Frugal’s Budget – Free Google Sheets Budget Template

Frugal's Budget - Free Google Sheets Budget Template

FRUGAL’S BUDGET

Hey everyone! It’s Jared, checking in. (Psst, I’m the guy married to the face you see on the right side of the screen.) I wanted to release our budget template because it’s perfect for beginners to start, a lot of features are automated, there is no need for pen or paper and it’s totally free. It’s a useful budget for anyone looking to start tracking their expenses. Although we have a very uninspired name – Frugal’s Budget – I still think it’s quite useful 🙂


We have used this budget for over a year now. It is available for download and I configured it for you to use however you’d like. It is absolutely free and all you need is a Google (Gmail) account. You would just need to subscribe & confirm your email address then we’ll automatically send you a link with the password to browse and download the Freebie contents that has been uploaded. We add things regularly so remember to keep checking back!

 

Subscribe Here For Frugal’s Budget & Other Freebies

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GENERAL INFO

For the past couple years, I’ve been in charge of managing the backend of the budget for Lily and myself. Apart from picking up some 9-volts and maybe a screw set from Home Depot, Lily has done majority of the shopping to keep our family clothed and fed. She likes the budget and suggested I should share it with everyone – so we are!

We’re hoping our budget template is as helpful for you as it has been helpful for us.

  • Leave a comment below or tweet us at @thefrugalgene and I’ll be able to answer any questions you may have. There are features I have added to this budget and there are features I haven’t thought of adding so don’t be shy.
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Free Google Sheets Budget Template Preview
  • TFG’s budget automatically generates monthly & annual summaries for your convenience if you scroll to the far right of the bottom bar (after the months).
  • TFG’s budget is flexible. It’s designed for singles, married couples, people with multiple income streams, people who owns property etcetera.
  • TFG’s budget is color coded to keep you on track. Red for negative, green for positive.
  • Your savings will be represented in a simple bar graph with one bar representing your starting balance and the other bar as your end balance.
  • There is also two yearly graphs of your overall spending vs saving that is scored on a month to month basis.
  • The TFG budget does allow rollovers from the previous month but you can also toggle off that feature.
  • TFG budget is available in $ dollars (US or Canadian).
  • There are some features that are locked-in. Detailed instructions will be INSIDE the sheet itself and that will explain the rest.

 

CATEGORIES

This is more art than science. You’ll want to strike a balance between grouping like expenses and splitting them up. For example, our family choose not to own a car so our transportation budget is only $50 a month. However, a family of 8 would probably need at least two sedans. So take a couple of weeks to practice this template and learn about your own spending & saving habits.

Our categories are:

Food, Transportation, Personal Care, Medical, Entertainment, Vacation, Pets, Misc, Home Maintenance, Cell Phone, Internet, Gas, Electricity, W.S.T. (Water, Sewage, Trash), M.I.T. (Mortgage, Insurance, property Tax)

It’s much easier to combine expenses into a single category after the fact than it is to split up a category into two, so I recommend erring on the side of being more granular and combining like categories later if you think it’d be better to track them together.

Lily and I originally had separate categories for ‘groceries’ and ‘eating out’, but after nearly a year we decided we preferred to have a single category for just food We do not, however, include non food related expenses into food, so if we pick up a bottle of hand soap at the grocery store, we split the cost out into a separate entry. This is annoying to do because we run an AirBnB so it’s understandable if you choose to do it differently.

I recommend avoiding catchalls as much as possible.  That said, astute readers may notice we do have a miscellaneous category on our budget for small, irregular expenses that doesn’t really fit in any of our defined categories.

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Free Google Sheets Budget Template Preview

TO ROLL OVER OR NOT TO ROLLOVER…

An important question is what happens at the end of the month.  Suppose you went $10 dollars over in your food budget, does that get rolled over into the next month, or does it simply reset?

free google sheets budget template

For us, the answer is it the remaining value always gets rolled over.  The reason for this is that we want to budget based on our average expenses.  By carrying over the values, we have a reminder that we’ve been spending more or less than we’re expecting.  If we’re rolling over larger and larger values, it tells us one of two things.  Either we should adjust our expectations about how much we’ll spend in that category, or we have money reserved for an upcoming expense, such as a house/car repair or vacation.

Not everyone agrees with this approach, so I’ve made it configurable.

INPUTTING EXPENSES

This can be the real tedious part of budgeting.  I make a habit of going through our credit card and banking transactions every week to add them.  This works for us because we very rarely have cash transactions (credit card rewards are great if you can trust yourself not to spend beyond your means), so it’s easy for us to track after the fact.

There are alternatives available to do this part for you. I haven’t tried any, because I’m personally not comfortable giving my financial passwords to third-party services, but I hear good things about Tiller (a paid service).

For cash transactions, it you have a smart phone, you can create a Google Form that submits to the spreadsheet so you can easily enter transactions on the go.  Then you just copy paste them into transactions sheet the next time you’re updating the budget.  Alternatively, get receipts for cash purchases when you can and enter them later. 🤑

Any suggestions for more features that might be helpful? Was this boring? Comment below if you would like a video walk-through or have question about the customization.

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Free Google Sheets Budget Template Preview

 


 

Subscribe Here For Frugal’s Budget & Other Freebies

(Don’t worry, we don’t spam and we’ll never give out your email.)


9 Replies to “Frugal’s Budget – Free Google Sheets Budget Template

  1. Thanks for sharing your budget tips. It’s amazing how so many of us are alike. I too manually input expenses on my budget so it makes me more cognizant of where my funds are going. Also in terms of CC purchases that I reconcile, sometimes I make several online payments so that when they come thru my bank account, I know what category to post these too on my budget.
    SMM recently posted…Do It for the Future You – RetirementMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your comment Simple Money Man! Really appreciate it! And I know what you mean – entering every expense by hand forces you to see review the details and be aware of what specifically you’re buying frequently. Just reviewing a summary without auditing the details won’t help you as much, but it still beats not budgeting at all!

    1. Thanks! I hope someone will find it helpful, though I fear the budgeting tool space is getting saturated at this point. Maybe I should go through what free options exist that don’t require handing over bank passwords and either post a review or take… inspiration from their features.

  2. Thank you for sharing such a great resource! Lily mentioned on Twitter that you were writing a post, so I was really looking forward to it! Mr. FAF and I don’t have a detailed budget. We just try to not spend money when it’s not necessary. Our biggest variation is in food which is something we are working on.

    It’s great too know that you guys created your own budget, and it’s working well for you. Can’t wait to try it! =)
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…How Blogging Has Affected My MarriageMy Profile

    1. Thanks for checking it out! We started with the approach of not spending on unnecessary things, but i found it difficult to justify larger than normal expenses, even if we’d been spending next to nothing. With the budget there’s more of a sense that we’ve been saving for things (like going out with friends), so there’s less guilt in doing so.

    2. I think we’re the only ones around here who budget with detail. I suppose we don’t have to…but I think it’s kinda fun haha. I’m gonna fight on the side of food…if you can afford to go out to eat, you gotta do it. You gotta support the local restaurant scene. It’s a property value booster haha.

  3. This is awesome! I used to manually export our expenses from our credit card statement online into Excel. Then, I would recategorize them into different budget buckets. It became too tedious for me and now I use Mint. However, when I was getting serious about budgeting – manually entering items holds you VERY accountable for the money you spend. I recommend people new to budgeting start this way to fully understand where their money is going!

    1. That’s great! Or first budget was in an open office spreadsheet, and it was rather poorly setup and difficult to use. I really like the approach of having a single list of transactions that’s filtered to compute all the various aggregates.

      I’m curious about services like Mint on how they handle cash transactions or merchants that could fall into a large number of budget categories (such as Amazon).

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