No matter where you are in your financial journey, budgeting is an essential money management tool. But just like personal finance is personal, there’s no one size fits all budget template.
There are many ways to budget and track how much money you’re making, spending, saving, and investing.
This is why it’s important to find the best way for you to budget. I’ve spent the last month diving into all of the best budget templates so you don’t have to.
There are four simple ways to set up a simple budget template: you can use a free budgeting app, spreadsheet (with Google Docs or Excel), a paid budgeting tool, or good old pen and paper.
Neither method is better than another, so it’s important to try out different methods and pick the best method for you.
No matter what budget method you choose, you want to find a way to budget you’re comfortable with so you’ll stick with it.
Best Budget Templates
Here are the best budget templates for you to customize for your own needs:
- 🏆 Personal Capital
- Simplifi by Quicken
- Google Sheets Free Budget Templates
- Microsoft Excel Budget Templates
- Free Budget Printable from A Mom’s Take
Best Online Budgeting Templates
Life is so busy so I’m always looking for more efficient ways to manage my money. This is why I prefer to budgeting on my phone using a free budgeting tracking app.
Personal Capital [Free]
In addition to using Mint since 2010, I’ve also been using Personal Capital just as long. You might be wondering why I’d choose to use both Mint and Personal Capital and the reason is because they both have different strengths.
While Mint is a great spending and budget tracker, Personal Capital has a lot more features and allows me to also track my investing portfolio performance, as well as the strength of my investing strategy.
The dashboard is also much more detailed so I can see my entire financial life on one screen, including my budget. Check out what the Personal Capital dashboard looks like below.
To learn about why (and how) I use both budget tracking apps check out my post on Personal Capital vs. Mint. Since using either Mint or Personal Capital requires you to link your bank and investing accounts, another question I address is: is Personal Capital safe?
To learn more about how I use Personal Capital, check out my Personal Capital review.
With Personal Capital, you can see your net worth, analyze investments, and discover any hidden fees you weren’t aware of before – as well as set spending and saving goals.
YNAB (You Need A Budget) [Free Trial, then as low as $7 per month]
According to YNAB, every dollar has a job and it’s up to you to put it to work. YNAB has tens of thousands of devoted users who swear by the service.
You Need A Budget is regularly recommended as the best paid budgeting tracker and template, and it’s an accolade that’s well deserved. It is without a doubt the most comprehensive and best online budgeting tracker on the market.
Their online budgeting template works on your computer, phone, and has every budgeting feature you would ever need. While it can be a little daunting at first, if you’re serious about taking your budgeting game to the next level it’s worth trying YNAB out for free.
YNAB helps you save money and get a handle on your finances. Get started today, risk-free, with their 34 day free trial.
Mint is a completely free app that completely changed budgeting when it debuted in 2006. I’ve been using it since 2010 to track my money and budget. It’s been a game changer in my life.
This means I now have almost 10 years of budgeting data in the app so I can track patterns over time, like how I’ve spent over $10,000 on Chipotle over the past 10 years!
Another feature I really like is Mint has a great phone and smartwatch app so you can see your budget on your hand so you don’t overspend in key budget categories.
Mint walks you through all of the steps and it’s super easy to set-up (and adjust) a budget over time.
Simplifi by Quicken [Free Trial, then $3.99 a month or $39.99 annual fee]
As you know, when it comes to budgeting there’s no one size fits all strategy. Budgeting is personal and while some people like the old school pen and paper or Excel template methods, I prefer using an app to see my entire financial life on my phone anytime I want.
The team at Quicken recently launched Simplifi, an exceptional mobile app designed to help you manage and optimize your personal finances. Think of it as your personal money dashboard – where you can easily track your income, bills, expenses, savings, investment accounts in one place.
One particular feature that we liked most is the spending plan which makes it easy to monitor your cash flow and is particularly helpful for entrepreneurs and side hustlers since income can fluctuate. While there are other free alternatives like Mint and Personal Capital, the robust features, ad-free environment, and customer support make the $3.99 a month or $39.99 annual fee likely worth it.
It’s definitely worth checking out and starting a free trial.
Mvelopes [Free 30 day Trial, then $6 per month]
Mvelops is an online service built on the envelope budgeting method. The envelope method of saving money and budgeting is a simple cash method.
If you struggle with managing a credit card or bank accounts, then the cash budgeting method might be right for you.
There are two ways that it can work. You can either get an envelope for everything you’re saving for and start saving cash in the envelopes. Then when you have enough money in each envelope you can use it.
Or another envelope method is when you get paid you can put cash in an envelope for each of your expense items (rent, groceries, etc.).
Then that month, or whatever period you define, you only use the cash that’s in those envelopes.
Every Dollar [Free]
Here’s another great budgeting app from the team at Ramsey Solutions. It’s a completely free and easy to use mobile budgeting template that you can use to track your income and expenses.
While it’s not as robust as Mint or Personal Capital, maybe you’re the type of person who prefers a simple budgeting app. If you’re someone who prefers fewer bells and whistles check out Everydollar.
Best Spreadsheet Budget Templates
Want can’t be solved in life with a good spreadsheet? There are so many great budgeting spreadsheets, but here are the best.
Free Google Sheets Budget Templates
There are some incredible Google Sheets Budget templates that are worth exploring. One added bonus is that you can easily edit them through the Google Sheets iPhone and Android apps, so you’ll never be far from your budget.
Here is a great collection of budget templates, all of which are completely customizable. Pro
CUSTOMIZE: After viewing each spreadsheet simply select Make A Copy under File to copy the spreadsheet into your own Google account where you’ll be able to edit and share it. Requesting access will not give you access. You need to copy it into your own account to make edits.
- Financial Independence Budget Template from FINJA (learn how to use here)
- Very Simple Monthly Budget Template
- Official Google Sheets Budget Template
- Keepify Simple Budget Template
Free Microsoft Excel Budget Templates
Microsoft Excel has been used for budgeting since 1985 and they’ve compiled over 50 of the best Excel budget templates every made so you can use them too.
Whether you’re an Excel nerd or just looking for an easy way to manage your budget then Excel might be a simple solution. You can find all of the available Excel budget templates here.
Best Printable Budget Template
If you’d rather download a PDF budget that you can write on or keep in a budget binder, here is the best printable budget template.
Free Budget Printable from A Mom’s Take
When it comes to budgeting this is as simple as it gets. On this monthly budget worksheet, you can track your expected and actual income each month, along with all of your expenses.