← Back to Blog

Bonsai's free expense tracker template: save money with this simple tool

minute read
Updated on:
December 12, 2022
December 12, 2022
Table of contents
Discover Bonsai all-in-one business management software.

Do you want to save money? Do you need a tool to help track your expenses and make sure that your budget is in check? Bonsai's free expense tracker template is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to keep their finances in order. It's easy, free, and has many features that will improve your financial situation. Let's take a look at how to use it.

Note: If you want to skip using an excel spreadsheet and are looking for a hands-off expense tracker to do it all for you, try Bonsai Tax. Connect your credit card as well as your bank account information and watch as your expenses are automatically categorized and tracked. The average user's tax savings are $5,600 per year! Claim your 7 day free trial here.

Now, let's get into how to use our simple expense tracking template.

Download A Copy Of Our Google Sheets Expense Tracking Template

The first step is to make a copy of our free expense tracker on Google Sheets. After you download the template, you will be prompted to open the document on Google Sheets or Excel.

You'll be able to add:

  • Your monthly expenses, category, and payee
  • Track your income and balance at any time through checking, savings, and credit card accounts.
  • Add new transactions with simple manual entry

The dashboard of our expense tracker sheet has an instructions tab as well to help you with your expense tracking.

All Business Expenses

In this tab of the excel sheet, you'll be able to add all your spending, monthly business expenses, or where all your money went while running your company. The spreadsheet's monthly expense tracker allows you to categorize what your expenses are for and how much you spend every month.

The spreadsheet allows you to categorize what type of expenses they are and how much money is spent in that category. You can create as many categories as needed and assign an amount for the total dollar amount.

Although our template is not a budget tracker, it can give you a quick visualization of all the expenses you need to pay every month. Track your travel expenses, business meals deductions, transportation, etc.

Try to review the monthly expense tracker at the end of each month to better understand your budget.

Schedule C Expense Categories

The Schedule C tab on the sheet is pretty straightforward. Enter the date you received the funds, the merchant who paid you, the expense amount, and the Schedule C category.

Here are the IRS instructions.

Our spreadsheet has the most common categories for your Schedule C Expense Categories. You may find you need to add other categories if you receive more than the typical expense types listed on our sheet.

Most of the time, this section of the excel template will be the easiest to use and adjust for your specific company.

Previous Year's Schedule C

It is important that you copy and paste your previous year's Schedule C as well to compare it with the current year or new Schedule C. If they are too different i.e. the expense types has too much variance or the numbers don't add up, you may need to make adjustments.

Let's say in the previous year's Schedule C, you wrote off 15% of your income for meals. If the current year, your tracking shows that you wrote off 35%, it could be a red flag. The IRS uses a system to see the average spending for expenses for everyone in a particular field of work, and if your deductions are too far from the averages, it could trigger an IRS audit.

Income Tracker

Budgeting is important for any company. Our spreadsheet has a tab to track your company's income which is especially useful to be used as a budget tracker as well. You could also download our free self-employment ledger template to track income and expenses.

By keeping a log of your earned income throughout the year, you can stay on top of the financial budgeting for your business and it's financial wellness. This section would come in handy when you actually do file your taxes as well.

The IRS requires that every business report any income, even if you do not receive a 1099 form for less than $600.

As an owner or sole proprietor, any non-W2 income must be documented and reported on your tax returns as well.

When you track your spending and expenses, you'll be able to see how much your spending fluctuates monthly as well as see where you need to store extra money.

Based on last month's expense tracker, you may find you'll need to increase your savings for this month. After all, every month is different. You could also create a personal monthly budget planner by using this sheet.

Our Free Tool Is Better Than Most Expense Tracker Templates

Our spreadsheet was developed with the help of a certified tax professional to cover all the bases when it comes to a tracker for tax deductions. Most expense tracker templates or free spreadsheets are not made by a CPA. As you'll see if you use the other expense sheets available, you may run into issues later during tax time. If you want to make sure you are properly ready after the 2021 tax year, download and use our printable expense tracking spreadsheet.

See for yourself why our easy tool stands apart from the other expense tracker templates. We recommend you try our self-employed tax calculator, another free tool we offer to help freelancers.

Here's To Saving More Money

Look, nobody's finances are perfect. However, the better your budgeting and expense tracking is, the more efficient you better stay on top of your finances. By using the free expense tracker template you'll be able to plan your taxes, keep on top of your spending and give yourself a better chance at running a better business in 2021.

No more forgetting what happened last month! With this easy Google sheets tool for tracking expenses around the house or office, it's not hard to stay organized during tax season.

If you'd like help with using the template or have any general questions, we always recommend you talk to a tax professional. Since our excel spreadsheet is printable, you can easily send it over to an accountant for feedback and to check for any errors.

Related Articles