October 18, 2022
If you’re trying to get your finances under control, whether it’s in your personal life or your business, knowing what you spend every month is the first step. After all, before you can change and plan your spending, you need to know what you’re spending on!
A monthly expenses spreadsheet is an easy way to keep track of your spending. Here’s how you can get started.
Setting up a monthly expenses spreadsheet in Excel is quite simple. You can download monthly expense templates online, but all you really need is a column for the name of the expense, another for the date and one for the amount.
If you are tracking expenses for business purposes, you can also refer to invoice or receipt numbers, but as long as you’re keeping them somewhere safe, that’s not entirely necessary.
The easiest way to set up a monthly expenses spreadsheet is to list all the things you have to pay every month. These might be things like rent or a mortgage, groceries or office supplies or entertainment and fuel costs.
There are probably expenses that you pay every month that don’t change much, and those should be the first things you capture. Make sure you leave room for one-off expenses at the end of your monthly bills template. I like to put the total at the top of the sheet rather than the bottom so that I can add many extra lines, and everything calculates automatically.
When you are creating a monthly expense template, you will have fixed and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are amounts that you have to pay every month that don’t change much. These include:
· Rent and mortgage payments
· Internet and telecoms subscriptions
· Car payments
· Debt repayments
Variable costs are things that vary from one month to another, such as:
· Groceries and consumables
· Clothing and shoes
· Fuel or transit costs
· Entertainment costs
If you look for a free monthly bill spreadsheet template online, you will probably find one that has all of the common fixed and variable costs listed, so it’s easier to remember what you need to account for.
There will always be some costs that you can’t anticipate, though. Maybe you need to take your dog to the vet, or you have to repair your car. You should always have an area on your monthly expenses spreadsheet where you can list those expenses too.
Once you have been capturing your spending on a monthly expenses spreadsheet, you can use that information to create a monthly budget template.
A budget is created before you start the month, whereas a spreadsheet for monthly expenses could be captured as you move through the month. Look at what you’ve been spending on different categories for the past few months. Are there areas where you want to cut back?
List the amounts you want to allocate to each type of expense on your monthly budget sheet template, and then track your spending based on those budget figures. It might take a little time to work out a budget that works for you, but just going through the exercise will help you to control your spending a little better.
As outlined above, all you need to do to get started tracking your spending on a monthly expenses spreadsheet is a few columns to list what the expense was for, when you spent it, and how much it was. You can total all the amounts at the end of the month and use the information you capture to create a monthly budget.
Once you’ve captured expenses for a few months, you should have an accurate template you can use for future months. Just make sure that you enter everything you spend so that you can create an accurate list of common expenses.
Tracking monthly expenses on a spreadsheet is perfect for individuals who want to budget better or even small businesses that are just finding their feet. However, if you want to track spending for larger businesses, you’ll want to use a tool like QuickBooks for your accounting.
LiveFlow was created to make it easy to export data from QuickBooks to Google Sheets, so you can track your corporate spending easily and in real-time. This means your spending data will always be as up-to-date as your accounting system.
If you’re looking for clever tools to make business accounting easier, we’d love to show you what LiveFlow can do for you. Contact our team to find out more or to book a free, no-obligation live demo of this innovative platform.
Check out this Monthly Expenses Spreadsheet template from LiveFlow:
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