Starting a business can be an overwhelming process, with business plans, leases, financing, legal documents — and monthly budget sheets. We know you’d almost certainly rather spend time refining your product, talking with happy customers, or honing your investor pitch than hunch over spreadsheets, calculating the seemingly impossible amount of money it’s going to take to get your business off the ground. But whether you are a manager or a business owner, creating a budget is absolutely essential to your success. 

This article will help you understand small business budgeting basics to help your company thrive in 2023. If you want to make your life even easier, we offer an easy-to-use monthly budget template that will help you log expenses, sort costs by category, view monthly spending, and examine budget details — all within Wrike. 

Let’s start with the building blocks: monthly budget planning

Start with a monthly expense sheet

Your monthly budget planning worksheet is a roadmap for your business, helping you define priorities, understand where your business is going, and determine whether you’re on the right path. It’s a key factor when raising capital, whether you're applying for a loan or pitching to investors, and a cornerstone of your business plan. It can help you minimize risk and experiment with how to best allocate resources. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to create an accurate and realistic budget that’s specific to your business and goals. 

You need to start with basic questions that will help you gauge your finances. How much money do you have? How much do you need to spend on materials, manpower, and marketing? How much revenue is required to meet your business goals? Can you afford to buy new equipment, run a new advertising campaign, or hire another team member? Do you have an emergency fund you can tap into if unexpected costs arise? These are all key questions that will help you determine your starting point for your monthly and annual budgets

How to make a monthly budget

Making a monthly budget can seem daunting, but it essentially involves writing down each and every expense you expect to have over the course of a month. It’s helpful to categorize these expenses to get a clear idea of where your budget is being spent.

Costs involved in a monthly budget typically fall into two categories: monthly expenses and one-time costs. Costs such as employee salaries, lease payments, utilities, and insurance are all recurring monthly expenses, whereas line items such as purchasing equipment and consultant fees constitute one-time costs. 

Here is what you need to include in your monthly expense sheet:

  • Revenue: Estimated sales figures (err on the conservative side if you can't be exact)
  • Fixed costs: Rent, insurance, etc. These figures don’t typically change from month to month. 
  • Variable costs: These costs typically correlate with sales, such as the cost of raw materials to produce your product, inventory, shipping/freight, etc. 
  • Semi-variable costs: These expenses are influenced by the volume of your business, including salaries, marketing and advertising, etc. 
  • Profits: To determine profits, subtract your costs from your revenue. Once you have a profit estimate, you can determine how to invest in your business, whether that means upgrading equipment, moving to a larger office or better location, adding staff, or giving your employees raises. 

Now that you’ve set up your monthly budget, make sure to revisit it periodically. It should not be a static document that you check once a quarter or only at the start of the year. Revisit it every month and see where you can adjust or experiment — maybe shift some funds to give your marketing budget a boost for a few months and see how it affects your sales pipeline. If you find you’re getting a good return, that’s useful information when it comes to future decisions about allocating resources. Reviewing your budget data using accounting software will also help you anticipate your future spending needs, profits, and cash flow.

Wrike’s monthly budget tracker template can help

Wrike has a ready-to-use monthly budget template that can help you set up a robust budget tracking system quickly, without any coding or special knowledge required. You might be tempted to use a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, but using a more robust budgeting app will give you a more holistic and flexible view of your annual budget, allowing you to easily create reports, visualize overspend, and more. 

Wrike’s monthly budget tracker template has all the features you need to take control of your company expenses.

These powerful features will allow you to make informed financial decisions about your business’s budget, thanks to better visibility into your revenue and expenses

In addition, Wrike integrates directly with over 400 apps, including many of the most popular budgeting and financial apps available, so you can connect your accounts and populate your Wrike system with information instantly. 

Tools for tracking business expenses and budgets

Along with a monthly budget spreadsheet template, the right project management software is one of the best ways to prevent out-of-control spending and overrun costs. You’ll understand exactly where your work stands, how much money and time has been spent, and be able to more accurately predict the cost and timeline for the entire project

Wrike helps you manage your budgets and projects with ease

Use Wrike to take total control of your business finances by creating budgets, managing projects, and so much more. In addition to budget management, Wrike can also help manage projects and teams with ease. You can avail of the following features with Wrike: 

  • @mentions for easy communication with your team
  • Gantt charts for managing timelines
  • In-depth performance reporting
  • Automated team reminders

Kick-start your budget planning process with Wrike. Get started with a two-week free trial of Wrike —no credit card required!