How To Create A Monthly Budget Spreadsheet In Excel

Creating a monthly budget is an essential step in managing your personal finances and ensuring that you have enough money to cover your expenses. A budget spreadsheet can help you track your income and expenses and make it easier to see where your money is going.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a monthly budget spreadsheet in Excel, a popular spreadsheet program that is widely used by individuals and businesses.

We’ll provide step-by-step instructions, as well as tips and tricks to help you get started. Whether you’re new to budgeting or just looking for a better way to manage your money, this article will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to create a budget spreadsheet that works for you.

Free Bonus: At the bottom of this article, we have given you a free download of this exact monthly budget spreadsheet template that we’re creating.

How To Create A Monthly Budget Spreadsheet

Step 1: Create a new Excel workbook with a descriptive name

Before, we get started we need to firstly create an excel workbook and save it with a descriptive name. It is important to create a workbook with a descriptive name because it will help you to easily find and access your budget spreadsheet in the future. A descriptive name will also help you remember what the workbook contains, so you can quickly and easily refer to it when needed.

For example, if you name your workbook “Monthly Budget,” you will know at a glance that it contains your monthly budget information, and you can easily open it to review your income and expenses or make updates to your budget.

Most importantly it allows you to understand its significance, so make sure the name is memorable and saved at a place where you’ll access it easily!

To create a new Excel workbook with a descriptive name, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel on your computer or device.
  2. Click on the “File” menu at the top of the screen, and then select “New” from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the “New” window, select “Blank workbook” from the list of templates
  4. Your new workbook will open in a new window. To give it a descriptive name, click on the “File” menu again, and then select “Save As” from the drop-down menu.
  5. In the “Save As” window, enter a descriptive name for your workbook in the “File name” field, such as “Monthly Budget” or “Personal Finance Tracker.”
  6. Choose a location on your computer or device where you want to save the workbook, and then click on the “Save” button.

Step 2: Decide your expense categories

We need to create our expense categories now that we have our spreadsheet. In this category, We want a main category and sub-category with the following columns, which are “projected cost”, “actual cost,”, and “difference,” and at the bottom of the difference column, you want to sum the entire values.

In the “Difference” column, enter a formula to calculate the difference between the budgeted amount and the actual amount for each expense. For example, if you budgeted $500 for groceries but only spent $450, the difference would be -$50.

In the “Projected Cost” column, enter the amount you plan to spend on each expense.

In the “Actual Cost” column, enter the amount you actually spend on each expense each month.

To Calculate the difference: We want to use the formula PROJECTED COSTACTUAL COST.

To Calculate the subtotal of the difference column: We want to use the formula sum(entire column of the sub-total categories).

This tells us in-depth how much we expect to spend per item in our category, how much it costs, and the difference in price between our expected cost of the item versus the actual cost.

For instance, if we have a table of housing categories, we could use it to group expenses such as rent, utilities, and supplies. This can help us keep track of our spending habits and create a more detailed and accurate budget of our monthly expenses.

You can then use the data in the “Category” column to create graphs or charts that show how much money you are spending on each type of expense, allowing you to identify areas where you may be able to cut back or save money.

expense tables in excel
This is an example of our expense categories

There is no one-size-fits-all for the type of expense you want to keep track of because everyone’s financial situation is different.

However, some common expenses that people often track include:

  • Housing expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and utilities
  • Transportation expenses, such as fuel, car payments, public transportation, and maintenance
  • Food and groceries
  • Health care expenses, such as insurance premiums, co-pays, and medication
  • Debt payments, such as credit card bills, student loans, and personal loans
  • Savings and investments
  • Entertainment, such as going to the movies, dining out, and hobbies
  • Clothing and personal care expenses, such as laundry and grooming
  • Education expenses, such as tuition, books, and supplies

Again, this is not an exhaustive list and the expenses you track will depend on your personal financial situation and goals. It’s a good idea to review your spending habits and make a list of all your regular expenses so you can create a budget that works for you.

Step 3: Make a summary section of your expenses

Now that you have all your expense categories adequately made, we can now summarize the expenses.

To summarise our monthly expenses, we want to simply use the sum() function within excel to summarise all the project costs and actual costs.

For example:

Total Projected Cost: sum(total projected cost in all categories)

Total actual cost: sum(total actual cost in all categories)

Total difference: total projected cost - total actual cost

We want to put this monthly expense section some where at the top of our spreadsheet, in doing so it makes it much easier to see an overview of our expenses whenever we open our spreadsheet.

Summary of expense in budget spreadsheet

Step 4: Create your monthly Income section

In this step, we will set up a section in our spreadsheet to track our monthly income. This will allow us to see how much money we are earning each month, and will help us create a more accurate budget.

To create the income section, first create two tables, one for “projected monthly income” the other for “actual monthly income”. Then, create a table with rows for each source of income, such as salary, bonuses, dividends, and interest. In the rows, enter the total amount of income you received from each source for the month.

And at the bottom of the table, you can use excel’s built-in formula sum() to calculate the monthly income you received. You can then use this information to create a budget and track your expenses.

Projected and actual monthly income

Step 5: Make a summary of your monthly balance

In this step, you will learn how to create a summary of your monthly balance. This will allow you to quickly and easily see the total amount of money that you have earned or spent in a given month, as well as the net change in your balance.

To do this, we’ll create two main sections. These are “projected balance”, “Actual Balance” and “Difference”.

The projected balance, tells us how much money we expect to have left over in a single month, whereas the actual balance will tell us the exact amount of money we actually left over the month. And the difference will show us whether we are over or below our budget (saved money).

Here is how the formula works:

Projected Balance: Projected Monthly Income - Total Projected Cost

Actual Balance: Actual Monthly Income - Total Actual Cost

Difference: Projected Balance - Actual Balance

summary of monthly budget

Overall, this step will help you to easily and quickly see the overall financial picture for your monthly transactions, and make better informed decisions about your spending and saving habits.

Step 5: Duplicate your worksheet for each month

Now that we have created our worksheet for one month, we need to create this for several other months. This can be quite a tedious task.

A quick and easy way to do this is to simply duplicate our current worksheet and then rename it to each corresponding month.

This can save you a lot of time and effort if you need to restore your data from the duplicate worksheet.

To duplicate a worksheet in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook that contains the worksheet you want to duplicate.
  2. Right-click on the worksheet tab at the bottom of the screen, then select “Move or Copy” from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the “Move or Copy” dialog box, select the current worksheet
  4. Check the box next to “Create a copy” to create a duplicate of the worksheet.
  5. Click “OK” to duplicate the worksheet.
Duplicate spreadsheet for each month in budgeting

Now that you have all this sorted, you’re now free to start your budgeting journey!

Free Monthly Budget Excel Template

If you want an exact copy of the spreadsheet template, we’ve made. Then feel free to download it by clicking on the hyperlink below!


In conclusion, creating a monthly budget spreadsheet in Excel can be a helpful tool for managing your finances and staying on track with your spending.

By using the built-in formulas and functions in Excel, you can easily organize and track your income and expenses, and see exactly where your money is going each month.

Overall, creating a monthly budget spreadsheet in Excel can be a useful tool for anyone looking to take control of their finances and make informed decisions about their spending.