How To Make A Budget On Google Sheets
A budget is a valuable financial tool, whether you’re budgeting for a large company or a small family, budgets can help you save for future goals, or get through tough times.
Google Sheets is a great tool to make a budget in because it’s fully customizable and can be made to suit your exact financial needs.
The first step to a good budget is to choose the categories you want to track. If you’re unsure where to start, start with the basics like rent/mortgage, transportation, food, etc. Be sure to include a catch-all category, such as Other or Misc.
Here’s how to set up your categories in Google Sheets:
In a blank spreadsheet, type “Income” into cell A3
Add the income categories into column B, starting under the income header
Finish off the income section with a totals row in column A under the last category
Repeat the process for your expense categories underneath the income section
Select these two columns and apply bold formatting to make the categories stand out, then apply cell highlight and borders using the icons in toolbar
Your spreadsheet should look something like this
The next step is to add headers for each month of the year, and headers for Budgeted, Actual and Difference under each
In cell C1, type “January”
Select cells C1-E1, then click on the Merged Cells icon to merge them
Type “Budgeted”, “Actual”, and “Difference” under the merged cell
Use the toolbar formatting options to style your month header so it stands out
Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining 11 months, leaving a blank column between each month
Adding Numbers and Formulas
The last step to setting up your budget is to add the budgeted/expected amounts for each category for each month, and the formulas to calculate the difference
Start in Column C, the Budgeted column for January, and enter amounts beside each category of income and expenses. It helps to format the cells as dollar amounts
At the bottom of the income section, use a SUM() formula to sum all income. Do the same for the expenses section
Repeat Step 2 or the Actual and Difference columns
To calculate the difference between Budgeted and Actual amounts, type the following formula in cell E4, at the top of the Difference column for January: “=C4-D4”
Copy/paste this formula for all income and expense categories and each section total
Repeat Steps 1-5 for all remaining months
Using Your Budget
To use your budget, follow these steps
As each month progresses, fill out the income and expense Actuals amounts
The difference column will automatically update to reflect how far you are from your target
Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet
In this tutorial, I covered how to make a budget on Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.