This article provides detailed instructions on how to use our free downloadable budget spreadsheet, the Super Starter Budget. The Super Starter Budget is our easiest, no frills, single month budget. For a full 12-month budget, check out the Super Basic Budget.
Setting up your Budget
Start with the Setup tab.
It takes five steps to set up the Super Starter Budget.
Step 1: Enable your macros. For details on how to do this, check out this FAQ.
Step 2: Enter the month and year of your budget. There is a dropdown menu for the month and year. When you put your cursor on the cell, a small arrow box should pop up next to it. Click on this arrow box, and a dropdown menu will appear.
Step 3: Enter your monthly net income (your take-home pay after taxes).
Step 4: Enter up to 10 expense categories and the amounts you want to budget for the month. Use the PLUS and MINUS SIGNS to add or remove category spaces. Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to move categories.
Step 5: Click the “Set Budget” button next to the title.
After your budget is set, you should see blue navigation buttons at the top of the sheet.
Logging your Expenses
Click the blue “Expenses” button to go to the Expenses tab.
On a regular basis, log your spending on the Expenses table.
Type over the example with the date, description, and amount of your first expense.
There is a dropdown menu for the category. When you click on the category cell, a small arrow box should pop up next to it. Click on this arrow box, and a dropdown menu will appear. Select the category from the dropdown menu.
Enter your next expense right below the first one. To add rows, click the PLUS SIGN. To delete a row, click the MINUS SIGN.
Continue to add expenses as they occur, one right below the other.
Analyzing your Spending
Click the “Month Detail” button to go to the Month Detail tab.
After logging your expenses, check this tab to see how you did for the month.
The top section shows you how much you saved for the month, as well as how much you are over or under budget.
The bottom section is a breakdown of your spending by category.
On the right-hand side, there is a pie chart that shows you how much each category represents to the total.
That’s it! Just keep logging your expenses, and check your Month Detail tab to see how you did.
Have an unanswered question? Feel free to post it in the comments below!