Ready, Set, Budget!

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Let’s demystify budgeting with a simple spreadsheet template designed for you! This example uses Google Sheets, but you can adapt it to any spreadsheet software (like Excel). If this seems hard, United Community has a tool inside our digital banking called, MyMoney! It’s a valuable way to stay on top of all your budgeting needs!

Step 1. The Structure:

    • Income:
      1. Month: Label each month across the top row.
      2. Source: List your income sources like main salary, side hustle, or freelance gigs.
      3. Amount: Enter your expected income for each source in each month.
    • Expenses:
      1. Category: Divide your expenses into essential categories like Housing, Food, Utilities, Transportation, Debt, Savings, and Discretionary (for fun!).
      2. Fixed Expenses: List fixed costs like rent, utilities, insurance, and minimum debt payments. Use formulas to automate recurring amounts.
      3. Variable Expenses: Track variable costs like groceries, dining out, entertainment, and shopping.
      4. Amount: Enter your estimated or actual spending for each category per month.
    • Totals:
      1. Income Total: Use a SUM formula to automatically calculate your total income each month.
      2. Expenses Total: Use a SUM formula for each category and a grand total formula summing all expenses.
      3. Difference: Subtract your total expenses from your total income to see your surplus (positive) or deficit (negative).
    • Formatting:
      1. Highlight Colors: Use different colors for income, fixed expenses, variable expenses, and savings. Have fun with it! It’s YOUR budget!
      2. Conditional Formatting: Highlight cells exceeding your budgeted amounts for visual warnings.

spreadsheet budget design

Tips for Making Your Own Spreadsheet:

  • Start Simple: Keep it basic initially and add complexity as you get comfortable. Practice makes perfect!
  • Customize Categories: Adapt categories to reflect your lifestyle and spending habits. Remember, things change, so will your budget!
  • Track Weekly: Consider tracking variable expenses weekly for greater control.
  • Automate Formulas: Utilize formulas for recurring expenses and calculations to save time.

Remember: Consistency is key! Regularly updating your spreadsheet and analyzing your spending habits will empower you to make informed financial decisions and reach your financial goals.

This is just a basic example, feel free to personalize it and add more features or details as you see fit. Happy budgeting!

Resources for Young Professionals: