How To Manage Your Family Budget: Free Excel Templates

The internet offers many free tools to help people manage their finances. However, finding one to match your needs can be hard. Microsoft Excel provides various templates that can be helpful in many situations, particularly when preparing your household budget. A good Microsoft Excel free template will allow you to compare your planned expenses against the real bills to record any unforeseen spending for that month. All you need to do is record the expected bills at the start of the first month and record the payments at the end of that month. Examine the template as you judge the expenses. After that, budgeting for your family will be easier every month. This guide will help you use the Household Budget template available on

The expected expenses

When starting the budgeting process, you have to go through your monthly bills to know the total amount you are likely to spend. Some bills, such as rent and car payments, are easier to calculate because they remain the same throughout the year. However, other bills change according to your eating habits, energy usage and excess shopping. Some of the bills might be unforeseen, such as car repairs and medical bills, until they are requested, which is the reason you have added an additional category.

Labelling your listed bills will help you more easily review your spreadsheet

In your Excel template, you will find various expenses organised by category but you can change the names of the areas without changing the formulas of the template. List every anticipated bill and label it clearly for easier review afterwards. You will report the amount for every bill on its column (named Projected Amount) and if you are not sure of the amount, you can estimate it according to the amount you spent in the previous month.

The actual payments

After you have entered all the expected amounts, you can use a calculator to update the budget daily, weekly or at the end of the month. However, some sections will need you to enter the initial listing of every bill – those are the Actual Cost sections. Do not input any amount until you have spent it, including after spending it in the same month. That way, you will be sure that you are accounting for the potential extra charges, late fees and the fluctuations in costs.

A young couple are depicted planning their family budget

After you have recorded the Projected Amounts and the Actual Costs, you will come up with an additional section, which you have to label “Difference”. The column will calculate the differences between the projected amounts and the actual costs automatically. If some of the bills are more than what you expected, the difference should be negative and if the amount you recorded is lower than what you planned for, the difference will represent the extra amount you spent.

Your income vs. the spending

In addition to the projected expenses and the actual expenses, you should not forget to compare your projected monthly income with the actual income. If the template provides a section for each of them, you should not forget to record them each month. You can also add the two columns and fill them if the template does not provide them.

When setting a budget, it is crucial to know your exact monthly bill amount

Remember to calculate the expected amount after you have paid the taxes – not your gross income estimate – because the amount you get after taxation is the amount you will find in your bank account. After you have recorded the monthly bills, record the actual monthly income for the template to calculate the amount you want to spend during the month against the amount you earned. It will also record the difference.

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How to stick to your budget

To stick to your family budget, track your spending habits and set a realistic budget. The internet offers many Microsoft Excel free templates and you will find good ones on to help track the money you spend. You will also track how the money enters your account and gets out. That way, you will get a clear picture of your spending. A realistic budget might be tricky, so you have to set one that you are comfortable with. After tracking the spending and mapping out your expenses in various categories such as mortgage, rent, utilities, groceries and entertainment, you will be able to identify any area that you can cut back and increase the money going to an investment account.

To stick to your family budget, simply start to track your spending habits and set a realistic budget.

Furthermore, you have to start thinking of both the long term and the short term – week-to-week planning and month-to-month spending. If you plan for the emergencies, improvements of the home or the payments of your car loan, you will be able to stick to your budget. Split your money to various accounts to be sure that you are setting aside enough money for the future. Lastly, find a way to increase your earnings.