Free Money Management Template
Are you looking for free money management software? It has long been my goal to create a simple, macro-free, money management spreadsheet that provides the same functionality as basic budgeting and money management software. A simple spreadsheet will never do everything that dedicated software can do, but the new Vertex42® Money Management Template comes amazingly close.
Origins: The money manager emerged from the combination of my budget planner, monthly budget, and checkbook register templates. You get all of the features of each of these templates, but with significant improvements.
As a preliminary caution, you should be comfortable using a spreadsheet and understand that spreadsheets are fairly error-prone. By that I mean that even if the spreadsheet is completely free of errors at FIRST, there is no guarantee that you won't accidentally introduce errors yourself. With that said, download and enjoy!
Money Management Templatefor Excel and OpenOffice
Download the Vertex42® Money Manager - a free Money Management Template for Excel that lets you track expenses and manage your budget!
- Create a Yearly Budget to make future projections, handle variable income, plan for irregular expenses (non-monthly), and budget variable expenses like seasonal electricity or water bills.
- Record Transactions for multiple accounts all in a single worksheet. Include your Credit Card account(s), Checking account(s), Savings account(s), and even an account to represent your Cash, Purse, or Wallet.
- Balance Your Checkbook - the Transaction history table includes a "Cleared Balance" that makes it easy to compare to your bank statement(s). Use the reconcile (R) column in the table to enter cleared "c" and reconciled "R" transactions. You can enter split transactions and transfers between accounts. Use the built-in Excel autofiltering to display transactions for a single account or all accounts.
- Track Your Monthly Spending using the monthly budget report which includes graphs, compares budget vs. actual amounts, and is updated automatically as you enter transactions. Just change the Year and Month to view the report for a different month.
- Track Your Yearly Spending [Excel 2010 version only] [Update 9/2/2014] - Due to frequent requests for a yearly report, I have added a new worksheet that calculates an Income & Expense Report for an entire year grouped by month. This may be helpful for creating the following year's budget.
We've created a Weekly Budget template that is based on the money manager. It includes the transactions and the weekly report all on one worksheet.
"No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet" - by Jon Wittwer
How to Use the Money Management Template
Introducing the Money Management Template Dynamic Drop-Down Lists for Dates and Check Numbers
I've included a detailed set of instructions inside the workbook itself. Please read through those instructions. They contain very important tips, guidelines, and examples.
Customizing the Budget Categories
I will be the first to admit that the most complicated part of using the Vertex42® Money Manager is customizing the budget categories. Luckily, you only need to do this once with maybe a bit of tweaking each year. Essentially, you just need to make sure that the categories are exactly the same in all worksheets.
What you need to watch out for: If you assign a transaction to a category that is not included in the Budget or Report worksheets, the expense won't show up in your reports and you'll think you have more money than you really do. I've added conditional formatting to help prevent these types of mistakes, but the spreadsheet is definitely not error-proof.
I've tried very hard to include a comprehensive set of income and expense categories, so if customizing the categories is too scary, just try to use the default list.
Creating your Yearly Budget
I intend to write more on this subject in the future. For now, you can learn about creating a budget in almost any personal finance book, reading online blog articles on budgeting, etc. See the article How to Make a Budget and read through these 5 Budgeting Tips.
The second most difficult part of using the money management template is learning to enter transactions into the Transaction worksheet correctly and efficiently. If you have a good understanding of how to copy, insert, and delete rows, it should be piece of cake. It is very important that you always copy entire rows (instead of inserting blank rows) so that you preserve the formatting, data validation, and formulas that are both visible and contained in hidden columns.
After a while, you may find that entering transactions with the spreadsheet is faster than using Quicken because of how easy it is to copy and paste, using older transactions as "templates" for new transactions.
Can I use Autofiltering? Yes. If you know how to define "Lists" or "Tables", go for it, but make sure you know what you are doing. If you know how to use Autofiltering, you may find it convenient to use the filtering to display transactions for a single Account at a time when you are reconciling.
Can I import transactions from my bank? Unfortunately, no. The money management template is not quite that fancy. I also have no plans in the future to add the ability to automatically import transactions from your bank or other financial institution. There is no online connectivity built into the money manager. If you want that kind of functionality, you may want to use some other dedicated budget software.
Tracking Your Monthly Progress
A very important part of good money management is keeping track of how your current spending compares to your budget. You might check your budget status on a weekly or even daily basis, but you should at least manage your money on a monthly basis.
Use the Report worksheet to compare your budget to your actual spending throughout the month. You can change the month by simply entering the month number (1 for January, 2 for February, etc).