12 Free Spreadsheets to Help You Manage the Cost of Inflation

Inflation is currently on the rise, but these free spreadsheets can help you keep your spending under control and mitigate cost of living increases.

As you already know, inflation is surging, reaching a new, 40-year high last month.

Most of us are spending more for less and seeing our budgets challenged by expensive gas, food, and housing.

In my Tiller spreadsheet, I’ve watched my grocery expenses creep up month after month, which is now taking a bite (sorry) out of my discretionary spending. 

Even if I didn’t use Tiller, I’d know I’m spending more on almost everything this year. But I wouldn’t know how much more, and wouldn’t be as prepared to deal with it. 

Unfortunately, individuals can’t fully avoid inflation. But there are practical steps you can take to keep your cash flow in check even with rising prices.

First, keep an eye on your expense trends over time – weeks, months, and years – to see if rising expenses are cutting into your cash flow and financial allocations. Several spreadsheets below can help with this.

inflation spreadsheet shopping

Second, keep a closer-than-usual eye on your everyday spending. You want to stay on top of spending more than ever during an inflationary period.

That’s because, despite best intentions, “consumers really don’t remember what prices they paid for products,” according to Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business professor Kusum Ailawadi in an interview with Marketplace.org.

As prices go up, it’s easy to spend more without realizing it. But she also noted the “more involved you are in the purchase of any product, the more you’re going to notice the price,” Ailawadi said. 

This echoes a quote from Libby Kane, Business Insider’s Executive Editor of Personal Finance that we’ve shared often:  the “best, most critical first step you can take to improve your finances is to track your spending.”

all your finances in one place

Third, consider using a personal budget to closely track cost-of-living changes. If you’re already using Tiller on Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, you can easily use the Foundation Template to track expenses and make a simple budget.

Even if you don’t intend to stick with the budget, making one provides a clear view of what you can really afford to spend and save. 

Along with the Foundation Template, here are some free spreadsheet templates from the Tiller Community to help you see how your expenses are changing over time, and find places you can improve your cash flow and spending.

Tip: If you track your finances in a spreadsheet but don’t want to install any new templates, you can always create a simple pivot table to compare spending trends over different periods. Here are simple instructions for comparing spending with a pivot table.

Category Tracker for Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel

category tracker google sheets excel

This template for either Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel provides a quick & easy way to focus on custom reporting periods.

Both templates include a pie chart and interface so you can dig into your spending for a selected category over a configurable time period, and see the sum of spending for all categories for a given date range.

It’s available in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets, or as a download for Microsoft Excel here in the Tiller Community.

chart
Waterfall Chart in Google Sheets

When it comes to understanding your money trends, a waterfall chart can show you how your income, spending, or savings totals are affected by positive and negative changes over time.

Because a waterfall chart is color-coded, it’s an easy way to visualize positive vs negative trends.

An excellent pre-built waterfall chart template is now available in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets, or as a download for Microsoft Excel here in the Tiller Community.

Compare Transactions by Time Period in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel

transaction comparison
Average Daily Spending Trends Spreadsheet

Easily compare transactions from one time period against transactions from another time period in a Tiller-powered spreadsheet. Simply specify two time periods, then filter transactions by Category, tag, or both.

It’s available in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets, or as a download for Microsoft Excel here in the Tiller Community.

See Your Average Daily Spending Trends

average daily spending trends spreadsheet
Average Daily Spending Trends Spreadsheet

Quickly visualize your daily average spending trends in a Tiller-powered Google Sheet, so you can optimize your budget for long-term success.

See the template →

Review Your Monthly Budget with this Analysis Report

monthly spending analysis sheet
Monthly Analysis Report for Google Sheets

Drill down on your budget, actuals, or remaining organized by type, group, and category plus see how your budget and spending have changed month to month.

This is powerful because you can track changes by group, such as “Living” or “Discretionary,” or drill down into each category such as “Groceries,” “Gas,” or “Dining Out.”

See the template →

Take Control of Subscriptions

recurring expenses
Recurring Expenses Google Sheet

The Recurring Expenses template for Google Sheets will help you identify recurring transactions. The template uses formulas to look for patterns in your Transactions sheet, and scores and presents likely recurring expenses grouped by the Description field.

See the template →

Cash Flow Forecast Spreadsheet

cash flow forecast spreadsheet
Cash Flow Forecast Spreadsheet

The Cash Flow Forecast spreadsheet forecasts your cash flow into the future, so you can project various income/expense scenarios over time.

See the template here →

Quickly Compare Spending Changes By Category

comparions report for google sheets
Category Comparison Report for Google Sheets

Easily compare your actual spending by category from two time periods of your choosing.

See the template →

See Your Past 5 Weeks of Spending Trends

weekly spending report for google sheets

See your spending for all categories over the past five weeks and a glimpse at the relative trends within each category.

See the template →

See the Past 52 Weeks of Spending Trends

weekly spending analysis report for google sheets

A view of your spending for a selected category over a chosen period of time. It also provides a handy average of your spending over that time period.

See the template here →

Year to Date Comparison

Budget-versus-actuals analysis for the calendar year to date.

See the template →

Comparing Spending Trends Across two Time Periods

comparions report for google sheets

Gain a better understanding of spending by comparing trends across two time periods. Gain insights and see which categories and groups changed the most and least.

See the template here →

Yearly Category Chart

yearly cateogry chart spreadsheet

This sheet shows you a chart of your actual vs budget for a single category over the course of a year. For non-regular categories which vary from month to month, this sheet gives a quick visual representation of how you’re doing.

See the template here

Retirement Planner Spreadsheet

retirement planner works with tiller money
Retirement Planner Spreadsheet

The Retirement Planner template from Tiller Money Labs estimates the total value of your investments into the future. You can experiment with different growth rate scenarios and project outcomes in real-time.

See the template here →

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Edward Shepard

Edward Shepard

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

Notable Replies

  1. While I’m not yet too worried about the current spike in inflation, I definitely find it unnerving. The huge increase in local home prices is most stressful (up 25% this year). I’m in a prudent, careful mood and tracking my spending and saving closer than ever. And definitely spending according to my values, on businesses I choose to support.

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