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Free Operating Budget Templates

written by: Alice Rovney•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/1/2010

You recognize the value of putting together an operating budget. But how do you get started? Figuring out the structure of the budget can be more time consuming than estimating the figures. Look no further. Plenty of free operating budget templates are available within Microsoft Excel and the net.

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    Why Use an Operating Budget Template?

    Free Operating Budget Templates 

    Look no further than what has already been accomplished. Operating budgets are standard enough that you can save a lot of time by using the structure that someone else put together. Changing individual line items to suit your unique needs is simple enough so there is no reason not to take advantage of free operating budget templates.. Besides, items may be included in the templates that you might not have thought of on your own. Operating budget templates come with pre-entered formulas so you don't have to be a whiz at programs like Excel in order to put together your own budget.

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    Using Microsoft Excel

    One thing that many users really like about Microsoft Excel is that it is full of free templates. By clicking on the file menu and selecting "new" a pop up window will appear that allows you to choose a template. These templates are also fully searchable and include downloadable versions made by other Excel users. Many times, the users who upload templates to the Microsoft Office Online Community are experts in Excel and therefore include some pretty complex forms that average users can take advantage of. Below are some screenshots taken from Microsoft Excel of a search and two pages from one of the free operating budget templates that I downloaded. This was accomplished using Microsoft Office 2007, however, the templates are also available in earlier versions.

    Notice how the template depicted below takes all the guess work out of how to set up the structure of the budget. All that's left to do is fill in the numbers and adjust the workbook to suit your particular needs. The template even includes a pivot table on page two. A pivot table is a summary of the detailed information found on page one. Tricia Goss writes an excellent tutorial called Excel Pivot Tables that is worth reading. Microsoft Excel has a slew of free operating budget templates available. Some are even specific toward industry such as warehousing or service.

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    Screenshots From Microsoft Excel

    Operating budget search in Excel.Free Operating Budget Pivot TableFree Operating Budget Template Page 1
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    Searching the Internet

    Free operating budget templates can also be found online by searching the keyword "free operating budget templates" or any combination of the words budget and template. There are literally hundreds of sites to choose from. This, of course, presents a bit of a challenge because you have to sift through the information in order to find a template that is right for you. Sometimes the search is worth it though.

    A better solution is to stick around right here on Bright Hub! Knowledgeable writers such as Sherisaid, who writes about Personal Budget Templates, and Susie Brown, who published an article entitled Examples of a Small Business Budget share great information for readers all the time. Just run a search on budget templates here in the fabulous Bright Hub search bar and you will be well on your way to finding some awesome free operating budget templates.

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    Image Credits:

    images courtesy of

A Guide to Survival: Operating Budgets

Stop! Were you about to start the new year without an operating budget for your business? If you don't know what an operating budget is or just need to brush up on your budgeting skills in general, then this series is for you. Learn about the purpose and basic concepts behind operating budgets.
  1. Purpose of Operating Budgets
  2. Operating Budgets: Basic Concepts & Explanations
  3. Free Operating Budget Templates
  4. Examples of Operating Budgets