How to create a weekly budget template.

A woman standing over a kitchen island table creates a weekly budget template on her laptop.

Need to learn how to make a weekly budget? Take control of your finances by tracking your spending and creating a weekly budget template.

What makes a strong weekly budget plan?

A strong weekly budgeting plan should give you peace of mind for a sound financial future. The budget should include the amount you receive from your paycheck after taxes, how often you’re paid, and all your committed expenses, such as rent, loan payments, or subscriptions. Once you figure out how much you spend on average on committed expenses, you can determine how much you can spend outside of that.

Why is learning how to make a weekly budget important?

Making a weekly budget can mitigate stress and create more security in your financial future.

Here are a few of the benefits of weekly budgeting:

  1. Financial flexibility. Life happens, and some costs arise that are not part of the plan, such as car repairs, dinner with friends, or clothing purchases. Creating a weekly budget can help you identify where you may have overspent. You can make changes quicker by being in the know each week.
  2. Less tracking. By sitting down and reviewing your expenses once a week versus once a month, you can go through transactions quicker and more efficiently manage your money.
  3. Simplified savings. Saving money can feel more manageable and less overwhelming when it happens weekly. If you contribute to a 401(k) or something similar, you are already contributing towards savings. You can also set up your direct deposits to go from your checking to your savings account each week.

Now that you understand some of the benefits of weekly budgeting let’s dive into how to make a weekly budget.

How to budget weekly.

The amount you save and spend will vary, but there are some general guidelines for how to budget weekly. Having a weekly budget creates more flexibility and ease with finances.

Follow these steps to learn how to create a weekly budget:

  1. Establish a weekly budgeting template.
  2. Create weekly budgeting goals.
  3. Divide weekly expenses into a non-discretionary and discretionary budget.
  4. Create a contingency budget.

1. Establish a weekly budgeting template.

Your expenses may vary, but general categories to keep in mind for a weekly budgeting template include the following:

  1. How much you earn. Add how much you earn after taxes and deductions to understand how much money you are starting with.
  2. How much you spend. Add up everything you pay for each month. Calculate your fixed payments, including rent or mortgage and other bills. Next, add your changing expenses, such as electricity or transportation costs.
  3. Frequency of payments and paychecks. How often do you get paid? How much do you need to put aside each week for bills? Put these specifics in columns next to your rows for income and expenses.

Learn more about how to create a budget planning worksheet with our online guide.

2. Create weekly budgeting goals.

Your goals could include a few different categories. For one, you can have saving goals. To save more, ask where you can cut spending. Remove total outgoing spending from your earnings.

If outgoings are less than 80% of your earnings, you can put money into your savings. If your expenses exceed 80%, you should consider cutting back on spending.

You might want to keep some future goals in mind as well. Whether it’s buying a house or saving up for a vacation, your goals are the motivation behind why you save, so it may be helpful to write them down. Treat savings as you would a rent or electricity bill, and you will be more likely to stick with putting money towards it.

Lastly, choose realistic goals. How much money could you save after a certain number of weeks that would help you meet a short-term goal? The goal might be new shorts for summer or a nice jacket for winter.

3. Divide weekly expenses into a non-discretionary and discretionary budget.

There are two types of expenses — those you must pay and those you choose to pay. Non-discretionary expenses are bills you have to pay, like rent, utilities, and loan payments. Discretionary expenses are those you choose to pay, like entertainment, subscriptions, and eating out (or ordering in).

Dividing your weekly budget expenses into these two categories can help you make healthy choices to reach your goals faster. If an unexpected expense appears or you’d like to contribute more to your savings, knowing you can cut back on discretionary expenses will help you stay on budget.

4. Create a contingency budget.

Speaking of unexpected expenses — things happen, so be prepared by building a contingency into your weekly budget. It doesn’t have to be substantial, but if your friends call and want to go out or you’re hit with car troubles, having that extra money in your budget will make the expense more manageable.

You can create a contingency budget by following these steps:

  1. Look at each planned expense and consider how much the cost could increase if bills are higher or if there is an unplanned need.
  2. Add the potential increased costs.
  3. Create a new category for contingencies that reflects this total amount.

What can I use to create a weekly budget template?

There are multiple ways to create a weekly budget template. You can use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Google Sheets document to separate categories by rows and columns easily.

A PDF is another excellent document choice for creating a budget template. You can create and format your weekly budget template in numerous ways, and if you need to share it with a friend or a roommate, the PDF will look the same on whatever device you share it with.

Is it better to use a weekly budget template vs. a monthly one?

Creating a weekly budget template is better than a monthly one because you can more easily keep track of your spending. It’s more likely that something may get overlooked when dealing with a longer list of transactions.

Weekly budget planning can help you better and more efficiently plan for incoming expenses. With fewer transactions to sort through, the template creation process is less time-consuming.

When you create a monthly budget, preparing for unanticipated expenses can be more difficult. Unexpected expenses will come up, and by planning weekly, you can feel more financially prepared to pay for unplanned expenses.

How to organize and update your weekly budget regularly.

Weekly budgets change. Do you have the same expenses or income you did five years ago? Organize your budget and make regular updates to keep it current. It’s a good idea to put your weekly budget into an Excel spreadsheet for easy editing and organizing.

Once you have your spreadsheet, convert the Excel file to a PDF online to simplify collaboration and sharing. Then, you can share your weekly budget PDF to your business team members or family members quickly and easily without worrying about pesky formatting issues.

More resources for budgeting and managing finances.

Now that you’ve learned how to create a weekly budget, here are additional resources to look through:

Want to learn other ways to work with PDFs online? Discover more about how Adobe Acrobat can help you create, organize and maintain budget documents.