Budgeting with a spreadsheet is a great way to have full control over how you organize your budget, and using Google Sheets budget templates give you a nice foundation that you can customize to fit your specific finances.
Google Sheets is also a really great alternative to Excel. It’s virtually the same software and completely capable of running any of the formulas you need for your budget. You can go the DIY route and build your own budget spreadsheet, or you can take one of these templates and plug in your own info. Templates make it just that much easier to budget in Sheets.
Here are 10 of the best free Google Sheets budget templates plus how to use them
1. Google Sheets monthly budget template
This template from Google is a straightforward and simple budget. When you click on the link for the free template, you’ll need to either download the spreadsheet or copy and paste it into a blank spreadsheet in Sheets.
There is a sheet for listing your transactions and another for your income and expenses. There, you can list your planned versus actual expenses, and you can adjust each category as needed. It has directions on how to do that in the top left corner when you open the spreadsheet.
Get the free template here Google Sheets Monthly Budget Template.
2. Google Sheets annual budget tracker
This annual budget template is put out by Google Sheets and works really well if you also use the monthly version listed above. You access it the same way, downloading or copying the template to use in your drive.
There are four separate sheets listed in the bottom left corner of the page:
- Instructions on how to use the template, which is as simple as entering your starting balance and filling out each field.
- Expenses for each month, with customizable fields.
- Income for each month, including wages and other possible sources like dividends and gifts.
- A summary that is populated using the numbers you input throughout the month.
Get the free tracker at Google Sheets Annual Budget Tracker.
3. The Measure of a Plan budget tracking tool
This free Google Sheets budget template comes with extensive directions on how to use it, and it works more like a tracking tool than just a spreadsheet. You can customize the labels for each category, add notes, and view different time periods.
I really love how they explain how to customize and use this template, and they also warn you that it runs a little slow because it’s a large file. When you open the file in Google Sheets, there is also a troubleshooting guide if you need any extra help.
Grab your free Google Sheets budget template (plus an Excel version) at The Measure of a Plan.
4. Smartsheet weekly budget template
This template separates your monthly budget into four weeks, which lets you look a little closer at your spending. It has nine different income categories, and your expenses are separated into the following ones:
- Daily living
There are directions on how to download and use the template at the top, but it’s as easy as going to “File” and clicking “Make a copy.”
5. 50/30/20 budget from Simple Budget Planner
The 50/30/20 budget gives you a formula for how to allocate your income – 50% of your income to your needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. This free budget template uses that principal to organize and categorize your budget.
To use the template, there is a “Use Template” button in the top right corner that puts the spreadsheet into your drive. From there, you start inputting your information and Sheets populates the rest of the data.
Grab this free Google Sheets budget template at Simple Budget Planner.
6. Reddit budget form and tracker
This is a really cool budget spreadsheet created by Reddit user u/cooledtube. The idea is that you enter info on the item, cost, and category for each purchase you make into a Google Form. That Form is connected to a Google Sheets file and populates a budget and spending tracker for you.
You can find the spreadsheet and instructions on how to use it and the form at Reddit.
7. Smartsheet family budget template
Having kids often means you have slightly more complicated finances, or at least more categories for spending, and this Google Sheets budget template takes all of that into consideration. Just like the other Smartsheet template (#4), it comes with guidance on how to use the template once you click on the link.
This budget template has some categories that others overlook, like a child and spousal support, school taxes, music, and sports expense categories, etc. It’s a very comprehensive budget for families.
Grab a free copy of this budget template at Smartsheet Household Budget Template.
8. Free wedding budget template
Getting married? The free wedding budget template from Bridal Musings comes with some of the most important preset and customizable fields for costs associated with your ceremony, reception, and everything in between.
The idea is to help you estimate the costs and not go over budget. The page I’m linking to gives you a how-to guide so you can download and use.
Get your free wedding budget template at Bridal Musing Wedding Budget Template.
9. Keepify free Google Sheets budget templates
This page gives you a wide variety of spreadsheet templates and explains how different budgets can help you save more and work towards your financial goals. There are links to both Google Sheets and Excel templates for each. To use, you’ll need to make a copy and open in your own Google Drive.
You can find templates for:
- Zero-based budgeting
- Envelope budgeting
- Student budgets
- Christmas/holiday spending
Find these Google Sheets budget templates at Keepify.
10. Vertex42 debt reduction calculator
While it’s not a budget spreadsheet, I wanted to include this one because it uses Google Sheets to create a calculator that helps you get out of debt. Both Sheets and Excel are essentially calculators that can process simple and complex mathematical equations.
To use this Sheets template to help you pay off your debt, you will input information about all of your debts (it’s free to use for up to 10 loans/debts), including payments and rates. You can choose whether you use the debt snowball or avalanche, and how much extra you can put towards each debt.
After you put that information in, it creates a payment schedule for you. Really, this is a nice companion to use with any of these other spreadsheets.
The final word on using Google Sheets budget templates
One of the things I really like about these Google Sheets budget templates is that you don’t have to learn the formulas you need to run calculations. They’re not hard to learn, but if you’re unfamiliar with Sheets, there is a slight learning curve. These templates alleviate any of that stress.
When you use something like Google Sheets, you can:
- See what you’re spending each month
- Create a plan to get out of debt
- Find where to cut your spending
- See when you need to increase your income
But just like any other budgeting app or money tracking tool, you have to make a commitment to using it. Even the apps that have you link your accounts and sync transactions really only work when you use them.
And if you’re not the DIY budgeting type, read these reviews of some of the most popular budgeting tools on the market:
- YNAB vs. Mint 2019︱Which Budgeting App is Best?
- EveryDollar vs. Mint Comparison: Which Budget App is Best?
- 15 Best Free and Paid Quicken Alternatives
- Best Personal Finance Software of 2019 (You NEED These Apps)