How do I Choose the Best Monthly Budget Spreadsheet?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 February 2020
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When choosing the best monthly budget spreadsheet, be sure to find an option that allows for the accounting of every spent penny and can also be rearranged as one's budgetary needs and spending change. It is important to choose a monthly budget spreadsheet that is comprehensive enough to offer categories that will encompass every kind of purchase that one makes on a monthly basis in addition to monthly bills. It is also important to realize that most people's budgets change on a regular basis, so be sure to choose a monthly budget spreadsheet that can be updated with new categories and new income streams. The spreadsheet should also offer at least some basic analysis such as an indication of whether the budget is solvent. For those who are working to pay off debt, it may also be good to choose a monthly budget spreadsheet that reflects debt balances.

One of the key features of this kind of spreadsheet is the way that the budget is organized by categories. The level to which these categories are differentiated is entirely up to the user. For example, someone who is paying off two student loans may want each loan to have its own line in the budget, while another person in the same situation may want there to be one line in the budget for the entire amount that is paid toward all student loans on a monthly basis.


There are a number of free monthly budget spreadsheets that can be downloaded and used on many kinds of operating systems. These kinds of spreadsheets are often a good place to start for people who have never used a monthly budget spreadsheet before. Once you use this kind of basic spreadsheet for a month or two, model a new spreadsheet based on the format, but include any additional items that require lines or delete obsolete categories. For example, one person using this kind of spreadsheet might need to add a line for pet expenses while another person, who travels via public transportation, may remove the line for car payments.

It is advisable to choose a monthly budget spreadsheet that allows for financial organization in the short term as well as long-term financial planning. In addition to choosing a spreadsheet that can calculate debt repayment, think about finding an option that also allows for savings and investment planning. Calculating every penny that is made and spent, it may be possible to find a few pennies that can make their way into a savings or retirement plan.



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