Create a Budget Spreadsheet – Create a spreadsheet to help control your spending. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to keep your finances in line. You can use this spreadsheet as a guide to pay your bills, save money for your retirement or simply survive until you reach your next salary without going into debt. Either way, you’ll realize that you’re closer to financial freedom than ever.
- Choose the right program that meets your needs. You probably already have access to one on your home or work computer. A good example is Microsoft Excel.
- If you do not have it, install the program on your computer.
- Create titles in the rows that will correspond to what you have to pay in each period. This should include expenses such as rent, food, entertainment, etc. There is no limit to how many rows you can use.
- Create titles in the columns that correspond to the days on which you are paid.
Set the format of the cells in these columns to display the numbers as currency. You can usually find the format menu by right-clicking.
- Extend the columns into the future all you want. You can budget all year round easily. Just remember that all factors will not stay the same and you may have to “go back in time” to make some changes.
Choose an entire column and click on the “Copy Format” button if you are using Excel. Move your mouse over unformatted columns. Select all the columns by dragging your mouse over the bar of the column names. Now release the mouse and the format will change to the same as the one in the first column.
- Start typing information.
Add the amount of money you pay in the left column over the designated row to the expense in question. For example, enter the amount of money you pay for rent in the column on the date you paid it. If the expense is large, you can put half in one column and the other half in another.
There are some accounts that are paid every several months. Vehicle insurance, for example, only needs a credit every 3 months. Place the expense in the appropriate columns.
Some expenses must be paid with each salary. Food, gasoline for work and entertainment will fall into this category.
- Calculate the totals after all your expenses have been entered.
Set the command in the “Total” cell to add up the quantities in that column. You will see a command box at the bottom of the toolbar that allows you to perform mathematical calculations when you have selected a cell. The Excel commands to perform a sum are as follows: = SUM (B3, B4, B5 … B31)
Copy this cell to the other cells in the row that correspond to the numeric date. Press the paste function button after highlighting the other cells and thus copy the sum and the numerical function in those cells. The subtotals shown should be the sum of the numbers in that column only.
- Add two rows below the subtotal line. One is the pay line. Add your salary in this cell. The other will be a row where you will show the difference between your salary and the expenses you make.
Click and drag the mouse over the equation information in the mathematical calculations bar. What you want to do is subtract the amount of your expenses from the amount of your salary. An equation in Excel will look like this: = (B33-B32).
Again, copy the cell in which you worked previously, into the cells in that row. This will execute all the addition and subtraction by you in each column.
- Decide what you want to do with the surplus money. You can start a fund to pay old accounts, save or separate it as “Funds”.
Delete the expired columns when you’ve finished with the payments listed in that area.
Write notes as comments for things to remember, such as payment dates.
You can add new accounts easily by adding a row. You can also insert a column when you have some income that enters at some point that is not specified.