About the Retirement Planning Spreadsheet
Budget Builder for Google Sheets Spreadsheet by Randy H.
I’m sharing my process (and my budget-builder personal worksheet). Maybe the sheet is helpful. Maybe you build on top of what I’ve shared. Maybe the concept helps you form your own (better) process. Here is what I do…
I start by looking at my actuals from the prior year. If there are any surprises, I use a custom query tool to understand the top income or expense transactions within a category (e.g. an expensive meal, a forgotten home repair, etc). From there, I strip out one-time expenses (a trip, an expensive purchase, a home improvement, etc) in the timeframe where they occurred.
At this point, I have a baseline of my monthly actuals without the surprise items that I don’t expect to recur in the coming year. I like to look at the annualized average at this point and level it with a rounded “baseline override”. The
Groceries category is an instructive example here. It’s not a seasonal expense so I don’t need to try to track the ups and downs of the prior year. If I spent $6,000 the prior year, I’m just going to override the month-to-month lumpiness (of the actuals) with $500 per month.
Finally, I add/budget in my new one-time expenses like planned travel, home upgrades, a new computer, etc.