8 Best, Free Expense Tracker Templates for 2024

Here are the 8 best expense tracker templates to help you manage your money, optimize cash flow, and plan for the future - all with free, flexible spreadsheets.

Staying on top of your spending with an expense tracker template is one of the fastest, most proven tactics for taking control of your finances. 

However, with multiple credit cards, bank accounts, and dozens of monthly transactions, monitoring your money can be a challenge.

And when it comes to improving your financial health, as Douglas A. Boneparth told the New York Times, “It’s very hard to make changes unless you actually know what you’re spending money on.”

Spreadsheets to the rescue 

“The best, most critical first step you can take to improve your finances is to track your spending.”

Libby Kane, Business Insider, “Spreadsheet to Track Spending”

Spreadsheets are one of the simplest yet most versatile tools for tracking expenses. They help you: 

  • See all expenses across all your accounts in one place at a glance
  • Become aware and engaged with your default spending habits
  • Gain useful insights to make informed financial decisions
  • Dig deeper with pre-built reports and category analysis
  • Feel greater financial stability and peace of mind

Plus, spreadsheets are free and easily accessible anywhere you get online. You can even access your spreadsheet tracker from your phone through Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.

Below are eight of the best free expense tracking templates for Google Sheets and Excel. 

But first, here are a few tips on importing your transactions into your spreadsheet and organizing expenses.

How to get your expenses into your spreadsheet

There are two main ways to get your bank and credit card transactions into a spreadsheet:

Manual method:

  • Log into your online banking portal and credit card accounts
  • Copy and paste transactions into your spreadsheet
  • Or export transactions as a CSV file, then import into your spreadsheet

Read more: How to Import Bank CSV Files into Microsoft Excel and How to Import CSV Into a Google Spreadsheet

Automated method:

Use a service like Tiller to automate tracking expenses in Google Sheets and Excel. Every day, Tiller connects your banks to your spreadsheets and pulls in your latest spending, income, transfers, and balances.

Tiller also includes prebuilt spending tracker sheets to help you visualize where your money is going. 

Try it completely free for 30 days. Keep all your imported data and templates even if you decide not to subscribe!

Read more: Never Worry About Exporting Your Financial Data With Tiller

Tips for Categorizing Expenses

Once your transactions are in the spreadsheet, categorize them for more insights:

  • Review and categorize transactions manually for a few minutes each day
  • Or use an auto-categorization tool like Tiller’s AutoCat to automatically sort expenses based on your rules

Common expense categories include:

  • Housing (mortgage/rent, property taxes, maintenance)
  • Transportation (car payment, gas, repairs, public transit)
  • Food (groceries, dining out)
  • Utilities (electricity, water, internet)
  • Insurance (health, auto, home/renters, life)
  • Health & Wellness (gym, medical, dental)
  • Shopping (clothing, home goods, electronics)
  • Entertainment & hobbies
  • Debt payments
  • Savings

Read more about budget and expense categories here

Start with broad categories and add more granular ones over time as needed. The key is choosing a system you can easily maintain to consistently track where your money goes.

When it comes to the actual categorization, you have two options:

Now that you have a high-level framework, let’s dive into some of the most useful free expense-tracking templates.

Google Sheets Expense Tracker Templates

Tiller Spending Trends Dashboard

Tiller’s Spending Trends Dashboard for Google Sheets (and Excel, below) is the only template on this list that automatically imports your expenses. Simply check your finances without manual data entry or dealing with CSV files. 

The sheet includes three helpful sections:

  • A snapshot of your recent spending totals
  • A large chart of all your expenses grouped into categories
  • A chart visualizing expenses over 30 days

The quick static snapshot shows what you spent yesterday, over the past week, and month. 

Meanwhile, the Insights panel shows your income and expenses neatly grouped into your custom categories. 

The Spending Trends dashboard is included with every new installation of the Tiller Foundation Template for Google Sheets and Excel. If you’re new to Tiller, try the Foundation Template with the Spending Trends sheet by starting a free 30-day trial

Your card isn’t charged until the end of your trial, and you can easily cancel anytime. 

2 – Deborah Ho’s Google Sheets Expense Tracker 

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The very talented Deborah Ho has created this Expense Tracker and, it might be the easiest way to track your spending thoroughly.

Deborah has invented a way to simplify tracking your spending using Google Sheets combined with Google Forms.

 Deborah’s Expense Tracker is an accessible and readable tracker anyone can use and benefit from!

3 – Life After College Expense Tracker Template

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Feeling overwhelmed by money after graduation? You’re not alone, and there are simple solutions to manage it all.

Created by former Google employee Jenny Blake, this Life After College Template helps you organize your expenses in 4 different categories including total monthly income, total monthly must-have expenses, total monthly nice-to-have expenses, and leftover money you’re free to spend or save as you wish!

Compacted and easy to use, get started with your Life After College budget now!

4 – Get Rich Slowly Budget Planner

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J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly has a relatable story; he graduated college with debt, couldn’t find a job immediately, and knew he needed to turn his finances around fast. Sound familiar? I hear you!

Get Rich Slowly Budget Planner allows you to upload your current budget and embark on your financial journey out of debt. 

See how well you’ve stuck to your goals and make sure to congratulate yourself when you do! 

Downloadable through both Google Sheets & Excel, get excited about how much less money you waste.

Microsoft Excel Expense Tracker Templates

Spending Trends Banks 2024

Tiller’s Spending Trends Dashboard for Excel works just like the Google Sheets version above. It’s automated to keep your finances updated without data entry, and also includes:

  • A snapshot of your recent spending totals
  • A large chart of all your expenses grouped into categories
  • A chart visualizing expenses over 30 days

The quick static snapshot shows what you spent yesterday, over the past week, and past month. 

Meanwhile, the Insights panel shows your income and expenses neatly grouped into your custom categories. 

2 – Savvy Ladies Budget

Personal Budget Tracker

Simply enter your email and unlock the free tool created by Women for Women at this link.

Savvy Ladies is a nonprofit that has been providing free financial education for women since 2003.

3 – NerdWallet Budget Excel Sheet

Nerd wallet expense tracker template

NerdWallet’s Budget Excel Sheet recommends the 50/30/20 budget, which suggests that 50% of income goes to needs, 30% of income goes to wants, and the remaining 20% is saved and used to pay debt.

Simply fill in your expenses and income into the desired boxes, record your monthly spending, and set goals, while monitoring how your totals compare to the 50/30/20 budget guidelines.

This particular sheet is customizable for a college student, a parent, a homeowner, or a senior!

4 – Simple Annual Budget

Simple Annual Budget Tracker

This Simple Annual Budget was created by Microsoft 365 to ensure you have a bird’s eye view of your yearly expenses and income, as well as the ability to break it all down into months. 

Download this free customizable Excel sheet to ignite your financial stability!

Edward Shepard

Edward Shepard

Marketing Lead at Tiller. Writer. Spreadsheet nerd. Get in touch with partnership ideas at edward @ tillerhq.com.

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