Create Your Monthly Budget

create your monthly budgetHere is an example of how to create a monthly budget.  Excel formulas are already in place.  All you need to do is as follows:

1) Start by entering the income you receive on a monthly basis into the row labeled “After Tax Income”.

2) Change and create categories on the left-hand side of the spreadsheet with expenses you typically incur on a monthly basis.  For example, maybe you don’t have “Student Loans” replace it instead with “Entertainment”.  

3) Enter the amounts you plan to spend in each category on a given month.  These amounts can change from month to month.

4) Lastly, make sure that the amount listed at the very bottom is a positive number and indicated with black.  This ensures that your spending/saving does not exceed your monthly income.

Grab the budget template here => Microsoft Excel Version: Monthly Budget

5) For more on budgeting consider grabbing a copy of personal capital. Its pretty much the latest and greatest in budgeting tools available on the market today. You can also read our other articles on this topic:

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51 thoughts on “Create Your Monthly Budget

  1. Jay January 12, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Pretty good, need a row for Phone/Cable/Internet.
    Assumes that Medical Insurance is paid by employer, or add a row.

    I like to budget 1) Required, Fixed cost (i.e. Rent)
    2) Required, Adjustable (i.e. Electric)
    3) Optional, Required (i.e. Work clothes/uniform)
    4) Optional Not Required (e.g. Baseball Tickets)

  2. Deborah Purley January 12, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    This seems so simple, but I’m not very good with Excel. I am going to give it a try. Thanks you so much for sharing it.

    • JW Steinert January 12, 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Let me know if I can assist any further Deborah. Happy budgeting!


  3. JW Steinert January 12, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    Yes Tammy I do. I keep two copies of that spreadsheet on an Excel page. The first sheet is what you see I have provided. It is income followed by “expected” expenses in a given month. I then copy and paste the spreadsheet below and keep a running taly of my monthly expenses. For example, if I go and spend $30 at the grocery store, then I mark “30” in my groceries section for that month. Hope this helps.


    • Sally May 20, 2015 / 12:05 am

      Why wouldn’t you run a log of your daily expenses and setup a formula to populate the total spent so far in the desired category. I’ve done it that way.

      • JW Steinert May 20, 2015 / 12:11 pm

        Hi Sally, there are many ways one can track their expenses. I would suggest finding a way that works best for you and keeping to the plan.

  4. tom b January 12, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    I have a similar spreadsheet I use. I plan to buy a home so budgeting for my monthly payment helps figure what I can afford. I estimated yearly maintence costs of about 2% of home value too. Used in combination with a mortgage calculator and recent interest rates allows for estimation of value of home I can comfortably afford.

    I also included gross income and made estimations of what my paycheck will be after contributions to 401k or Roth 401k, hsa contribution ( subtract that from gross first if standard 401k) then multiply by 0.62 (experience tells me I see 62% of my check after taxes removed–your tax rate may differ). Health insurance premiums also included. Also includes employer match in 401k. Spread sheet tells me how much goes to retirement funds and how much discretionary funds I have. I follow the philosophy of pay yourself first…ie fund necessary expenses and retirement first then see how much you have for discretionary funds.

  5. nick January 12, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    whats best when you dont make the same money from month to month. some months are really good money months and others are awful. i can make take home 6k one month then only make 3k the next with completely new set of expenses. skilled trades means you work when there is work and travel for work when there isnt any work nearby.

    • JW Steinert January 17, 2015 / 10:45 am

      Hi Nick, I would say know what the “minimum” you will make every month might be and live off of that. For example if you know you will have 3k in take home income every month then budget accordingly with that amount. On months you bring home extra income, look at either saving it or paying down any debt you might have.

  6. Gregg Hierholzer January 13, 2015 / 12:20 am

    I have had something like this in the past but with numerous computer crashes and one dropped external hard drive, it has been lost so I am anxious to try yours. And as a student going to College this should hopefully get my budget back on track.

    • JW Steinert January 17, 2015 / 10:39 am

      Glad to hear Gregg. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  7. Tony January 13, 2015 / 6:29 am

    Will you consider create a mobile app for this?

    • JW Steinert January 17, 2015 / 10:38 am

      Hey Tony, probably not. I would suggest using the spreadsheet in conjuction with certain mobile apps.

  8. Dick Coyle January 13, 2015 / 8:16 am

    Looks like a good start, but not much room for other expenses: Medical exp, dental/ health ins, life ins, car repairs. Putting away 27% into savings & retirement is huge. Any consideration of paying down the consumer debt (car, loans), before putting so much into savings each month?

    • JW Steinert January 17, 2015 / 10:41 am

      Hi Dick. Everyone’s expenses and financial situation is different. The great thing about Excel is that it is easy to insert a new row to create an additional expenditure you might have every month. Paying down debt versus savings is a balance each person has to find for themselves. If you have any high interest debt from credit cards then I’d recommend paying down that first. It is also important to save up via a Roth IRA or other investment vehicles.

  9. Ashley January 13, 2015 / 10:02 am

    This is amazing! I have a spreadsheet to show my monthly bills but I never thought of adding the projected income at the top! This is great! I will be using this a lot!

  10. John T. January 14, 2015 / 8:35 am

    I like the spreadsheet. I never thought to plan out a full year. I always just looked at my budget monthly.

    John T
    Cordova TN

  11. Tanisha January 14, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    How do you manage when your within your budget but the miscellaneous expenses are dipping into the excess funds causing you to come too close to possibly going over budget? I hope that makes sense.

    • JW Steinert January 17, 2015 / 10:48 am

      Hi Tanisha, what I do if I have a big “miscellaneous” expense one month is possibly carry it over to other months in the same category. For example, if you had to purchase new tires for your car and the cost was $600, then you might want to spread $200 over 3 months. The reason for this is because a big miscellaneous expense like car tires isn’t something occurs on a monthly basis.

  12. Chinedu April 5, 2015 / 2:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Have just created mine.

    Writing from Nigeria.

  13. Raghad May 20, 2015 / 8:47 am

    Hi, I am trying to use the Google version but cannot seem to edit in order to add my own expenses.

    • JW Steinert May 20, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Hi Raghad, you will need to copy and paste the spreadsheet to your own Google sheets account and input in the formulas on your side.

  14. cathy Harding June 27, 2015 / 9:48 am

    this is smart budgeting, thank you

  15. Tuan Luong June 16, 2016 / 2:20 am

    Hello Steinert. I am making my own monthly budget and found the article about you pretty insteresting and helpful. But the link to download your excel sheet seems to be error. Can you reupdate the link so I can download it? Thanks a lot!

    • JW Steinert June 20, 2016 / 3:01 pm

      The link is now back up. Happy Budgeting!

      • Tuan Luong June 20, 2016 / 8:45 pm

        awesome. thanks a lot!

  16. JW Steinert June 20, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Hi Kim, the link is now back up. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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