Starting a Monthly Budget

Home Federal is committed to providing our clients with the tools and resources required to be financially stable. A monthly budget helps keep finances on track so you can effectively plan and save for the future.

What is a Monthly Budget?

A monthly budget is a financial tool designed to set spending limits and record how your money is being spent within these limits. Not only can you see if you’re over or under-spending, but you can also plan for future purchases by seeing where changes can be made in your monthly spending. Use the Home Federal budgeting tool below to help you effectively budget and ultimately see how you can reach your financial goals.

Download Our Budgeting Template

How to Use Our Monthly Budget Spreadsheet

There are two tabs that will help create your budget. The Summary tab is where you will be able to see your monthly spending versus the amount you thought you spent. The transactions tab is how you will record the amount you actually spent on your transactions throughout the month.

To Get Started:

Fill out Summary Tab.

Fill out income streams in the Income section in column J.
Only fill out highlighted sections for your planned income that you expect throughout the month.
If you are a salaried employee – enter how much take-home income you have after taxes are taken out
If you are an hourly employee - enter the amount that you take home on average.

Enter your starting balance in cell L8.
Your starting balance is the total amount you have in your bank account when starting your budget.

Fill all highlighted cells that you have expenses in.
This will help you see planned versus actual expenses at the end of the month and help calculate your ending balance.

If you do not know the exact amount you spend monthly, estimate the highest amount you believe you spend a month. Then, after the first-month update the planned column moving forward.

Create custom categories if there are expense categories that you do not see currently listed in column B.

Now that you have set your monthly goals, you will fill out the transactions tab during the entire month.

During each month:

Fill out the Transaction Tab. Record all transactions throughout the month. Fill out all details in columns C – D.

When you fill out the transactions, the summary tab will AUTOMATICALLY update in the Summary Tab in column E. Which will then show your actual expense in each category (as long as the formulas are still in place).

Categorize all purchases in row E. Click the down arrow and select the category the purchase falls under.

If there is a category you do not see on the Budget Tool initially, add it as a custom category (on the Summary Tab). Once it is added, you will be able to select this category on the Transaction Tab.

Enter your income in column H.

Just like the purchases, be sure to categorize this as ‘Income’ in column J.

At the End of each month:

Review the Summary Tab.

See how your actual spending compares to your planned spending by reviewing the difference (Diff.) columns.

These columns are in columns F and M. A grey number with a plus sign shows that you spent less than planned that month, allowing you to have more money to save or use elsewhere. Red indicates that you spent more than you had planned for that month in that category and may need to make adjustments for the following month(s).

View the increase in savings and how much was saved this month in columns H - L.

Copy the Summary and Transactions tab.

You can do this by right-clicking on them and renaming them to the next month you will be in.

Change the planned amounts in the new month.

You can change the planned amount (column D on the new month’s summary tab) to reflect what you actually spent from the month previously (column E on the Summary tab).

See how your spending compares to the month before.

With this information, you will be able to see where most of your spending goes and where you can change your spending habits. This will also help you plan for your next large purchase, contribute to a savings account, know how much you spend daily, or even create an emergency fund by letting you see where you can save money, if you need to increase your income, or supplement your income. When taking these steps, you will be able to accurately create your financial plan for your future.

Concerned About Your Budget?

If you find yourself thinking you have too much money going out, you are making too little income, are concerned about making ends meet, or what to do with a surplus – talk to one of our experts. They can walk you through your complimentary review to show you how to stay on track with your budget and apply that towards your future goals.


Actual Expenses

This is what you actually paid from the transactions tab. Fill these cells in throughout the month as you make purchases.


Planned Expenses

These values are on the Summary Tab (in column D) and are based on what you believe you will spend. Fill these highlighted cells out at the beginning of the month.


End Balance

What the end balance in your bank account will be after the month.


Difference (diff)

The difference column in columns F and L illustrate how different your actual spending was from your planned spending. Red highlight means you spent more in that category, green means you spent less in that category for the month.


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Checking Accounts / Savings Accounts / Loan Options / Mortgage Lending / Planning Tools