My wife and I have facilitated in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class and several people have asked me how I made my nice one page budget form. It is a Microsoft Excel file, and has everything squeezed in a very small space.
Download the form
Click this link, or right click and save as: Excel Budget Form
To use this, first go to the Settings page and fill in how often you are paid. Then fill in cell C2 with the first pay date, which is the first day of your month. This is the worst part, so if you get past this you are good to go.
The rest is very much like the Financial Peace paper budget forms. Column B is the category, and columns C-G is how much you have budgeted for that pay period. Hide the ones that you don’t need. Then Column H is the total budgeted for the month. Column I is how much you have spent so far this month, so at the beginning of the month these will be all zero. Now column I is all formulas, since I didn’t want to do math every time I wrote a check. So if you look at the second sheet “Actuals” you see a similar chart showing the same first 3 columns. Starting in column D, you can just enter one check per cell. So for example if you have spent $5, $20, and $15 on food, go to the food line and put 5 in column D, 20 in E and 15 in F etc. The total will automatically show up on the “Budget” sheet in column D.
Column J is simply a formula letting you know how much is left in that “envelope” for that category: i.e. Budgeted(H) – Actual(I). There is one little trick here, you can put a 0 or 1 in the first cell of columns C-G and then that column will be included (1) or excluded (0) from the Diff (J) column. This way you can see how much you have left to spend in that category in the current pay period.
The balances at the bottom are just for checking your math: Balance H should always be zero if your budget is balanced. Balance I should be exactly the same as the balance in your checkbook.
The tables on the right side:
The allocated savings register for you to record all of your savings goals, there is a formula for percent there but that is all.
The next table is the debt snowball table. The first column is the name of the debt, then the original amount, which is not really needed except that when you call in to scream “I’m debt free”, Dave will ask you how much debt you paid off, and if you didn’t write it down you won’t know. The next column is how much the current principle balance on that debt is, and then you have a nice little percent.
The Upcoming table is a list of infrequent bills that I always forget about. I don’t think that Dave has a form for this, but I needed it so that I remember to save up for big annual bills like car registration or quarterly insurance payments.
The next section in the black box, is what I call the motivating statement. It is what encourages me to keep going, when I can look at the budget taped to the side of the fridge and see in huge letters: “We saved $3,963 and paid off $16,883 in debt” it keeps me focused on the goal.