I recently wrote a guest post about 5 financial mistakes bloggers make. In order to help you avoid the #1 financial mistake most bloggers make, today I’m providing a free blog budget download to help you track your blogging expenses and income!
You can read more about budgeting basics here. If you need a personal budget, check out my free excel budget download!
Why track income and expenses?
There are so many important reasons to track your blogging income! Here are just a few reasons why you should start a blog budget today.
1. Track the value of your blog
It’s so great to blog for fun, but if you’re blogging to cut a profit, you need to know what the bottom line is. Tracking income and expenses helps you see if you are actually making money on your blog. I see so many new bloggers shelling out for the latest blogging course, new social media boosters, or virtual assistants before they even earn their first penny. It’s true you need to spend money to make money, but it just doesn’t make sense to blow $500 on a blog that isn’t earning anything.
2. Prepare for taxes
Most bloggers don’t make enough to pay taxes, but if you’re making over $1,000 a year, you might have to! Keeping track of expenses gives you a resource for putting deductions on your taxes (business expenses are deductible!). Tracking income is super important to know how much you are going to need to pay!
3. Save or invest
If you are starting to make enough to cover your expenses, it’s time to decide what to do with the extra. A business-minded blogger knows that you need to invest in your blog to help it grow. It’s also important to save some of what your earning for taxes or for slow months where your earnings aren’t enough to cover your expenses.
By the way, if you are saving money or setting some aside for taxes, I highly recommend putting it in a high-yield savings account!
How to use the spreadsheet
Are you convinced? If you’re ready to start your blog budget, download your free blog excel budget here!
Remember that it’s an Excel file, so if you don’t have Microsoft Excel, it will not work for you. Leave me a comment if you are interested in a google sheets version!
Before you dive in to your budget, consider looking over my example blog budget download and check out the budget overview below!
Tab 1: Overview
This page is your budget overview.
The only thing you needed to edit on this page are the expenses! In the Expenses area, you can track the date and amount of your expenses. They are automatically totaled for you!
On the right-hand side is the total box. This is populated automatically from data you enter in other places of the spreadsheet. You should not edit these numbers! The Total is the difference between your income and expenses.
Negative totals are shown in parenthesis. In this example, the total expenses are greater than the income, so the total is negative $233.76.
Tab 2: Income Tracking
The next (and final) tab on the worksheet is the Income Tracking tab. This tab has everything set to help you track your income – the date, source, amount, and any notes.
You can track your income in the income tracking box.
I suggest tracking any form of increase you earn from your blog, even the ones that are not strictly monetary. For example, earning rewards or credit is something that would count as a non-monetary earning.
On the right-hand side is the total income and recommended tax savings. Those dollar amounts are calculated automatically. You can edit and change the tax savings percentage, and the recommended tax withholding will update automatically.
As your blog grows, this simple spreadsheet can save so much headache! Having a blog budget is a great way to see the true value of your blog. Keeping your spending to earning ratio in check will help you create a blog that works for you.