How To Track Spending with a Spreadsheet

Tracking your expenses is important to see and carefully monitor where your hard-earned money is going. Using a spreadsheet will make it doubly easier for you to track down your financial input and output, and will help you avoid money drains and debt escalation in a surprisingly short period of time. Here’s a quick how-to:

Begin by listing down your expenses. Have a handynotebook wherein you can list down all your expenses for the day. Make sure to put on the date.

Have three columns in each page under which you can list down the items you purchase, the amount of each, as well as significant notes regarding them. Don’t forget to ask for receipts! Total the expenses for the day. Keep a daily record as this will serve as the raw data for your spreadsheet.

Create a Spreadsheet. Open the Excel program in your computer. Have it installed if there’s none.

  • In first column (column A), enter the categories of your expenditures. You can also add a subcategory for the itemization of your expenses. Make sure to start in the second row to make room for the date on the top column. Enter the day of the month on the top row (Start in Column D, Row 1). After you have listed all the categories, enter “Total Expenses” at the bottom of your final category.
  • Using a formula, get the sum total of all outgoing amounts for day one. The formula for this is =sum (D2:D60), assuming yourcomputation ended in row 60. This formula instructs Excel to add up all the amounts from D2 to D60. Then press the Enter key.
  • Follow the same step for the end-of-the-month column for your monthly summary of expenses. Don’t worry if you don’t see anything in the cell just look up at the formula bar located at the top of the worksheet and you will find the formula content of the cell. When making a formula, always start with an equal sign and don’t leave a space.
  • For Column E, click the cell and press Ctrl+R. This instructs Excel to copy the formula for adding up the content of the row.
  • For you to easily see the total amount of expenses per day, it’s advisable to change the cell color of the “Total Expenses” row. To do this, highlight the cells in the ‘Total Expenses” row then click the “Text Highlight Color” icon located on the top of the work sheet. Then press the Enter key. Start entering the data under the date row. Now as you enter the entries under the date row, Excel will automatically sum up the total amount.

Hopefully you’ve somehow learned the simplest and most basic knowledge on how to use an Excel spreadsheet. You can now track where your money goes and make necessary moves on where to cut down on your expenses. You can refine your financial plans, smartly reducing excessive expenditures and increasing your financial assets.