Create a Google Budget for your Personal Finances
When I decided to create a budget the first thing I asked myself was, “what can I buy to make this easier?” If it takes money to make money, it probably takes money to save money as well. Luckily I was wrong (don’t worry, I’m used to it). Instead of buying some crazy software, I put Google Docs to the task.
What is Google Docs?
For those who aren’t in the know, Google Docs is Google’s online answer to Microsoft Office. Google doesn’t claim to have all the features of Microsoft Office, but what it lacks in fancy features it makes up for in cost. FREE.
So sign up for a free Google account (if you don’t already have one) and let’s get started.
Creating Your Budget Sheet
Creating a budget sheet on Google Docs is super simple and you don’t need to be a spreadsheet wiz to create something that works for you.
In fact, I started with one of the many free templates available from other users (including Google). Simply click on the ‘Create New’ button in the upper left and select the ‘from template’ option.
From here you’ll be able to browse through all the templates available.
On the left hand side you can narrow down the choices to only show personal finance related templates. From here you can preview the various templates available and choose the one that will work best for your needs. I’ve found it much easier to choose a template that is close to what I’m looking for and editing it instead of starting with a blank sheet; However, you may prefer to create your own custom budget sheet from scratch. Go nuts !
I personally enjoy the Monthly Budget template from Vertex42:
And this budget template from Google:
Benefits of a Google Budget
Because your information is stored in the cloud you can access and edit your personal budget from any internet connected computer or device. That means you can balance your budget at home, work, a friend’s house, or even on your iPhone (or smartphone):
What Do You Think?
I always get excited when I find a practical use for new software or technology, so I thought I’d share with the rest of the internet. Let me know what you think, or if you’ve created a killer new template or way to use Google Docs.