Since dragging myself out of debt 7 years ago, I have been pretty simple with my budgeting approach, using three buckets to categorise my income.
But as time has rolled on, things in my life have changed. For one, I have a few more expenses that I need to be able to track closely to ensure our cash flow is managed properly. And whilst these expenses are well within our means, they’re coming from different places, some of which are not predictable – like the maintenance on our investment property. We would normally put this in our ’emergency fund’, but now we need to be a bit more structured with how much we put aside each month in the event we need to outlay for a plumber, an electrician or worse … a builder to make a larger repair.
This year I have built a more comprehensive excel budget tracker. Warning: it’s comprehensive and far more than I would like!
For those of you who are looking at using an excel spreadsheet, I think it’s important to say that someone’s budget isn’t going to be the silver bullet to your budgeting success. In the case of mine, there may be tabs that are completely irrelevant to your situation or perhaps the tracking is overkill. What I found when I was looking at creating my perfect excel budgeting spreadsheet was that no matter how many were kinda close, I always had to tweak and adjust which ended up taking me forever. I have better things to do!
I have made this budget so that it’s easy for you to delete a tab or remove a row without the whole spreadsheet being put out of whack, and if anything hopefully it helps to give you a clear understanding of where you money is going and how you’re tracking with expenses, paying off debt and savings!