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December 28, 2023
Tips and tricks

Best 5 Spreadsheet Templates For Expense Tracking | How to Track Your Expenses Accurately?

Excel offers many templates for expense tracking, but is it the best tool to track expenses? Learn more about the best expense-tracking softwares and spreadsheet templates in 2023.

Arzu Özkan-  Digital Marketing Manager
Arzu Özkan
Head of Marketing

Did you know that you can easily keep track of your financial expenses using Excel's expense tracker templates? It also helps you make sure that you are spending your money wisely. But, of course, entering all your transactions into spreadsheets and managing them can be tedious. 

That's why Excel spreadsheet offers many useful expense tracker templates as an online expense tracker software. This expense tracker templates in Excel lets you categorize your expenses and tracks the progress over time. Eventually, you can identify where your money is going and make meaningful decisions on saving money and tracking your expenses. The benefits don't just end here; even if you're managing a small business or project, expense tracker templates and online expense tracker softwares are handy!

Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful online expense tracker softwares and expense tracker templates available. But before jumping into that section, let's understand the importance of expense tracking softwares. 

Table of Contents

What is Expense Tracking, and Why is it Important?

Everyone will feel satisfied if they can keep their spending in check. It's not because you are flawed; you must use the correct budget tracker. So expense tracking is one of the most critical financial techniques that help you manage your money efficiently. 

Expense tracking is an integral part of financial management. If correctly done, you can quickly identify where you are losing money, letting you resolve the issues before they significantly impact your financial situation. As a result, you can save money and make meaningful decisions about where to allocate your resources.

Today there are plenty of ways and software to track expenses; you will learn about them in the following section. 

What Is The Best Way to Keep Track Of Expenses?

Whether it is personal or business expense tracking, follow these steps to spend money wisely. Even if you do not have an online expense tracker software these expenses tracker templates will provide you the best expense tracker app.

What Is The Best Way to Keep Track Of Expenses?
  1. Categorise Your Expenses

The first thing you must do is to make a list of your monthly expenses based on their category. For example, for personal expense tracking, you can create categories such as educational materials, office materials, home decor, electricity, groceries, etc. In the case of project expense tracking, you can categorize the expenses as project installation costs, project design costs, customer workshop expenses, etc with a project expense tracker template. You can also assign a limit to each category and stick with it. 

  1. Use Excel Spreadsheets for Expense Tracking

Today many expense-tracking apps are available online. However, for simple project expense tracker or personal use, you can use a spreadsheet for expense tracking. Also, the expense management software will help you know where your money goes at the end of the month. Moreover, Excel's budget tracker offers many templates to help you manage your expenses wisely. Eventually, you can quickly analyze the month-end report of your expenses and make better decisions. 

  1. Have One or Two Bank Accounts

Maintaining one or two bank accounts is better to make sure everything is clear. For example, you can keep a savings account and your salary account for personal expense tracking. After that, you can check your monthly deductions from your mobile banking app. You can also move the necessary funds to the other account for easier expense tracking when you receive your salary. 

  1. Keep Business and Personal Expenses Separate

Some of us may have to manage both financial and personal expenses. For example, you might have to track your project and personal expenses if you are a project manager. If you wish to track both expenses efficiently, keep them separate. You can seperately use the project expense tracker and personal expense tracker templates. Also, maintain robust expense tracking software for business and personal expenses. Software to track expenses will help you to organize your expense tracking operations easily.

  1. Encourage Cost-Conscious Culture

This one is for business owners and project managers. Encouraging your teammates and employees to maintain a cost-conscious work culture will be a good move. You can conduct awareness programs and reward employees who suggest feasible cost-saving alternatives. It not only helps you keep track of expenses but also helps you save money. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Spreadsheet Template

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Spreadsheet Template

When selecting an expense tracking spreadsheet template, it's important to consider the following factors. Check this steps to find the best expense tracker app for your business:

  1. Purpose: What is the purpose of the expense tracking spreadsheet or software to track expenses? Is it for personal use, small business, or a larger organization? The purpose will determine the level of detail required and the format of the expense tracker template.
  2. Categories: The template should have categories that align with the user's needs. For example, if the user is tracking expenses for a small business, categories might include advertising, rent, utilities, and office supplies.
  3. Ease of use: The expense tracker template should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The user should be able to enter data easily, and the expense tracker template should be organized in a logical manner.
  4. Customization: The user should be able to customize the expense tracker template to suit their needs. This might include adding or removing categories, changing the format of the data, or adding formulas to automatically calculate totals.
  5. Compatibility: The expenses tracker template should be compatible with the software and devices that the user is using. For example, if the user is using Microsoft Excel, the expense tracker template should be in an Excel format.
  6. Security: If the expense tracker template is being used for sensitive information, such as financial data, security is important. The template should have password protection and other security features to keep the data safe.
  7. Support: If the user has questions or issues with the expense tracker template, support should be available. This might include online documentation, tutorials, or customer service.

Top 5 Spreadsheet Templates for Expense Tracking

You can find a lot of expense tracker templates in Excel. So we have picked the five most helpful expense tracker templates to help you manage your financial activities efficiently. 

  1. Monthly Expense Tracker Template

The simple monthly expense tracker template will help you get a clear idea about your expenses in great detail. Using this online expense tracker template, you can easily break down a month into separate days and compare costs, savings, and income. You can also ensure you stay caught up on expenditures and know when to make large purchases. This expense tracker template also helps you roughly predict your balance at different points in the month. The best thing is that this template has simple formulas and designs! Thanks to this Monthly Expense Tracker Template create a customized app to keep track of expenses.

Copy Monthly Expense Tracker Template to Your Retable Dashboard: Monthly Expense Tracker

You can click the Use Data button to copy Monthly Expense Tracker Template to your Retable Dashboard!

  1. Expense Calculator Template

The expense calculator is another basic pre-made expenses tracker template in Excel. You can quickly access this expense tracker template from our templates gallery and start using it. It simply works like a software to track expenses. The expense calculator provides a basic format for tracking expenses, including categories for income and expenses and an overview of total costs and remaining balance. Moreover, you can customize the template to match your requirements by adding or removing categories, modifying formulas, and formatting cells.

Copy Expense Calculator Template to Your Retable Dashboard: Expense Calculator

You can click the Use Data button to copy Expense Calculator Template to your Retable Dashboard!

  1. Household Expense Budget Template

If you are looking for templates to track your household expenses, there's no better choice than Retable's household expense budget template. You can easily access this budget tracker template from our templates center. As the name suggests, this template offers a basic format for tracking household expenses in online spreadsheet, along with categories for income, bills, food, transportation, etc. You can customize this template by editing categories, adding cells, etc. 

Copy Household Expense Budget Template to Your Retable Dashboard: Household Expense Budget Template

You can click the Use Data button to copy Household Expense Budget Template to your Retable Dashboard!

  1. Expense Report Template

Retable's expense report template is ideal for small businesses and employees but can also be customized for personal use. For example, the expense report template will help track expenses during business travel, where you can add notes, costs, dates, etc. In the end, you can also generate a total expenses summary of how you spend your money. If you don't have expense management software, this template will work.  Try Retable's Expense Report template to have a customized app to keep track of expenses easily.

Copy Expense Report Template to Your Retable Dashboard: Expense Report Template

You can click the Use Data button to copy Expense Report Template to your Retable Dashboard!

  1. Project Expense Tracker Template

The project expense tracker template is designed for all enthusiastic project managers. This project expense tracker template offers a user-friendly way to track your project budget. Like any other Excel template, this template is also customizable according to your needs. You can also record expenses, income, and additional financial information. This budget tracker template also helps you visualize your costs in detail using the summary of total expenses. Try this template to have an app to keep track of expenses of your projects!

Copy Project Expence Tracker Template to Your Retable Dashboard: Project Expense Tracker

You can click the Use Data button to copy Project Expense Tracker Template to your Retable Dashboard!

Excel Templates of Expense Tracking Software; Which one is the Best?

Even though Excel offers many templates for budget tracking, it has many disadvantages. Excel's expense tracker templates work only for tracking personal expenses and austere project budgets. Performing complex calculations and managing extensive financial data in Excel is challenging.

Security is another concern while using Excel's budget tracker templates. As you know, financial data should be kept confidential. Unfortunately, Excel doesn't offer robust security features; it's easy for other users to access your financial data saved on Excel. Moreover, Excel becomes slow when large volumes of data are entered, and it doesn't offer essential features like Kanban view, Gantt view, Data backup, Activity log, etc. 

Good online expense tracking software lets you efficiently track expenses without security concerns. In addition, these money management apps are specially designed for online expense tracking and offer many more features than Excel. For example, they eliminate human errors and provide higher accuracy. Moreover, business expense tracking software can handle large volumes of data and function smoothly without lags. So if you're looking for tools to track expenses efficiently, you must get robust expense-tracking software!


In conclusion, online expense tracking software offers the most convenient and cost-effective way to track personal or business expenses. Using these online expense tracking apps, you can effectively record, categorize, and analyze your costs, make meaningful decisions to save money and have your best expense tracking app. 

Retable is undoubtedly the best expense-tracking software that comes in handy for all users. We call it the ideal alternative to Excel due to many factors like ease of use, features, security, etc. Furthermore, Retable offers a variety of templates, not just for expense tracking but also for different purposes ranging from HR and recruiting to everyday life. So if you're planning to get expense-tracking software, there's no better choice than Retable.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about online expense tracking templates:

What are the best tools for tracking expenses?

There are several tools available for tracking expenses, and the best one for you may depend on your specific needs and preferences. When it comes to tracking expenses, there are many apps to choose from, but the best expense tracker app is one that combines ease-of-use, functionality, and customization options. Some of the key features to look for in an expense tracker app include the ability to track expenses in multiple categories, sync data across devices, generate detailed reports, and provide helpful insights into your spending habits. Popular expense tracker apps such as Mint, Retable, Personal Capital, and PocketGuard offer a range of features to help you track your expenses, stay on top of your budget, and save money in the long run. Ultimately, the best expense tracker app is the one that meets your specific needs and helps you achieve your financial goals.

Some popular tools include:

  1. Excel or Google Sheets: Both of these spreadsheet software options allow you to create your own custom expense tracking template and easily update it with your expenses as needed.
  2. Retable: Retable offers an online expense tracking spreadsheet solution that allows you to easily track your expenses and create reports to help you analyze your spending. The platform is user-friendly and customizable, allowing you to create categories, add custom fields, and easily import data from bank statements or other sources. Retable also offers real-time dashboards and reporting features to help you gain insights into your spending habits and make more informed financial decisions.
  3. Mint: This free online tool allows you to connect your bank accounts and credit cards to automatically track your expenses and categorize them. Mint also offers budgeting features and alerts to help you stay on track.
  4. Expensify: This app is popular for business expense tracking, allowing employees to easily submit expenses for reimbursement and providing employers with real-time visibility into expenses.
  5. QuickBooks: This accounting software can be used for small business expense tracking, as well as invoicing, payroll, and other financial tasks.

How can I choose the best expense tracking software?

Choosing the best expense tracking software can be a daunting task, but here are some factors to consider when making your decision. Follow these steps to choose the best business expense tracker app for yourself!

  1. Features: Consider what features are important to you. Do you need software that can track expenses in real-time or generate reports? Do you want the ability to connect to your bank accounts or credit cards? Make a list of your must-have features before you start your search.
  2. Ease of use: Look for software that is easy to use and intuitive. The last thing you want is to spend hours learning how to use a complicated platform.
  3. Mobile compatibility: If you're frequently on-the-go, consider software that is mobile-compatible, so you can track expenses on-the-go.
  4. Security: Look for software that has robust security measures in place to protect your sensitive financial information.
  5. Pricing: Consider your budget when selecting the best expense tracking software. Some software may have a one-time cost, while others may have a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
  6. Customer support: Look for software that offers excellent customer support, including access to online resources or a customer support team.
  7. Integration: If you already use accounting or bookkeeping software, consider choosing an online expense tracking software that can integrate with your existing systems.

By considering these factors and researching different business expense tracking software options, you can choose the one that best fits your needs and helps you stay on top of your finances.

What is the difference between expense tracking software and a spreadsheet template?

Expense tracking software and spreadsheet templates are both tools used to track expenses, but there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Automation: Expense tracking software can automate certain aspects of expense tracking, such as importing transactions from bank accounts or credit cards, categorizing expenses, and generating reports. Spreadsheet templates require manual input and calculations for each expense.
  2. Collaboration: Expense tracking software can allow for multiple users to collaborate and input expenses, while spreadsheet templates are typically designed for individual use.
  3. Security: Business expense tracking software often has more robust security measures in place to protect sensitive financial information, such as encryption and password protection. Spreadsheet templates may be less secure if not protected with appropriate security measures.
  4. Customization: Spreadsheet templates can be customized to meet individual needs, but may require advanced Excel skills. Expense tracking software often offers more customization options through settings and preferences.
  5. Cost: Spreadsheet templates are typically free or low-cost, while online expense tracking software can range in price depending on the features and level of automation.

Overall, while spreadsheet templates can be a useful tool for tracking expenses, business expense tracking software offers more automation, collaboration, security, and customization options.

How do I use a spreadsheet template for tracking expenses?

Here are some steps to follow when using a spreadsheet template for tracking expenses. Follow these steps to create the best business expense tracker app for yourself!

  1. Choose a template: There are many free expense tracking templates available online that you can download and customize to meet your needs. Look for a template that has categories and fields that align with the expenses you want to track.
  2. Add expense categories: Customize the template by adding or removing expense categories that apply to your specific situation. Common categories include food, transportation, housing, entertainment, utilities, and medical expenses.
  3. Enter expenses: Start tracking your expenses by entering the date, amount, and category of each expense. Some templates may have additional fields, such as payment method or notes, that you can use to add more detail.
  4. Calculate totals: Some templates may have built-in formulas to automatically calculate totals for each expense category or for all expenses combined. If not, you can manually calculate totals using basic Excel formulas.
  5. Review and analyze expenses: Periodically review your expenses to identify areas where you can cut back or make adjustments to your budget. Some templates may have built-in charts or graphs to help you visualize your spending habits.
  6. Save and backup: Save your expense tracking spreadsheet regularly and backup the file to a secure location to ensure that you don't lose your data in case of a computer crash or other issue.

By following these steps, you can use a spreadsheet template to track your expenses and gain insights into your spending habits.

What features should I look for in a spreadsheet template for tracking expenses?

Here are some features to look for when choosing a spreadsheet template for tracking expenses:

  1. Expense categories: The template should have a list of categories to help you organize your expenses. Look for a template that has categories that align with your specific needs, or one that is easily customizable.
  2. Date tracking: The template should allow you to enter the date of each expense, making it easy to track when the expense was incurred.
  3. Amount tracking: The template should have a field to enter the amount of each expense, so you can see how much you're spending in each category.
  4. Total calculations: The template should have built-in formulas to automatically calculate totals for each expense category and for all expenses combined.
  5. Customization options: The template should be easily customizable, so you can add or remove categories and fields as needed.
  6. Charts and graphs: Some templates may have built-in charts or graphs to help you visualize your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back.
  7. Mobile compatibility: If you're frequently on-the-go, look for a template that is mobile-compatible, so you can track expenses from your phone or tablet.
  8. Data import: Some templates may allow you to import data from your bank account or credit card statements, saving you time and effort.
  9. Password protection: If you're concerned about the security of your financial information, look for a template that allows you to password protect the file.

By choosing a template with these features, you can track your expenses more effectively and gain insights into your spending habits.

Do you need know more about online expense tracking and online expense tracker softwares? Check Retable's All-in-One Budget Planning Templates and have a best expense tracking app for your needs!

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