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8 Easy, Free Expense Tracking Templates for 2021

Track Spending Google Sheets

Why use an expense tracker spreadsheet?

Understanding (and improving) your financial situation starts with tracking your expenses. And spreadsheets are one of the easiest tools for expense tracking.

Plus, with hundreds of free, pre-built templates, it’s easy to get started with tracking expenses in a spreadsheet. You can even review your expenses on the go with free mobile apps for Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Your financial life in a spreadsheet, automatically updated each day

Tiller connects 21,000 banks to your spreadsheets and automatically updates them with your spending, balances, and net worth each day. Track everything in one place with flexible templates and no ads.

Below are eight free expense tracking templates. But first, we have a few suggestions about getting your transactions into your template and keeping up with categorization.

How to get transactions from your bank into your expense template

There are a couple of ways to get your bank and credit card transactions into your spreadsheets:

Manual workflow: Log into your bank website. Then you can either cut and paste your transactions into your spreadsheet, or export a CSV file that you can then either import directly into your sheets or again cut and paste data.

Automated workflow: Tiller can automatically update your spreadsheets with your daily spending, account balances, and other account balances from banks, credit cards, brokerages, and 21,000 other financial sources. It’s completely free to try for 30 days, and you keep all data imported during your trial. Learn more →

Suggestions for categorizing expenses in your template

The next step is sorting your expenses in a meaningful way. Examples of common expense categories are mortgage/rent, utilities, kids, pets, health, groceries, restaurants, cars, clothing, travel, insurance, and debt repayment. Find more suggested budget categories here.

Each transaction can only go in one category. (However, you can split transactions and use tags – read more here.)

It’s best to keep everything simple to start; you can always add more budget tracking categories later.

When it comes to categorizing your expense transactions, you can either do this manually in a couple of minutes each day, or use AutoCat to handle this automatically.

Now, on to the templates.

Table of Contents

Expense Tracker Templates for Google Sheets

Monthly Expense Tracker Template

Platform: Google Sheets

Monthly Expense Tracker by Mod Boutique Agency – This template tracks spending by month in customizable categories and provides both a month-to-month and year-to-date summary of your income and expenses.

Simple Expense Tracker by Month

Platform: Google Sheets

Your financial life in a spreadsheet, automatically updated each day

Tiller connects 21,000 banks to your spreadsheets and automatically updates them with your spending, balances, and net worth each day. Track everything in one place with flexible templates and no ads.

Finance editor Libby Kane has a simple yet extremely effective spreadsheet she uses to track her expenses. With this sheet, you’ll log your expenses by month all on one page. Kane has the monthly spend split into discretionary and fixed expenses, and also allows for income, refund payment and savings inputs.

For those of who are still new to using spreadsheets and/or money management, Kane has published an accompanying guide to help you through the process. 

Intermediate Expense Tracker Spreadsheet with Charts

Platform: Google Sheets

Maybe you are familiar enough with spreadsheets to not stress about entering data, but aren’t quite to the point where you’re comfortable writing your own formulae. You want different ways to illustrate and understand where your money is going, but you’re not sure how to get there on your own.

In this case, you may like Erika Kullberg’s Budget and Expense Tracker. To use it, you simply enter your budget under the “Category” tab and your spending under the first tab. We love that as you track your spending, there’s a section to add who made each purchase, making this spreadsheet ideal for couples who are budgeting together. 

Advanced Net Worth and Expense Tracker Spreadsheet

Platform: Google Sheets

If you’re looking for a longer timeframe and an expense tracking spreadsheet that will also address your net worth, you may want to check out this one from Hack Your Wealth. T

his spreadsheet allows you to track your income and expenses for eight years, along with accounting for advanced formulae to determine your mortgage equity, tax rate, and investments.

Easy Automated Expense Tracker Spreadsheet

Medium: Google Sheets

At Tiller, tracking your expenses for you is a major part of our job. We build spreadsheets that automatically link to your financial accounts.

That way, you don’t have to manually log every last purchase; it’s done for you without lifting a finger. 

Tiller spreadsheets don’t just populate your expenses for tracking purposes; they analyze your data with pre-written formulae to create beautiful charts, graphs and more so you can visualize your spending habits and make them better.

They create simple budgets with a lot of complicated math behind the scenes. 

Expense Tracker with Google Sheets and Google Forms

Expense Tracker with Google Sheets and Google Forms by PC World – This is an ingenious use of Sheets and Forms. It’s not exactly a template. Rather, it uses a Google Form to import expense information into a Google Sheet that you can then customize.

Microsoft Excel Expense Tracker Templates

Family Budget Tracker Template

Platform: Microsoft Excel

If you’re managing money for an entire family and line items like “529 contributions” and “Booze” can both be found on your budget, a good match may be this family budget template by PT Money contributor, Emily Guy Birken. This budget planner allows you to store income records, long-term savings goals, short-term savings goals and daily expenses. You record your expenses each day, and evaluate the bigger picture at the end of the month. 

Simple Expense Tracker Template

Platform: Excel

Featured by The Penny Hoarder, this super simple expense tracking spreadsheet was created by a data scientist. To use it, you simply log your expenses as they happen, entering the date, amount, and “description” or category. 

Small Business Expense Tracker Templates

Platform: Google Sheets

Tracking your expenses is mandatory when you own a small business. So is logging your income. But doing so doesn’t have to be complicated. Gusto provides a free spreadsheet template to track business income and expenses as simply as possible. With a page for each month, it makes it easy to get your business finances in order. 

Make it even easier by logging each payment and expense as you go rather than pouring over bank or credit card statements and receipts at a later date. Tracking everything as you go also helps you build a better business budget.

Next steps

No one’s finances are perfect, but the closer you track your spending, the more you can anticipate impending cash flow short-falls or find extra money to put toward savings or debt repayment.

By tracking your spending month to month, you’ll also see how your spending fluctuates. Periodic expenses such as quarterly insurance premiums, back to school shopping, birthdays, and holidays can wreak havoc on even the best financial plans.

Over time you can anticipate these expenses and plan accordingly so they have less of an impact on your spending.

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