer easy budgeting templates? ›

10 Best budget templates and apps
  • Clever Girl Finance Free Budget Template. ...
  • Google Sheets Budgeting Templates. ...
  • Microsoft Excel Budget Template. ...
  • Personal Capital (App) ...
  • Mint (App) ...
  • You Need A Budget (App) ...
  • EveryDollar (App) ...
  • Vertex42 budget spreadsheets.
May 11, 2023

What is Japanese method budget? ›

Originating in Japan, the Kakeibo method is a Japanese budgeting system that involves you manually tracking your spending to give you control of your money. Kakeibo uses the reflective practice of journaling to make you more aware of your spending habits and help you to uncover areas where you can save.

How do you create a basic project budget in 5 easy steps? ›

How to create a basic project budget in five easy steps
  1. Break down your project into tasks and milestones. ...
  2. Estimate each item in the task list. ...
  3. Add your estimates together. ...
  4. Add contingency and taxes. ...
  5. Get approval.
Aug 2, 2022

What is the hardest part of creating a budget? ›

The hardest part of budgeting for most people is unexpected expenses. These may be unexpected, and sometimes unpleasant, but you can still plan for them. If you have a car, plan to have it repaired. The unknowns are when that will be and how much it will cost.

What type of program would you use to create a personal budget? ›

Both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets offer free budget templates to users. Free budget templates are also available on websites such as Life and My Finances and Vertex42. You can also create your own, though there can be a learning curve to using the programs.

What are the three main questions that a budget can help you answer? ›

Following a good budget can lower debt, increase funding for investment accounts, and reduce overall financial stress.
  • How Much Should I Set Aside for Investments? ...
  • How Much Should I Save for Retirement? ...
  • How Fast Should I Pay Off My Debts? ...
  • Should I Overpay on My Mortgage? ...
  • How Should I Maintain and Update My Budget?

What are the 7 types of budgeting? ›

The 7 different types of budgeting used by companies are strategic plan budget, cash budget, master budget, labor budget, capital budget, financial budget, operating budget.


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