How to Create a Budget in Excel?

A budget is the foundation of your financial health.  Want to know if you can afford a vacation?  How much you can save for retirement?  How you can pay off your mortgage faster?  These questions can all be answered if you have a budget.

A budget is a listing of your income and the amount you can afford to spend on your expenses and put into savings.  Income includes your wages and returns you get from your investments.

What is a Budget?

Use it to follow along with the steps outlined below to make sure you are learning how to create a budget in Excel which works for you. As an overview, here are the steps necessary to create a budget in Excel:  

How to Create a Budget in Excel


In my case, my primary financial goal is to make sure I enjoy my retirement.  For many of you, your goals will include down payments on houses, refinancing student loans, college for your children and funding retirement.

Identify Your Financial Goals


The most common time periods for a budget include a monthly or annual view. If you budget for a month, it is critical to remember to add expenses that you don’t pay every month as you’ll need to set aside money in short-term savings to have the money when those expenses become due.

Determine the Period Your Budget Will Cover


Figure out how much Form W-2 or Form 1099 income you’re going to earn during your budgeting period (1099 vs. W-2 can result in different tax situations).

Calculate Your Total Income

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