Google Sheets

Budget Builder Spreadsheet

Build next year’s budget from the ground up with the Budget Builder template in a step-by-step process.

Budget Builder for Google Spreadsheets

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.

Overview for the Budget Builder Spreadsheet

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.

The template contains four functional sections:

Prior-year Actuals

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.

Category-query Tool

Use the category-query tool to drill down into a category with surprising outliers— like an expensive month eating out.

Budget-year Modifiers

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.

Upcoming Budget-year

Finally, use the Upcoming Budget-year section to refine and review your budget for the new year.

Support & Documentation

Tiller Community Solutions FAQ

Is this template free?

This is a free template created by a member of the Tiller Community. While it’s free for anyone to use, it’s designed for spreadsheets automated by Tiller. Additionally, it’s recommended for use within the Foundation Template.

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What is Tiller?

Tiller is the only automated personal finance service for Google Sheets and Excel. Tiller keeps all your daily spending, income, and account balances updated in your spreadsheets, so you can easily see where you stand at a glance and gain powerful insights about your money. Learn more →

Does this template have any dependencies or special requirements?

This template for Google Sheets works best when installed in Tiller’s Foundation Template.

Have questions about this template?

Visit the Tiller Community with any questions about this template.

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