About the Budget Builder for Google Spreadsheets
Build next year’s budget from the ground up with the Budget Builder template in a step-by-step process:
- Consolidate prior-year actuals
- Remove the prior year’s one-time expenses
- Smooth month-to-month lumpiness with “baseline overrides”
- Add the upcoming year’s one-time expenses
A category-query tool helps identify top expenses. This solution works well with the Monthly/Yearly Budget and also with the Savings Budget.
via Randy at Tiller:
“I’m sharing my process (and my budget-builder personal worksheet). 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.”
The template contains four functional sections:
The Prior-year Actuals section automatically consolidates your actual expenses on a month-by-month basis. This is the starting point for your new budget.
Use the category-query tool to drill down into a category with surprising outliers— like an expensive month eating out.
Use the budget-year modifiers section to remove one-time expenses and income from the prior year— to create a minimized baseline— and, later, to add one-time expenses for the coming year where you expect them to fall.
Finally, use the Upcoming Budget-year section to refine and review your budget for the new year.
Support & Documentation
- View documentation for the Budget Builder Spreadsheet here the Tiller Community
- All Tiller Community Solutions are exclusively supported in the Tiller Community