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Budgeting: Monthly Expense Tracking Sheet

Provided by the International Finance Corporation


This worksheet is set up to be used for monitoring your family spending for one month. We've formatted the worksheet and put in the major expense category descriptions. All you have to do is enter the specific expense under the corresponding category. If you need additional categories of expense items you can quickly modify it. Just plug in your amounts and the spreadsheet will automatically compute the totals.

Remember, both you and your spouse-- and any other members of your family who spend money that affects the family budget-- must do this! Either save receipts throughout the day and/or jot down the spending amounts in a small notebook that you bring with you everywhere you go. No amount that you spend is too small to note. Interestingly, it is usually the small things that really add up!  At the end of the day, combine each family member’s expenses in your chart. As you pay bills, also enter the amounts into the spreadsheet. At the end of a month you will have a good idea of where your money goes.  

Tracking what you spend is the most important part of budgeting.  Without an accurate idea of where and how much money you actually spend, a budget is just a guess and not a precise tally. Below is a breakdown of the percentage guidelines along with a description of what type of expenses should be included under each major spending category:  


Housing — Spend no more than 38% of net income on housing. That includes: mortgage or rent, utilities, taxes and home maintenance.


Transportation — Spend no more than 15% of net income on transportation. That includes: car payments, tag or license, maintenance, gasoline and parking.


Other — Spend no more than 5% of net income on each of these categories: recreation, clothing, insurance (life, auto, health) and medical expenses.


Debt — Spend no more than 5% of net income on all consumer debt: student loans, retail installment contracts, credit cards, personal loans, tax debts and medical debts.


Savings — Save at least 10% of income throughout your working life.


Food  — Spend no more than 12% on all food expenditures, including groceries and meals out.  

File Description: The file is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet template.

Special Features:

  • Download this spreadsheet template just once, and be able to use it over and over again.
  • The spreadsheet contains the formatting for tracking your daily expenses.
  • The spreadsheet can be completely customized — you can quickly add or delete items or revise the format to meet your needs.
  • The spreadsheet is easy to use. Just plug in your expenses and it will automatically total each expense category and give you the corresponding percentage.
  • This percentage can then be compared with the "budget expense guidelines" chart to see if your spending is within the suggested guidelines.

Attachments: Tracking Sheet


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