My 2012 Financial Workbook {Plus Free Download}

posted by Andrea | 01/16/2012

Last year, I shared the handy Excel workbook I’ve been using to track my finances ever since I was in college. Obviously, I’ve updated it over the years… but the basic concept is the same, and it works wonderfully for me. Based on all the emails I get, I assume it also works wonderfully for many of you!

Now before you get too excited, let me just reiterate that this workbook is NOT a budget — it does not tell you how much you can and can not spend. Instead, it’s a tool to help you track your finances and monitor how much you actually DO spend.

I know many of you are trying to create a budget to help you and your family save more and spend less, but in my opinion, it’s impossible to set up a realistic budget unless you first figure out exactly where your money is going and how much you are currently spending, saving, etc.

So if you’ve never actually taken the time to track your finances for an entire year, this workbook should be extremely helpful for you as the first step to then creating a realistic budget.

I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about the spreadsheet itself, because you can read about all the different categories and features here… but instead, I’ll give you a quick overview.

Basically, the workbook has 7 worksheets or categories {see image below}

Each worksheet provides a place to track monthly and weekly income, bills, expenses, debt reduction, giving, and investments.

You can see the summary of everything {including your overall surplus or shortage} on the last worksheet.

So the idea is that if you faithfully record ALL your income and ALL your expenses, you should be able to quickly and easily see how much you are spending on a monthly basis AND for each category {like gas, groceries, clothing, utility bills, etc.}

After you’ve tracked your finances for several months or an entire year, THEN it’s time to sit down and figure out where you might be able to cut back a little {or a lot} and create your budget based on those numbers. Creating a budget based on real-life numbers will be so much easier than just pulling numbers out of thin air; and you will be much more likely to stick to your budget — which is the whole point!

If you’ve never taken the time to track your saving or spending before, this could be an eye-opening exercise for you {numbers don’t lie!}… but I guarantee it will be worth it in the end!

Download your FREE 2012 Financial Workbook here!!

  • Here is a link to it in Google Docs. {some of the formatting is different here}

NOTE: The files will automatically download to your computer by clicking the link above. You will need Microsoft Excel on your computer to be able to use this worksheet — and you should save it in a convenient place {like your desktop} so you can easily update it on a daily/weekly basis.

I created this workbook so that you will be able to edit everything — because that only makes sense to me! However, even though I’m giving you full access to use and edit this workbook, I hope you don’t abuse that by trying to pass it off as your own :)

If you are trying to save more and spend less this year, download my FREE 2012 Financial Workbookand get started today!

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40 comments

  1. Deni

    01/16/2012

    Thanks Andrea! This is exactly what I needed to see today. I have downloaded the workbook and will start today. Thanks for the encouragement to watch my spending and save!

    [Reply]

  2. vicki

    01/16/2012

    Thanks! I can’t wait to look at it and start my own budget. I have been winging it for years and this is my year to succeed!!!

    [Reply]

  3. Katie

    01/16/2012

    We are starting our second year using your workbook and everytime I open it to organize our spending I say a little thank you to you:)

    [Reply]

  4. Megan

    01/16/2012

    Any tips for how to download the file on a mac? I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, but not sure what!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m not very familiar with Macs but I know they often don’t have Excel {they have “Numbers” instead} so that might be why you can’t download it.

    [Reply]

  5. Jeannie Spiro

    01/16/2012

    Thanks for sharing this it makes it so easy!

    [Reply]

  6. Melinda T

    01/17/2012

    Thank you so much! I just downloaded and can’t wait to read it and get started!

    [Reply]

  7. Brea

    01/17/2012

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m in college, and really don’t make or spend a whole lot.. but I’m excited to start this now, before I’m a real adult with real adult bills!:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Your welcome Brea — and way to go starting when you in college!! You’ll be glad you did — and when you look back in a few years, you’ll probably be shocked at how little you were able to live on in college :)

    [Reply]

  8. Free 2012 Financial Workbook (Excel download) :: Money Saving Mom®

    01/20/2012

    [...] Want to track your expenditures and stick with your budget this year? Andrea from Simple Organized Living is offering a free 2012 Financial Workbook Excel Download. [...]

  9. Cathy

    01/20/2012

    Thank you! Looks good and easier to use than some systems we’ve tried.

    [Reply]

  10. stacy

    01/20/2012

    Thank you for sharing. This is very generous of you :)

    [Reply]

  11. Free 2012 Financial Workbook

    01/20/2012

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    [...] Free Financial Workbook & Tracker January 20, 2012 By Laurie Leave a Comment Download this free Financial Workbook and Tracker from Simple Organized Living. [...]

  13. Great tool to organize your Family’s Finances « Endless Baby

    01/20/2012

    [...]    Photo Source [...]

  14. Danielle

    01/20/2012

    I really like this and thank you so very much for creating and sharing it. I can’t wait to begin today.
    Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  15. Joan

    01/20/2012

    I have been keeping a budget for 3 years now, but it had become so complicated that I dreaded doing it. I love your workbook! It is a much similar solution.

    [Reply]

  16. Casey

    01/20/2012

    Thank you so much! My new years resolution is to live simply and be organized…this will help SO much.

    [Reply]

  17. 2012 Financial Workbook :: Free Download! | Savvy Living

    01/20/2012

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  18. Janely

    01/20/2012

    Thanks Andrea for sharing your financial workbook with us! I have just began keeping track of my family’s monthly expenses on excel. I’m somewhat clueless in using Excel, so it’s really nice that your workbook does all the calculating for me.

    [Reply]

  19. Karen White

    01/20/2012

    I am not about to download :( Any thoughts? Anyone else having this problem?

    [Reply]

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    01/21/2012

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  21. Lorelei

    01/21/2012

    Oh wow! Wish I had this years ago. So easy to use and gives me a CLEAR picture of my situation. Thank you, thank you for sharing this.

    [Reply]

  22. Elaine

    01/21/2012

    I just downloaded this and really excited to start BUT I don’t see where you fill in your expenses.
    the categories aren’t showing up. Any help?

    [Reply]

  23. Track your spending and budget with this FREE 2012 Financial Workbook download! | Thrifty and Frugal by Debbie

    01/21/2012

    [...] for a new program to track, record, plan, your spending and budget, etc., then you can try this FREE 2012 Financial Workbook in Excel format, that Andrea over at Simple Organized Living has created and shared.  She’s [...]

  24. April

    01/22/2012

    Thank you for this!!! I found you via Money Saving Mom.
    I just posted a few days ago how we figure out a budget for our family. You can check it out here if you would like:
    http://www.momentswithapril.com/how-to-make-a-household-budget/

    Thanks again!
    Blessings,
    April

    [Reply]

  25. *Freebie* Excel Workbook Download « 3 Busy Bees

    01/23/2012

    [...] You can download the Excel “My 2012 Financial Workbook” by Andrea for FREE by clicking HERE. [...]

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  27. Stacey

    01/26/2012

    I tried to download this today and it didn’t work. Will it not download to a MAC? When I click the link it just says “go to address” and doesn’t do anything. I’d really like to have this workbook. I’m a SAHM who needs to get this budgeting thing under control. Thanks in advance for your help.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Stacey, I’m honestly not sure because I don’t have a MAC. I do know that you must have Excel on your computer for it to download properly… and I also know that most MACs don’t have Excel, they have “Numbers” so maybe that’s why it doesn’t work.
    Not sure there is anything I can do to help you though… sorry!

    [Reply]

  28. Barb

    01/28/2012

    I have a Mac also and could not get it to work either. I finally thought of using the 2011 one and it opened fine in Excel for me. Maybe others with a Mac could try this.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

    [Reply]

  29. Terri

    02/05/2012

    I can’t figure how to put amount into the blocks. The columns show, but no key board access. Love the plan how do I document on it?.

    [Reply]

    Terri Reply:

    I need help with this to.

    [Reply]

  30. Michelle Kubat

    02/07/2012

    I have a mac with excel but it doesn’t seem to download. Can you send me a copy of the financial spreadsheet by email? I love your site and can’t wait to get a little more organized, especially with the family finances.

    [Reply]

  31. Heidi

    02/09/2012

    Is there a way to upload this into google spreedsheets?

    [Reply]

  32. Madanna

    02/12/2012

    Thank you!! This is amazing! You don’t know how much stress you have taken out of my life!!! :)

    [Reply]

  33. Billi Nicol

    02/16/2012

    I just read about this financial workbook tool in the Life section of my local paper. Unfortunately, my McAfee virus/internet protection software has the download site listed as unsafe/dangerous/risky. Has anyone caught a virus after downloading the workbook? Is there any other way to get it?

    [Reply]

  34. Bunny Ryan

    02/18/2012

    WOW!!
    Thanks sooo much! I’m not real literate in Excel, but managed to download and start using it. Amazing help for me and my husband; we’re both on Social Security but still work. I can’t tell you how this will save me so much time!

    [Reply]

  35. Autumn

    02/20/2012

    Omg this is amazing! I downloaded it twice one for 2012 and one I changed the year to 2013 because I have so many bills we needed to catch up on, one year just wanted enough!! So I just wanted to thank you so much for creating this. :)

    [Reply]

  36. Todd WOrkman

    03/06/2012

    I love excel! I have a similar budget that I use but I budget day by day instead of month since I am on a tight budget. I have a template set up that tracks when my expected cash flows are to come in, that way I know what days I will have surplus and what days I won’t.

    [Reply]