How to Make a Home Budget Spreadsheet in Excel (Overview)

Excel is one of the most useful tools to make a home budget spreadsheet and track your monthly goals. We will look at what makes a good home budget spreadsheet in excel and even give you a copy of one to use at the end.

You’ll just need to keep it updated and you’ll have a really good idea if you are meeting your budget.

calculating a home budget

Who Needs a Home Budget Spreadsheet?

Housemoms, check. Young adults, check. Retirees, check.  Just about everyone should be tracking using a home budget spreadsheet. Even if you have a really high income, it doesn’t make you exempt from setting a budget.

A budget is there to make sure your spending doesn’t get out of hand and stays close to reasonable benchmarks that you set.

Home budgeting is solid financial planning that everyone should apply to their daily lives. It’s a little bit of accounting, a little bit of budgeting, all wrapped up in one when you keep a spreadsheet. 

What Should a Home Budget Spreadsheet Cover?

A home budget spreadsheet should mainly cover income and expenses. Breaking these down into further spending categories and you can identify areas where you are overspending.

In our spreadsheet, you are going to put in your budget, track your actual expenses and it will easily identify the differences. From there you can understand if you are over or underspending in your budgeted categories.

After that, compare month over month and see if you are staying on track, improving or not improving your budgeting. You should be able to dial in your spending over a few months and get it pretty consistent from month to month.

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Why Excel is Still a Great Choice for Home Budgeting

Excel isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Learning how to spreadsheet budget in a program like excel is something that everyone should know how to do. You don’t need to learn a software that isn’t going to be around or where you need to pay monthly. Just learn to budget in excel.

 It is tried and proven. Plus there are so many ways to make reporting dashboards in excel. You can make the data visual so you can understand it in a quick glance.

The alternative of using a spreadsheet for home budgeting is to do your personal accounting through QuickBooks. It can be more expensive over the long run and more complex to learn from the get-go.

How to Make a Home Budget Spreadsheet (Things to Include)

things to include when creating a home budget spreadsheet

We touched a bit on what a budget should look like, breaking down income and expenses but what are the important expenses to track? A home budget should include savings, investments and the following expenses:

  • Food
  • Rent/ Mortgage
  • Home Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Electric
  • Water
  • Internet
  • Trash
  • Healthcare
  • Gas
  • Entertainment 
  • Miscellaneous 

The above should be a great starting point as a list for home budgeting expenses but don’t be shy to customize it. Maybe you want to add pet expenses, gym expenses or Netflix.

You can either go with broad categories like reoccurring expenses or list them out individually in your budget:

  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Amazon prime membership
  • Gym

Breaking it down will of course give you a bit more detail which can be very helpful in itself.

One easy way to budget your income is the 50/30/20 method which is quite popular. Take your income and budget 50% to your needs. These should be essential things.

30% is for your wants. Maybe you are setting aside for a vacation.

The last 20% is for savings and paying down outstanding debt. Hopefully, you don’t have much debt but use this portion to get on top of credit card debt and auto loans if possible.

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How Often to Update Your Home Budget

Once you have a good home budget spreadsheet, you should be updating it every 2 weeks or at the end of the month at the very least.

Some people find that every two weeks is too much updating but you don’t want to get into a habit of falling behind to update your spreadsheet. 

When you go to update your income and expenses for the month that just passed, you should also be looking forward and making sure the budgeted amounts for the next month are still reasonable. There is nothing worse than a budget that is never achievable in the first place.

One of the biggest reasons that individuals, couples and families don’t meet their budgets in the first place isn’t due to unexpected expenses, it is because the budget was never set up correctly in the first place.

How to Make a Home Budget Spreadsheet in Excel: Final Thoughts

If there is one step you can take since you aren’t already budgeting, is to start a home budget. Using. A spreadsheet is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your personal finances. It doesn’t mean you immediately need to cut back your spending, just keep them within budget!

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