Are you looking for free printable budget templates? Now more than ever, people have a need and desire to save and manage their money. There is only one problem, most people get overwhelmed with where to start. Managing money can bring about anxiety and frustration.
So, where do we start? Making some guided decisions and finding a free printable budget template can help you start the process with some help along the way. That’s where these free printable budget templates come in!
Why Use a Budget Template?
A template is a guide that has a page layout that assists the user in creating the desired document. The document can be easily edited so whichever process is being created can be changed according to the need of the user.
Templates help by keeping a process standardized, like a budget, but individualized for the unique needs of each person.
There are templates for virtually anything you need. There are templates to create infographics, social media posts, weekly menus, business contracts, and many other documentation needs.
A template can be digital or printable and can easily be edited to allow the user to make changes and additions as the process grows.
Other benefits of using templates are:
- Saving money and time in creating something yourself from scratch
- Increasing follow through because the process has been started for you
- Easing the workload by guiding us through a process which in turn decreases stress about documentation.
- Increasing efficiency
- Simplifying document creation
- Improving the clarity of a process
What Are the Disadvantages of Not Budgeting?
The cost of living continues to grow, and Americans are feeling the stress of trying to make ends meet, let alone building savings. With inflating prices and the financial impact of the pandemic, the need for budgeting has hit an all-time high. In 2020, having a lack of the concept of financial literacy cost Americans an estimated $415 billion. Financial illiteracy is costing American billions by:
- Losing money on high-interest rates
- Having bad credit
- Being a victim of predatory lending
- Making risky financial choices
- Decreasing the option of being financially secure
- Magnifying physical and mental issues due to the stress of being in debt
Without budgeting, people risk making poor financial decisions which leads to problems in health and mental wellness, relationships, and quality of life.
- Budgeting Tips For Beginners: 7 practical steps to create a personal budget
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How Can a Budget Help?
A budget is a spending plan that is built on money coming in and money going out. It is knowing your future finances, what you must spend on living and saving, and the money you have for extras. You would not leave for a trip without creating a plan by mapping your route, organizing lodging, and creating an itinerary of events and meals so why would you leave your entire financial future at risk without a plan? A budget benefits the user by:
- Stopping you from spending money you do not have. In 2021, the average person had ,934 in credit card debt.
- Allowing you to prepare for the proverbial “rainy day”. Life is expensive on an average day, but when life gets hard because of divorce, illness, accidents, and other life-altering events, it can become financially unbearable as well. An estimated 56% of Americans are unable to afford a $1000 emergency expense as of January 2022. When an emergency expense arises, Americans who do not have an emergency fund must scramble to other resources causing even more debt.
- Providing the ability to retire with ease. The number of Americans who must continue to work over the age of 75 is expected to grow by 96.5%.
- Helping you keep your mind on a long-term goal. If you have the desire to buy a house, or a car, or take a dream vacation, a budget allows you to see the progress of saving and the negative impact of buying with no plan.
- Providing better mental and physical health. We all know the impact stress can have on our lives. When we are not worrying about money, we sleep better which helps our physical and mental health say strong.
- Giving us insight into our spending habits. You may be spending money on an area of your life that is not important to you. Seeing your spending habits lets you be in charge of your money, not your money being in charge of you.
Where Do I Start?
Let’s put pencil to paper and look at free printable budget templates that can help you take control of your spending. Before deciding on a template, you need to make a few decisions:
- Find out where you stand:
- What do you value the most? There is an adage that says where your money goes is where your heart lies. This means that we spend our money on what we value the most. You may be quite shocked once you realize where your money is being spent. Sit with pen and paper and list out what truly matters to you.
- Plan your financial goals. What would you like to achieve with your finances in increments? Three months? Three years?
- List your income. Compile a list and total of your monthly income. Make sure this is based on your net pay, or your take-home pay, and don’t include any income that is out of the normal, such as overtime, etc. You want to know exactly what your money coming in is for the month to be able to budget it appropriately.
- List your expenses: Take a look at all records of how you pay for things. Credit card statements, check registers, online banking statements, receipts, etc. to see where you spend your money. Make a list of categories and estimate how much you spend on each. You will have fixed expenditures such as rent, mortgage, and car payments. Next, you will have expenses that vary such as food, entertainment, and clothing. Finally, you will have quarterly or yearly expenses like taxes and insurance.
- Create a budget. Pay yourself first in the form of savings. Next, pay your needs first before your wants. You should have more income than expenses. If you don’t, you need to redo your budget to change this.
- Decide what type of budget works the best for you:
- Pay Yourself First: This method focuses on your first considerations of savings and debt relief. You are still going to make your needs a priority, such as bills, but you pay yourself from any money that would go normally after your needs first to pay for debt or provide savings for you and your family. This option is good for someone who struggles with the discipline of saving or someone who doesn’t want to be intricate in the budgeting process.
- Zero-Based Budget: With this method, you take your monthly income and subtract your monthly expenses until it reaches a zero balance. This makes you accountable for every cent you bring in. This is best for someone who has a definitive income each month. This is a very precise method and is generally best for someone who has been budgeting before this plan. If you spend over one area, you must take from another area to make up for it. Also, if you forget a big expense, it can throw you off for the entire month.
- 50/30/20 Budget: This budget is easier to plan out because it is based on three categories: necessary expenses, discretionary expenses, and debt and savings expenses. The idea is to divide your monthly income into 50% going into necessary expenses, 30% going into discretionary expenses, and 20% going into debt relief and savings. This is an ideal budget type for a beginning budgeter.
- Envelope Budget: This budget is based on the zero-based budget, but it works all off cash. You label your envelopes with the expenditure categories and divide the money you budgeted into the envelopes. If you have an entertainment envelope and you run out of money in that envelope, that is all you will spend that month on entertainment or you must take money from another envelope which leaves less in that category. This is good for people who like to use cash or who need the discipline of seeing the actual money leave their hands.
- Choose a budget sheet printable that coincides with your budget method.
You are now ready to get down to the nitty-gritty and make your plan. There are a vast number of free printable budget templates for you to use. Each category will help you build your financial literacy and your budget to work for you.
Below are some Best Free Printable Budget Templates To Help Manage Money
Zero-based Free Budget Templates
- Excel and Google and PDF These budget sheets can allow you to plan in Excel and Google Docs and print your budget out. This can make it easy to revisit and modify as you learn more about your income and expenses. The PDF can also be printed out with the information already there or so you can write in it once it is printed.
- Life and My Finances is a free budget sheet that is provided as one of the many free resources on this site. It is in Excel format which can allow you to digitally keep track of your budget or by printing it out to allow for complete control of the use of the template.
- Basic Zero-Based Budget is one you print out from the start. It is a one-page comprehensive budget to help you keep track.
- Create Simple offers a free printable zero-based budget sheet that is colorful and easy to use.
- Pennies to Wealth is a great tool to use online or in print.
- Perdue University Northwest this tool guides you in exercises to land you at a zero-based budget that you can print out and do by hand or in digital copy.
- Making Sense Matters provides not only a free printable budget sheet but also other free printable worksheets to help with a variety of budgeting and financial needs.
- Eat Drink and Save Money offers free printable templates along with tips for mastering zero-based budgeting.
- Frugal Fanatic is the perfect site for those of you who like to be super organized. Not only does this site provide a free printable budget template but also a free budget binder system to take control of your finances.
- Simplified Motherhood has a great site full of tips and printables to help guide your zero-based budgeting.
50/30/20 Free Budget Templates
- How To Make A Budget Plan: Why The 50/30/20 Rule Is What You Need offers an easy-to-use template to go along with this easy-to-use budget method.
- Majority is your go-to site for 50/30/20 budgeting. They offer printables and advice on how to get the most out of this technique.
- Fifty Thirty Twenty offers the perfect, simplistic template to make the process easier than it already is.
- Printerfriendly offers you a few choices in a printable 50/30/20 printable.
- Shut Eye this aptly named site gives several printable templates for budgeting including several for 50/30/20 budgeting that is simple and colorful.
- Help Me I’m Poor is the easiest and simplest printable yet!
- The Housewife Modern easy form for an easy budget strategy
- Cheap Thrifty Living simple form with all the tips to help you in your budgeting process
- Frugal Mom Guide provides templates, examples, and much more!
- She Saves She Travels is a comprehensive guide and template to help you budget. She also offers examples of different incomes and different areas desired to save for.
Envelope Budget Templates
- Fun Cheap or Free has a free printable to print right on your envelopes to make this type of budgeting simple and frankly super cool!
- Inspired Budget is another site with free envelopes to print.
- Mommy Over Work has free printable envelope templates along with other budgeting templates to use.
- My Stay at Home Mom Adventures has horizontal and vertical envelope templates to print. They are bright and cheerful making the process a little nicer.
- Vertex these are a very simple design with a detailed record-keeping tracker on each envelope.
- Creative Cajun Mama offers gorgeous printable envelopes plus her tips on envelope budgeting.
- Frugal Confessions provides a variety of colors and black and white printables for your envelope budget.
- Thirty Handmade Days is a great alternative to carrying around large amounts of cash but wanting to do an envelope system. It is a way to keep track of money in categories with printables you can carry with you.
- Organizing Moms offers another cashless envelope system with printables.
- Money Prodigy has a KID’S version of the money envelopes so you can help your children learn to budget with you!
Other Various Free Printable Budget Templates
- Coupons for Your Family provides resources and templates to use if you are low-income and just don’t quite know how to make it all work. Great resource!
- Chase the Write Dream offers budgeting made just for college students to help eliminate college debt right off the bat.
- Bonfires and Wine gives a paycheck-to-paycheck budgeting system for people who are currently living paycheck to paycheck or who have different amounts on each paycheck.
- Template.net links several options for those of you who would like to budget bi-weekly. This is a great way to start budgeting when you are learning the ropes.
- Dremelmicro supplies single people with a budget tracker fit for their needs.
- Empowered Single Moms single moms and dads have budgeting needs over their own. This site has several printable budget sheets made just for single parenting needs.
- On Planners provides a weekly planner for beginners or for people who want to be very cautious about their budgeting. This is a great way to start budgeting or taking inventory of your spending habits.
- Money Prodigy offers several types of budgeting templates for kids besides envelope templates. This site also offers budgeting examples and templates for teens who are just starting work.
- Mom Envy is a one-stop shop for free budgeting printable. There is something for everyone on this site.
- The Savvy Couple has over 25 free printable budget templates plus tips to make your budgeting easier.
Best Budgeting Apps
Here is a list of some of the best budgeting apps to manage money in 2022.
Final Thoughts on Free Printable Budget Templates
Budgeting your money doesn’t have to be a burdensome and scary process. The average American is not a financial wizard nor an expert in financial matters. Our access to information is vast so all we have to do is find the budgeting that best fits our needs and go to sites where others have already done the hard work for us.
You do not have to start from scratch but rather use a free template designed with your special circumstances and needs in mind. Now, you are armed with all of the information you need.
Find all you need right here to take control of your money. Watch your life fall into place. Get out of debt or save for your next large purchase. Create a safety net for life events so you are prepared. You can do this!
Are you currently using any free printable budget template to create your budget? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.