We created Weekly as an app to help you stay on track with your personal finances using a weekly budget.
If you would like to try and do the same thing but with a spreadsheet instead, you are in luck!
You can download our weekly budget template as an Excel document (.xlsx) or open it as a Google Sheet to calculate your Safe-to-Spend and then track of your spending on a weekly basis. It behaves much the same way that our app does but in a spreadsheet instead.
If you get tired of using a spreadsheet to track of your weekly spending, we suggest giving our weekly budget app a try. (It syncs with your bank and credit cards to keep your Safe-to-Spend number up-to-date!)
Below are the instructions on how to use the weekly budget template spreadsheet to calculate a weekly budget for yourself and then use the spreadsheet to track your personal spending.
Your Weekly Budget
The first step in creating a weekly budget is to understand what you “Safe-to-Spend” number is. So to start, open the sheet called “Safe-to-Spend”. This is where you will put in all your recurring income and expenses. After putting in your income and expenses, the spreadsheet will calculate their weekly equivalents and let you know what you can safely spend in a week.
First input your regular income
First thing to do is to get a copy of your paychecks and fill in the how much you get paid. Just use the amount after taxes. Next choose how often you are paid from the dropdown in the spreadsheet. You can choose “Weekly”, “Every Two Weeks”, “Twice a Month”, “Monthly”, “Every 3 Months”, or “Every 6 Months”.
Once you put this number into the spreadsheet in the lines “Net paycheck 1” and “Net paycheck 2” with the frequency, the template will automatically calculate the equivalent weekly amount for your income and it shows this number at the top next to “Average Weekly Income”.
Next add in your committed expenses
For this next part, having a copy of your bank and credit card statements handy can be quite helpful. In this part you need to put in all your committed expenses. What is a committed expense? A committed expense is an expense that you already know in advance what the amount is and it comes out on a regular basis. So for example, your mortgage is a committed expense. So are any subscriptions you have like Netflix or Gym memberships.
Committed expenses are usually monthly – think your phone bill or subscriptions. But sometime committed expenses can be of different durations too. For example, you might have a yearly pool membership or a quarterly subscription.
In the second section you describe your expense and put in how often it is paid.
The template will put in the equivalent weekly amount for the expense just like it did for income. Do this for all your committed expenses. We have given you a bunch of categories to get you thinking about all the committed expenses you may have.
The weekly budgeting template will add up all the equivalent weekly expenses and add them to the top of the spreadsheet in the row that says “Average Weekly Expenses”.
Now that the spreadsheet has your average weekly income and average weekly expenses, it will give you your weekly “Safe-To-Spend”. This is the amount that if you spent less than, your finances would be in good health. You can think of it like an adult allowance. Spend less than this every week and you will be good to go. It’s that easy!
Weekly Budget Tracker
The next step in budgeting weekly is to keep track of your expenses on a weekly basis. If you look to the bottom of the spreadsheet, you will see additional sheets called “Tracker Week 1”, “Tracker Week 2” and “Tracker Week 3”. Here’s how to use them.
Tracker Week 1
Now that you know your Safe-To-Spend, it’s time to track your spending on a week by week basis against this Safe-to-Spend number. At the bottom of the spreadsheet you will see a tab for “Tracker Week 1” and “Tracker Week 2”. (There is also a sheet for “Calculations”, this is where we store the ratios for calculating the weekly equivalent of income and expenses. Do not change anything on this tab.)
Click on Tracker Week 1. First notice that your “Weekly Safe-to-Spend” matches the calculation done on the first spreadsheet.
So in our example from above the Weekly Safe-to-Spend from first spreadsheet was $580.87 and that is what is pre-filled in on the Tracker page. It is automatically carried over.
On this sheet, you will see columns for “Date”, “Description” and “Amount”. This is where you type in your day-to-day expenses that were not inside of your recurring expenses. Day-to-day expenses are things like coffee, movies, gas and groceries. As you start to input these expense, they will be added up and subtracted from your “Weekly Safe-to-Spend” to give you what your current “Safe-to-Spend” number is. That is the number you should try and stay below each week!
If you have any money left over at week’s end, it will be rolled over for us in the next week. Also if you have a negative number (a deficit), it can also be rolled over to the next week where it will reduce what is available in the next week.
Note: Please be sure to add in your expenses as a negative number. If you happened to get money in that is not part of your regular income, you would add that in as a positive number. In the screenshot above “Reimbursement for dinner” is a positive amount.
Tracker Week 2
Ok! You have made it through your first week of weekly budgeting! How’s it feel?
Now it’s time to start a new week. Go to the tab called “Tracker Week 2”. This is very similar to Tracker Week 1 but it has an additional line for “Rollover”. This is the amount that came from the previous week, either positive or negative. It’s positive if you spent less money than you were allotted; its negative if you spend more.
If you want to ignore your rollover for the second week, just delete the number.
Tracker Week 3 and Beyond
We have created a Week 3 spreadsheet that follows the same principles as Week 2.
Now if you want to keep using this spreadsheet beyond week 3, here’s how you do that. You would need to copy the “Tracker Week 3”. Then there is one other step. You will need to set the “Rollover” amount on “Tracker Week 4” to the final “Safe-to-Spend” calculation from Week 3. Repeat this for each week were you want to use this spreadsheet.
There’s An App for This!
Now if you find that inputting transactions into a spreadsheet is laborious, we would love to have you try Weekly, our budgeting app. You can take it will you were ever you go and it will download transactions automatically from your bank and credit cards and keep you up-to-date at all time.
The logic behind creating a weekly budget is the same whether you use it inside an app or a spreadsheet. Setting up a weekly budget works because it breaks free from the tyranny of counting every dollar without compromising the effectiveness of having a budget. There’s a better way to budget, and its Weekly!