diy: budgeting the easy way pt. 1

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

For the past three years I have tried different methods of budgeting, but to no avail. Notebooks, binders and accordion folders didn't work. Budgeting apps didn't even work. Each attempt only lasted a few days before I lost interest or simply forgot about it. 

This past summer my accounting professor taught a lesson on the importance of budgeting, and her enthusiasm inspired me. Since then, I have experimented with GoogleDoc spreadsheets and found this method to be easy to follow and keep up with. For the first time in a really long time, my bank account saw an influx and I wasn't living from paycheck to paycheck. 

Since the process of creating the spreadsheet can seem a bit lengthy, I'm breaking this DIY into a few posts. Good luck creating your own!

Part 1 - (Refer to the photo above.)
If you haven't used GoogleDocs before, go to your main Gmail screen and click on "Drive" at the very top. From there, on the left click on "Create" and choose "Spreadsheet." 

I designed my budget to be four columns across. Don't worry about colors, font and font size yet; you can customize later.
  • For now, simply type the labels like I did shown above: Income, Planned, Actual, What's Left
  • Below the Income column, type (in separate rows) Wage, Other Income, Total Income.
  • Leave one row blank. 
  • Type Expenses in the next row. 
  • Under Expenses, fill in your monthly expenses, organized and divided how you prefer. Mine change a little from month to month, so for your first budget just make your best to guess as to what you'll be spending your money on.
  • Leave one row blank once you finish filling in your expenses.
  • Type Total Expenditures in the next row.
  • Type Income Less Expenditures in the row below that.
  • Scroll back up to your Expenses row. In the next three columns (same row), type Planned, Actual, and What's Left (refer to the photo above if you're confused).
  • Go back through your columns and resize them to fit the contents. Do this by clicking and dragging the lines between the lettered columns at the very top, which looks like this:

Now the framework for your budget is complete. If you're feeling creative or adventurous, highlight different rows or columns and change the colors. I only filled in four rows, but you can do every other row or even highlight the columns instead.



  1. I love this! This is something I definitely need to work on. Thanks for all the tips! I am pinning it!

  2. Beautiful post!! Your blog is so amazing!
    I'm thinking, if you want, we can follow each other! It would be great!!!


  3. This is a great breakdown, thank you!

    Sparkles and Shoes