It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I use a Google Sheets budget template to track my finances, both incomings and outgoing, at home and for my business.
The dashboards available through online banking sites are pretty rudimentary. They don’t give much insight into what’s happening with my finances, particularly over longer time frames.
I like using Google Sheets, as opposed to another third party service like Mint, because it’s fully customizable. It’s easy to use and I can share any spending or budget templates easily with my wife.
I’m not a financial expert, so I won’t be dispensing any financial advice here. I won’t opine on what you should or shouldn’t show in your spending and budget templates in this post, nor will I talk about what your financial goals should be or how to get there.
What I will do in this post however, is show you some useful tips in Google Sheets that you can use for building your own budget templates. Techniques to make them more insightful and more helpful for reaching your goals.
Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover for building a Google Sheets budget template:
- Before you build, consider your why
- Invest time little and often
- Get basic formulas dialed
- Leverage power of more advanced formulas
- Don’t reinvent the wheel! Google has specific financial formulas
- Use comments to record specific details
- Import your financial data into Google Sheets with Tiller
- Set budgets and highlight spend over the budgeted amount
- Build drop-down menus to show different categories in your reports
- Use words!