A Factory Working, College Grad Getting Out of Debt

How to Make an Expense Sheet

Normally, the middle of the month will be dedicated to showing the progress I have made on my goals for the month.  However, because I am bound and determined to make a budget for myself, there’s a couple of key steps that I have to do first.  You might all be thinking it’s pretty simple to make a budget right?  You take the expenses and the income, and you pray that the income turns out be more than the expenses right?  Wrong.

In order to figure out a budget, I needed to see where exactly I was spending money and on what.  Perhaps if I know where my money is going, I will then know where to make cuts when I’m making my November budget.  So then the question was… how do I get started?

It’s called Excel 2010 and it is becoming my newest and best friend.

After using Google and Youtube to get more familiar with how to work Excel (until now I’ve only dabbled in it for random college courses), I started organizing my columns and then my receipts.  So before I go into how I’m using Excel’s formulas, here’s a snapshot of my own doctored Expense sheet.

As you can see, I have numbered down 1-31 for the days of the month.  I highlighted the Car Loan, Student Loans, and Credit Cards yellow because they are the most pressing things of the upcoming budget.  The blue are my necessities, and the really light orange-pink (salmon for you fellow artists out there), they are my random and fun expenses.  To the right, I once again repeated the titles of the columns.  This is because when I start using the Excel =SUM(….) formula, the total expenses will add up as I insert the receipts on a daily basis.

Okay, now here is where I use the =SUM(…) function.  Click on the box next to your first category, in this case it will be my Car Loan category on the right hand side.  Insert =Sum( and it will look like this:

At this point, Excel should be prompting you to finish you =SUM(..) formula.  Highlight the column that says Car loan and scroll down until you have highlighted every box in that column down to 31 (being the last day of the month).  When you have finished, the =SUM(…) formula will disappear and the total sum of the expenses in that column will show in that box.  Repeat for the rest of the columns.

If you would like the simple expense sheet that I have created for your own uses, access it here:  Monthly Expense Sheet

Now here’s the simple part: insert your receipts and expenses in the appropriate columns on the appropriate days.  If you need to add a comment to remember what that particular expense was, well, right click on the box and click add comment.  Add what you need and go onto the next receipt.

Don’t forget your income.  I have a separate column in my own expense sheet for that tracking.  The Total Expense and Total Income boxes will total on their own so that you can compare at the end of the month.

I’m not going to show you all the gory details of my personal expense sheet, as some of the comments I made to myself are personal, but I can give you a quick snapshot.

I hoped this helped for a few of you.  If you need a more detailed, step by step process, let me know in the comments!

Do you use a program or device to help you track your expenses?  Do you go old school?  Share your experiences, and don’t forget to follow this blog.

Count those raindrops!



One response

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    November 3, 2012 at 1:25 am

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