One Year of Monthly Zero Based Budgets UPDATE: 1.2 version for OpenOffice/NeoOffice & Excel

Zero based budget spreadsheet for doing a budget for 12 months. Based on the concept described by Dave Ramsey.

Update: 1.1 includes some tweaks and a iWork '08 Numbers version.

Update: 1.2 includes a major bug fix for the OpenOffice/NeoOffice & Excel version. The way totals were calculated, all months would reflect the totals from January. This bug was not present in the Numbers version.

Note:I had to zip the Numbers version to get it to attach. Unzip it and then open with Numbers.

Paper size: 
Letter and A4
Usage advice: 

At the beginning of the month, fill in the income and expenses you expect for the month. Include how much you will save for emergencies, debts you will pay off, and money you will give away. The difference between your income and all the other things should equal $0. Live on this budget and then fill out the "actual income" and "actual expenses" sections at the end of the month to see how you did.

You should be able to print it out in various sizes, but I have found landscape letter size works about the best.

License details included as part of the spreadsheet itself.

Other (note the license in the description below)
Applications required: 
Microsoft Excel, NeoOffice, or OpenOffice or iWork '08 Numbers
monthly_cashflow_plans_v1.2.ods68.72 KB
monthly_cashflow_plans_v1.2.xls208.5 KB
monthly_cashflow_plans_numbers_v1.1.zip287.79 KB
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The sheet looks really good.
Does the budget philosophy you follow recommend you keep sublists of Misc and other spendings? There's plenty of room for me to add such things to the sheet, I was just wondering.
I also see that there's no possibility for a three-paycheck month. If you used named cells adding a paycheck or changing the number of rows in a Monthly sheet (as most users are wont to do) should keep your Yearly Cashflow Overview page valid.
How does the What's left get applied? Should it automatically be applied to the "Other" income of the following month?

three paycheck months

Glad you like it. I guess I've been using roughly the same spreadsheet, just not quite as nice, for almost two years and some things obvious to me might not be to everyone.

First off - the Misc category. The entire purpose of Misc is to catch necessities that don't have their own category. In short: if there's something you didn't plan to buy and it is a necessity, pay for it out of Misc. If there is something you plan on buying and it is just something you want, it comes out of the spending money. If your spending money is gone, you're done for the month. If you need to buy something too big for Misc, it comes out of the emergency fund. If you find yourself digging into Misc on a regular basis for a certain expenses, it probably needs its own category.

Everything else can have sublists - that's sort of how my bills are set up. You've got Bill Electric, Bill Water, etc. Doing sublists this way lets you keep related items together and still keep it in alphabetical order.

One note on the spending money: I actually have 3 spending categories in my budget. One for me, one for my wife, and one for stuff we agree to spend money on. Of course, my wife and I get the same amount of spending money. Our household is happier that way :-)

Now to answer your question about the 3 paychecks... Salary #1 is actually my salary, Salary #2 is my wife's, and Other is just any other income we happen to have. Each is the total amount we're expecting to get paid for the month. So if you have one job and 3 paychecks, you'd only use the Salary #1 field.

Named fields - the only spreadsheet program I've used named fields in was the trial version of iWork '08 Numbers. It seemed that with NeoOffice/OpenOffice if you add a row it automatically adjusts everything that is referencing the affected cells. So you should be fine adding another income row.

What's Left (the very bottom left) is just Income minus Expenses minus all the savings and extra debt paid off. If you're doing things right, this should be $0. One month's budget doesn't impact the other the way I've set things up.

Hope that clears things up and wasn't too long-winded!



>Hope that clears things up and wasn't too long-winded!

It was great, thanks for the info!

Nice application for budgeting

Your spreadsheet is neat, simple, and clean. Well done. Thanks for sharing it.

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity


This spreadsheet set up is WONDERFUL! I have been looking all over the internet for something like this (for free too!) and I should have known someone here would develop it!! THANK YOU for sharing this with all of us - I am really excited to sit down and work on my finances! Hold on - did I just say that?

Happy Happy Day
nay nay

fun tools

It's amazing what a difference fun tools can make in taking something you dread and turn it into something fun. I actually had a blast messing with this after I got my new job. I've been trying to figure out how fast I can be rid of my credit card and student loan bills. So there I was messing with my budget on Friday night after my wife went to bed.

I would have worked on the iWork '08 Numbers version, but I don't have money for computer stuff in the budget this month ;-)


Numbers'08 version?

I don't suppose the Numbers version would be available, would it... :)

Can't it?

Can't Numbers open the xls file? I thought it could read Excel files? I only had the demo, and don't remember trying to open Excel files, but I thought it did...


Numbers version soon-ish - use the .xls (Excel) version for now

I did the original version in Numbers and then exported to Excel. Numbers can read and write Excel files.

The only real difference between the Numbers version and the others: Numbers lets you embed multiple tables in one sheet, where as the OpenOffice/NeoOffice version and the Excel version are just made to look that way.

I'll see if I can get the trial version of Numbers working on another computer and get this thing into good enough shape to share with everyone. The Numbers version was definitely nicer looking and easier to work with.


Monthy Cashflow

I am trying to get a handle on my finances and it appears your cashflow sheet may help a lot. I am unsure the difference between v1.2.ods and v1.2.xls.

Also once I download it, how do I get it into my open office program? I have v1.2.ods sitting on my desktop in a zip file and am unsure what to do with it.

I would apreciate help on this matter.

Thank you for making the spreadsheet and thank you in advance for advice.

Change the file name

You probably have a file named "" sitting there, yes ?

Rename it to "monthly_cashflow_plans_v1.2.ods" and then Open Office should open up when you double-click on it.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Mac, at least

On my Mac, I can simply drag the zip file to my icon on the Dock, and NeoOffice or OpenOffice will open it. I can also open the file from the open-file dialog with the zip extension.

Alternately, you _could_ just open the Excel, xls file in OOo the same way.


Thank You

Keep trying to use programs like Quicken,GNUportable and I hate them. Takes too long to do. Fall back to the spreadsheets I made on my original Mac and a dot matrix printer. One is a one page yearly budget and the other is a one page Net Worth summary. Both have served well, but I keep wanting more detail on how I'm progressing on the budget. Your SS did it for me. Was able to put in my own budget items and added a Yearly Expense sheet for a yearly total of planned expenses and running Total of Actual Expenses. Your SS showed me how grab the monthly locations. For some items I didn't have any idea which months I might expend, so I just put them in January and colored the block yellow. I may figure something better on that as time goes on.
Again, thank you for sharing.

Financial Resolution Great Program!

Been using this spreadsheet since first posted. Modified to fit my budget items. This is a great set of sheets to use as you need. Don't have debts but have some big home expenses coming this year. Have roughly plotted regular expenses into the proper months and can now work at cutting where we can so have money to fix the house AND have cash for fun things through out the year.

Lets me see and be mindful of our resources.

Health, Love and Prosperity to All!

ods file

The OpenOffice file (monthly_cashflow_plans_v1.2.ods) is actually a zip file ( that contains no actual ods file

change the extension

OOo files _are_ actually zip files! What happened is that your web browser saw that, and identified it as such. What you need to do now is find the file in your file viewer (Finder on the Mac, and Explorer on Windows), and rename it, but only changing the .zip extension to .ods. When done, you can open it in OOo. HTH