How to Budget Using Google Sheets

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How to Budget Using Google Sheets – Guide

Budgeting, like meditating and flossing regularly, was one of those “responsibilities I’m discounting” for me until recently. Of course, I knew I should budget, but the process felt so daunting and restrictive that it was easy to put off. That is, until I came across the Google Sheets budget model, which made me a budget.

Like many others, I trust Google for email, photo storage, and pretty much everything else. While the monthly budget template is a free preset available to anyone with a Google account, I never thought about using Google to manage my money until a few months ago. It couldn’t be simpler to find. Just go to Google Sheets, hover over the + icon at the bottom of the page, and select “Choose Template”. The “monthly budget” template can be found under the “Personnel” category.

Step 1: Open a Google Spreadsheet

Login to your Google Drive account. In the left sidebar, click “New” and “Google Sheet”.

Step 2: Create Income and Expense Categories

Categories are the backbone of a budget. There is no “right” number of categories. However, you want enough categories to cover all of your income and expenses without creating unnecessary complexity. If you find that specificity helps you keep better control of your finances, you may want to add subcategories to more closely track certain expenses. This is especially helpful if you are trying to reduce your expenses in a specific area of ​​your finances.

Step 3: Decide which budget period to use

You may want to budget daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or yearly. The period you use may depend on:

  • payment frequency
  • How closely do you want to monitor your finances?
  • How much time do you want to spend updating your budget worksheet
  • You can also use multiple budget periods simultaneously. In fact, most budgeting apps and software track income and expenses by month. They then extrapolate the budget to one year. Regardless of the budget period, you may want to create three columns:

  • A column for your budgeted income and expenses
  • A column for actual income and expenses
  • A column showing the difference between the two so you can see a complete picture of your progress
  • Step 4: Use simple formulas to minimize your time commitment.

    Manually adding cells is time consuming, but Google Sheets makes it easy with formulas.

    You can find the difference between your budgeted and actual income and expenses by subtracting the cell that contains the “actual” value from the cell that contains the “budget” value. You can also vertically sum all your income and expense categories using the SUM formula.

    Step 5: Enter your budget numbers.

    Creating a budget is nothing more than setting financial goals. Your income puts a hard limit on your allowable expenses. However, within the parameters of your income, you can decide how to spend your money. Your historical financial data is a great starting point for creating your budget. Examine the last few months of bank records to see where your money is really going.

    Step 6: Update your budget.

    As your chosen budget period progresses, regularly update your budget spreadsheet with all your actual transactions. That way you can track your progress. You may need to adjust your budget to account for emergency expenses or unplanned income. Budgeting is about becoming aware of the money that goes in and out of your life.

    Don’t worry if your budget and actual income and expenses vary. The more you use your budget, the more accurate it will be. Creating a budget from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t need a complicated spreadsheet with advanced formulas to perform a complete financial check-in. Creating a budget from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t need a complicated spreadsheet with advanced formulas to perform a complete financial check-in. However, if you are comfortable with spreadsheets, you may want to create more features to make your budget spreadsheet more informative and visually appealing.

    conditional formatting

    Conditional formatting is a great way to visually compare your budgeted and actual expenses.

  • Right-click on the cell you want to format and choose “Conditional Formatting”.
  • Define the condition.
  • Choose what happens to the condition met.
  • Now, instead of looking at your budget numbers individually, you can easily see which categories are over or under budget at a glance.

    tables and graphs

    You can also add tables and graphs to show trends in your spending.

  • From the menu bar, choose “Insert” and “Graph”.
  • A sidebar will appear on the right of the screen. Allows you to customize:
  • The data in your chart
  • The type of chart or chart
  • Various features of the chart or chart
  • Final note

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