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Here's some good news:   If you're one of those folks who forked over scads of money for Microsoft Excel, well, here's your chance to let it recoup some of that expense for you.

If, on the other hand, you don't have Excel, but would love to get your hands on a spreadsheet program of some sort (preferably free, right?), then swing over to my Excel page and read up on a few different possibilities for doing just that.

A Simple Spending Plan Spreadsheet

The first thing you'll want to do is get your hands on a Spending Plan spreadsheet. You can download the latest version of my spreadsheet at that page. (Before you continue, however, please read our disclaimer.)

Instructions are included / available with the spreadsheet(s); feel free to use them as they are, or just take a look at them and then customize your own (better) Spending Plan spreadsheet separately.

Getting There From Here

At any given time, I like my Spending Plan to tell me four things:

  1. Which fixed recurring bills/expenses I have, and have not, paid so far this month. (Forgetting to pay a bill is a bad thing.)
  2. My expected total income for the month, updated as each paycheck (or other form of income) arrives.
  3. How much money will remain if I stay at or beneath my budgeted amounts for my recurring bills and non-fixed other expenses.
  4. How much money is remaining right now, factoring in what I've already spent, plus any expected expenses/bills that I haven't yet paid.

Using the spreadsheet above, I create a new Spending Plan on the first or second day of each month. Because I couldn't expect readers to just open the file and know what goes where, you can visit my Spending Plan Details page for screenshots, details, instructional walk-throughs, and FAQs for the spreadsheet.

If, after reading all this, you'd prefer to build and track your Spending Plan on paper, click here.