If you are the type of person that likes to do things on paper, I have a free printable personal budget template for you to download. You can print it for each budget period if it is a week, bi-weekly, or a month. I even made a landscape version and a portrait version for you to choose from.
You know that a personal budget keeps you in control of your money and guides you on the path to financial safety and independence. We have crafted these templates, so they are easy to use and minimize the effort of maintaining your household budget on paper.
How to use the free printable budget template?
To fill in your budget template, you need to print the template, a pen, your receipts and payslip, and optionally a calculator.
Best, you start by writing the budgeting period on top, next to the word “Budget”. You decide if you want to track your budget weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. It is best to align this with your pay period.
Start with your Income. Fill in the table at the top left. Add your salary, wages, tips, pension, or social security income. If you have income from a side hustle or a small business, enter it here too. If you have more than one income, you need to add up the total income line.
The entries in this table are planned or budgeted amounts. If your self-employment or small business income varies a lot from month to month, then you can plan based on the minimum you expect each period.
Next fill in your planned savings, just below on the left. Make a line for every savings goal you have. You want to consider saving for retirement or buying a home. Also consider saving for large purchases, such as a car, a vacation, or a new smartphone. Further, think of your emergency fund, does it need a fill-up?
Finally, add up the entries to your total savings.
We skip budgeting expenses because it is not really worth the time. Instead, we assume you have read the 50/30/20 plan to assess your spending habits. So we will classify the actual expenses into “need” and “want” expenditures. This will save you a lot of time and writing. Only if your savings are out of line with the 20% target, do you need to have a more detailed look, where you are spending too much for your lifestyle. These are the opportunities to cut your spending and increase your savings instead.
You can fill in your expenses in the table on the right. Enter each receipt with a date and a reference, such as rent, or Walmarts, or anything you spend money on. Then decide if this receipt was for “need” or for “want” spending and write the amount in the appropriate column.
Deciding if something is a “need” or “want” expense is up to you. However, it is important to be consistent, each time you track your expenses. I suggest you have a master page with expense categories you decided on and jot a quick reference to this decision into the “key” column.
As you enter receipts, you can also split the amounts across the columns. If that Walmart receipt was $80 on “need-to-have” groceries and $20 on a nice gift you wanted to buy for your friend, then split the amounts into both columns.
At the end of the month, you want to add up the two columns of “want” and “need” expenses. This is where the calculator comes in handy.
How to assess the 50/30/20 rule with this budget
To assess your budget, you need to fill out the “50/30/20 rule” table.
Start by copying your total income from the income table into the Plan column. Then calculate the percentages for the “need”, “want” and “savings” rows, by multiplying the budgeted total income by 50, 30, 20 respectively and divide by each by 100. You can round to the nearest dollar.
In the “Actual” column, you fill in the actual income you received this period, as well as the actual savings you put aside for future purchases and retirement. Further copy your two actual expense totals for the “want” and “need” sections.
Next, you subtract the values in the “Actual” column from the “Plan” column. Enter the result into the “(Over) / Under” column. Most accountants use the parenthesis to indicate a negative value, for example “($125)”. But you can also use a minus sign, like “$ -125”. Now you can see if you overspend in that section or if you understand your budgeted value.
Next, you want to subtract the need, want, and savings in the “Actual” column and enter the difference into the extra money row. If this amount is positive you have extra money left over. This amount should be reflected in your bank account or your wallet. If there is a difference, you know that you forgot to account for something.
To calculate the actual percentages, divide the values for “need”, “want” and “savings”, and the “extra money”, in the “Actual column” by the income in the actual column (and multiply by 100).
If you have extra money, you should first congratulate yourself on a job well done. Now you can decide what to do with the extra money. You can roll it over into the next month, put it into your emergency fund or transfer it to one of your savings goals.
Download your free printable personal budget template
Free Printable budget template – Landscape (PDF)
If you do your budget weekly, you will not have that many entries for your budget. In that case, you can utilize the landscape personal budget template.
This printable personal budget template has the summary on a separate page. So if sometimes the expense table is not enough, you can simply print a second page and staple the three pages together.
Free printable budget template – Portrait (PDF)
If you need more space for your expenses, then I recommend downloading the portrait version of this printable personal budget pdf.
It combines the summary and analysis on the same page as the income, savings, and expenses.
Please let me know how these templates work for you? You can comment below or reach me on Twitter @SmartPerFinance