There are a ton of techy ways to spend smarter, but even though they’re designed to make budgeting easier for everyone, sometimes millennials still feel like they’re just trying to avoid going totally broke. That’s why we were so excited when we stumbled across an awesome budgeting template that’s actually easy to customize and use. And we bet if you give it a try, you’ll start saving for major milestones in no time.
Liz Morris, who writes the popular blog One Twenty Five, created the smart spreadsheet to get her own spending under control. She recently shared it and wrote in a post, “I used to be one of those people. One of those people that never looked at bills, budgets or money. I just sort of trusted it would all work itself out. When I graduated from Queen’s University in 2007 I was left with a whack load of debt; $48,000 of debt to be exact.” Unfortunately, she’s not alone.
Shining a positive light on the situation, Liz went on to say, “It was probably the worst and best thing that ever happened to my piggy bank — having debt, that is — because it showed me how HARD and AWFUL paying back money you’ve already spent is.”
After trying a bunch of things (including a few different spreadsheets) to get her money management on track, Liz settled on her new template, because it really forces her to manually track her spending, which in turn helps her understand exactly where each dollar is going. She noted that this is different than when she tried using apps like Mint.com, saying, “I find they’re almost too automatic. Everything is done for me, so I don’t need to go in and track and look and see it, which means I ignore it.”
The only budget spreadsheet you need to download
Perfect for the busy gal who loves brunching, her friends and staying healthy, Liz’s color-coded spreadsheet already has blue rows for specific things like food, drinks, gift purchases (“pressies”), Uber rides, your fitness membership and more. Tailor the template to YOUR life in minutes by editing the subcategories however you want to. Since Liz already pre-defined each month with a sample budget, all you need to do is pop your actual spend in the yellow boxes.
At the end of the month, you’ll see your automatically calculated monthly total in green or red — depending on whether you stuck to your budget or overspent. Even cooler, you can tab over to see your spending percentage by category in pie chart form, along with how much you’re saving in each. Needless to say, we’re obsessed.
As if Liz wasn’t amazing enough, she’s offering her spreadsheet up for free use. Here’s to happier spending habits and watching your savings account grow after giving it a go!
Will you try Liz’s spreadsheet? Tell us what helps you stick to your budget @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty and One Twenty Five)