Wanting to start a budget? Intimidated by all the choices? Just want something simple to get you going? Stephen P. created his own budget spreadsheet, and he’s offered to share it with Get Rich Slowly readers. He writes:

I have something for Money Hacks. It’s a simple budget spreadsheet that I made in Excel when I was making $30,000/year and struggling to live paycheck-to-paycheck. It helped me to keep things in perspective. Things you can do:

  • The tax table pulls from married filing separate. It is in the first 14 or so rows of the blacked out columns to the right of the sheet. If you want to change the tax table, just change the taxable values.
  • My fiancee recommended that I add in a pets row, so I did that, and its now under personal expenses. If needed, this could be changed to be child-related.
  • Default value for 401k pretax savings is 5% (Typically, employers match some portion for 5% of gross)
  • Health insurance typically comes out pretax, hence why its green. You can also put in FSA money here too.
  • The pale yellow cells is of course where the budget information is entered . I tried to put those cells where most people would have the easiest time budgeting.

This is based on a lot of input from financial planners. I think it works really well. Let me know if you like it!

Give Stephen’s budget spreadsheet a test-drive. Drop a line with any comments or suggestions.

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