A Guide to Project Management Budget Tracking (WIth Tips)

Project budget tracking enables you to monitor how much of your budget has been spent over time, to see how much is remaining and course-correct when necessary. For example, imagine one of your project tasks took much longer than budgeted.
  • Create a Baseline. After you’ve created your project’s schedule, it’s important to implement a baseline that can be used to track your tasks and project performance. …
  • Forecast the Budget. …
  • Outline Resource Usage. …
  • Monitor Your Schedule. …
  • Manage Scope.

A project’s budget encompasses more than just the financial aspect. It also refers to an expense plan that guides you through the creation, execution, and delivery of your project. When you master the art of budgeting, you can guarantee that your team has the resources needed to complete high-quality work. This article will walk you through the budget creation process before offering you some advice on how to get your project off to a strong start.

If your project involved building a car, the fuel would be the budget. The availability of money and resources is necessary for the completion of every project, just as a truck needs fuel in its tank to move forward. As the project manager, you are also responsible for planning and using these resources as effectively as you can in order to complete your project on time and within budget.

What’s the best tool for project budget tracking?

Why is project management budget tracking important?

Tracking project budgets helps to:

What is project management budget tracking?

Monitoring the amount of money that an organization has already spent on the project and the amount that is still available in relation to the pre-established budget is known as project management budget tracking. The three most crucial factors to take into account for success in project management are cost, time, and scope. As a project manager, you can include this expense in the budget, which aids in managing how much money is allotted to the various project features and when.

The budget can be monitored to make sure it stays within the established limits. If the costs go over the cap, you can adjust them to keep the project on schedule and within your budget.

Elements of project management budget tracking

Consider the following elements of project budget tracking:


Income is the potential financial reward for working on a project. There are three types of incomes associated with project management. When you work on an internal project for your employer, there is no income to track, which is considered to be at zero income. The agreed-upon fixed price for the project is referred to as fixed income. It could arrive in one lump sum or several payments spread out over time. When you earn a profit in addition to your fixed income, this is known as cost-plus income. When estimating project costs becomes difficult, project managers track cost-plus income.


This is the total amount of money you spend on the project. When the project tracks how much money you are using, you can calculate the amount. There are two types of expenses accumulated in projects. These include fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs rarely change. For instance, the cost of the materials used in a construction project might not change as it advances. Variable costs vary with activity or time.

Sub-contractor hours and labor hours are examples of variable costs. The final cost of a project could rise if you work on it for longer. In budget tracking, it’s critical to keep an eye on variable costs because they’re most likely to impact a project’s overall spending. If you don’t deal with them right away, they could deplete all of your resources.

How to perform project budget tracking

The first step in ensuring a project moves forward smoothly and within the established parameters is creating a budget. The following step is to monitor the budget and make sure that costs and incomes are remaining constant. Maintaining track of your project’s budget requires that you keep track of all purchases and payments made on its behalf. Follow these tips to track your project budget:

1. Develop a budget system

Designing a precise system that keeps track of all project-related expenses is the first step in budget tracking. The system keeps track of who is spending the money and how much. This way, you can be sure of where your money is going. You can decide whether to use a spreadsheet program or project management software with budget tracking features to keep track of all expenditures.

Additionally, you can program specific reminders to update your system on a regular basis. The majority of large organizations have completely specialized programs to monitor their budget during projects. Medium-sized businesses have the option of subscribing to project management tools made available by outside parties. You can manually track your budget while working on a small project by using a notebook or a mobile phone’s notes app.

2. Provide remote access to the system

A good budget tracking system may include features that make it easy to use. This can increase collaboration, especially for off-site or field projects. An online system for tracking the project’s budget facilitates collaboration when multiple teams are working on it. If clients or managers want to increase accountability and transparency, they can access the budget track online.

3. Identify budget items and develop the budget

List the items you can track in the budget once you have the system in place. These items vary according to project or industry. Detailing each item is essential to increase tracking’s precision and accuracy. Determine the tasks that must be completed and assign a budget estimate to each one. Travel expenses, legal fees, and material purchases are some examples of tasks. Create the budget by identifying the fixed and variable costs. Obtain the necessary management or client approval for the budget.

4. Track and control expenses simultaneously

You can then monitor the flow of money from one place to another as the project develops. Create a notification system to keep you informed whenever there are anomalies, missing information, or excessive spending in the budget tracking system. To keep an eye on purchases and integrate the systems with bank accounts to halt the flow of funds whenever you go over budget, use automated project management software.

If you are unable to monitor the budget on your own, you can delegate the task to a team member who can inform you whenever there is a budget issue or update you on the status. If you’re using a spreadsheet program, think about storing the budget in the cloud in case something unforeseen happens.

Tips for efficient budget tracking in projects

To ensure the project is completed on schedule, with the desired quality, and within the allocated budget, the budget must be closely monitored. By doing so, you can avoid requesting additional funding to finish your project. One of the most difficult tasks of a project is keeping track of the budget. Follow these tips for efficient project budget tracking:


How do you track budgets in a project?

How to Track Project Expenses & Costs
  1. Establish Cost Tracking Systems. The first rule is to set up a system for managing your expenses and be able to track them.
  2. Provide Online Access. …
  3. Identify Budget Items. …
  4. Create a Project Budget. …
  5. Assign Someone to Track Expenses. …
  6. Track and Control Expenses In Real time.

How do project managers manage budgets?

7 steps to creating and managing a project budget
  1. Outline your project tasks, milestones, and supplies. …
  2. Estimate your project budget. …
  3. Get your project budget finalized. …
  4. Create a project budget tracker. …
  5. Monitor your project budget. …
  6. Create a budget change process. …
  7. Review and preserve your project budget report.

What are the 4 four project budget management steps?

The Four Steps in Project Cost Management. Resource planning, estimation, budgeting, and control are the four steps that help organize the function of cost management, which is seen as a continuous process.

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