How to Create a Budget


I haven’t really discussed finances much on this blog, but today I want to because it’s something I enjoy. I use Google Sheets, but there are apps you can use and other spreadsheets. I just like that I can open it anywhere and see what bills I have to pay. I create my budgets months in advance and I tweak them when I get to that month. I already have February 2020 on my Budgets spreadsheet.

The first thing I did was list my bills down the left hand side, leaving the top rectangle blank (I’ll explain why in a moment). Each item gets it’s own rectangle. You can change the font and size, which I did to make it easier for me to read. A few examples of what to include are:

  • Tithes and offerings
  • Savings (Pay yourself)
  • Mortgage/Rent
  • Electricity
  • Water/Sewer
  • Trash
  • Propane/Natural Gas
  • Food
  • Internet
  • Cellphone
  • Car loan
  • Car insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Gas
  • Credit Cards

Your list may be longer or shorter depending on what bills you have to pay. The beauty of a spreadsheet is you can move things around easily as your needs change.

To the right of the blank square I type in the month. Then, beside each bill I type in how much I owe for that month (rent) or an estimate (electricity). Make sure all of your amounts are in dollar formats, you can do this by highlighting all of the boxes with numbers and hitting the $. Now I highlight them again, if needed, and click the funny looking “E” for Functions. I use this to add everything together and that amount appears below the last amount in my budget.

To keep track, as I pay bills I mark them green for paid, yellow for pending, and red for not paid. It makes it super easy for me to see what I need to pay still at the end of the month. Also, if a bill ends up costing more or less when I go to pay it, I change it in the Budget so I know for next month.

If you use an app or a different spreadsheet, tell me in comments. I may try them out and I write another blog post highlighting your suggestions. I will not use your name without permission.


Published by Dawn McDonald

I'm a Christian wife, mom, and so much more. I enjoy remodeling, decorating, genealogy, reading, and knitting.

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