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If you’ve never budgeted before, the idea of keeping track of all your expenses and income sources can seem like a daunting task. While tracking your daily expenses can seem tedious and difficult to track, there are a number of apps that make it easier for people to understand where they need to save or spend.
With so many different apps on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Select from over a dozen options when evaluating the best budgeting apps and the best expense tracking apps, and we’ve found that the most popular have almost 5 out of 5 stars and thousands of stars. customer reviews.
We have classified Google Sheets as the best free spreadsheet for anyone trying to budget. Google Sheets is completely free, has a variety of different templates, and can be connected to third-party software to automatically import your banking transactions.
Below, we take a look at Google Sheets to give you all the details about its features, including tools, benefits, security, pricing, availability, and ratings so you can decide if it’s the right choice to manage your money.
The information on Google Sheets was independently collected by Select and was not reviewed or provided by Google Sheets prior to posting.
Gmail account users can access a variety of free budgeting templates to help them get started.
Categorize your expenses
Users manually enter their expenses, but some budgeting templates offer predefined categories
No, but some models offer third-party add-on software that automatically pulls financial transactions into Google Sheets
Available on web browsers and smartphones
Google Server Protection: Unless you’ve shared your Google Sheet with someone, no one can access your files without your Gmail account username and password. For this, Google offers two-factor authentication and physical security keys like YubiKey
Google Sheets requires users to manually enter all of their expenses and income. While this can be time consuming and tedious, it can help you understand exactly how you spend your money each month.
While Google Sheets may seem complicated because you have to manually enter information, users can benefit from a wide variety of free templates that can make it easier to track your spending habits. Some models even have predefined categories.
There are plenty of third-party budget templates that you can find online with a quick search, but Google has two options in their model section: an annual budget and a monthly budget. Both templates are comprehensive, allowing you to itemize all your expenses and income streams into various predefined categories and subcategories that you can change to suit your needs. The annual budget template also provides a month-by-month summary of your net income, expenses, and savings.
For users who want to simplify the budgeting process, some Sheets templates are connected to third-party software that allows you to import your financial transaction data.
Google Sheets is secure for tracking your finances because it works with Google server protection: unless you have shared your Google Sheet with someone, no one can access your files without the username and your Gmail account password. If you want to make your Google account more secure, the company offers two-factor authentication and physical security keys like YubiKey.
Google Sheets is a completely free way to start budgeting – all you need is a Gmail account.
Google Sheets is available on web browsers and smartphones. The Google Sheets app is available in the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android).
App Store Rating at time of writing: 4.8 out of 5 (over 900,000 ratings)
Note on Google Play at time of writing: 4.0 out of 5 (over 100,000 ratings)
If you’re new to budgeting and like the idea of manually entering your expenses and income into a spreadsheet, Google Sheets is the best free option.
Users have access to different template options, third-party add-on software for some models, and easy access to their spreadsheet on both their computer and phone.
For those who want a budgeting app that easily syncs with their bank account and credit card and automatically categorizes their spending, consider mint. The budgeting app is also completely free and comes with a few extra bells and whistles, especially to alert you when you’re going over budget, incurring ATM fees, or having payments due.
Learn more: 5 tips on what to look for when choosing a budgeting app
To determine which free budgeting tools provide the best user experience, Select analyzed over a dozen different budgeting tools and looked at their functionality and user reviews.
We’ve refined our ranking by finding at least one choice in each of the following categories: Spreadsheets, Desktop Software, and Smartphone Apps. We wanted variety in how users can budget, and we ranked each tool based on who it’s best for (everyone, newbies, investors, or small business owners).
The five tools we have selected for this ranking are all free and easy to use. For our selection, we also favored budgeting tools that have good user reviews.
Other factors we looked at included security features, user personalization, and illustrative data information, such as charts and reports, that are available.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.