Microsoft Excel can be an excellent tool for creating the budget you need to get a handle on your spending and your expenses. Creating a database that lists your monthly income and expenses gives you valuable information you can use to track your spending and find ways to cut back and make the most of your money.
- Skill level:
Gather as much information as you can about your income and expenses. Find all your pay stubs, and documentation for any other sources of income you receive. Also gather all your monthly bills, including essential costs such as rent or mortgage payments and utilities, along with receipts for discretionary spending such as restaurant meals and entertainment costs.
Open a new Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Give it a descriptive name like "Monthly Budget" or "Income and Expenses" and save it to your hard drive or network share.
Enter the label "Income" at the top of your spreadsheet, then list each source of income on a separate line. Enter the amount of monthly income from each source in the next column.
Create a formula to add up all your sources of income. If your income sources are listed in cells B2 through B5, the formula "=SUM(B2:B5)" would be put in the cell where you want the total to appear.
Enter the label "Expenses" in the next part of your database. Enter each of your expenses on a separate line. Break each expense out as much as possible. For instance, break your food costs out into groceries, takeout and restaurant meals, rather than using a combined food category. Enter the amount of each expense in the next column.
Create a formula to add up all your monthly expenses. If your expenses are listed in cells D2 through D15, the formula "=SUM(D2:D15)" would be put in the cell for the total.
Subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income. If your total income is in cell B15 and your total expenses are shown in cell D15, the formula "+B15-D15" will produce the difference. Compare your income to your expenses, and look for ways to trim your budget and free up additional cash.
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