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    How to Make a Budget on Google Sheets

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    Get your finances in order with this step-by-step guide to creating a budget on Google Sheets

    Are you tired of feeling stressed about your finances? Do you struggle to keep track of your income and expenses each month? If so, it may be time to create a budget. While this may sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be with the help of programs like Google Sheets. Google Sheets is a free and user-friendly spreadsheet program that can be used for a variety of tasks, including managing your personal finances. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to make a Google Sheets budget template and take control of your finances once and for all.

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    Step by Step Guide to Creating a Budget on Google Sheets

    The great thing about creating a monthly budget in Google Sheets is the flexibility it offers. Unlike other financial software, Google Sheets allows you to customize your budget specifically to your needs. You can create different columns and rows to include income, expenses, savings, and more. This way, you can track all aspects of your finances in one place, making it easy to stay on top of your financial goals. Plus, you can access your budget from anywhere with an internet connection, making it a convenient tool to use on the go.

    1. Creating a new spreadsheet

    If you’re ready to start budgeting in Google Sheets, the first step is to create a new spreadsheet. You can do this by logging into your Google account and clicking on the “Sheets” icon in the toolbar menu. From there, you’ll be prompted to start a new blank spreadsheet. Once you’ve done that, you can customize your spreadsheet to fit your budgeting needs. In the next section, we’ll go over the different steps to take to set up your budget in Google Sheets.

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    2. Setting up the budget

    The next step is to create separate columns and rows to list your income sources and expenses. Some common categories you may want to include are things like:

    • Rent/mortgage

    • Utilities

    • Groceries

    • Dining out

    • Transportation

    • Entertainment

    Be sure to customize the headers to reflect what’s most important in your budget. You may also want to add a section for savings goals, like a vacation or emergency fund. Once you have all of your headers in place, you can start inputting your data into the corresponding cells.

    Related Read: How Much Should I Be Spending on Rent?

    3. Inputting data

    Once you’ve created the necessary columns and rows, you can begin inputting your income sources and expenses. To do this, simply click on the cell where you want to add your information and start typing. You can also use the autofill feature to quickly copy and paste information across multiple cells. It’s important to be as accurate and detailed as possible when entering your data, so that you have a clear picture of your finances.

    4. Create subcategories

    You may want to separate certain expenses into subcategories to get a better understanding of where your money is going. For example, under “utilities,” you could list separate categories for electricity, gas, and water bills. By inputting your data regularly, you can keep track of your spending and monitor any changes in your financial situation.

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    5. Creating formulas

    One of the best features of Google Sheets is the ability to add formulas for automatic calculations. For example, you can use the SUM formula to add up all of your expenses for the month, or the AVERAGE formula to calculate the average amount you spend on dining out per week. You can also use the IF formula to create conditional statements, such as “If my income is greater than my expenses, then I’ll put the extra money into savings.” Along with built-in formulas, you can customize your own formulas to reflect your unique budgeting needs. By utilizing these formulas, you can quickly analyze your budget and get a better understanding of your financial picture.

    6. Analyzing your budget

    Once you’ve inputted all of your data and added formulas, it’s time to analyze your budget. You can do this by using charts to visualize your income and expenses, including pie charts or bar graphs. These charts can help you identify areas in your budget where you may need to cut back or make adjustments. Google Sheets also allows you to sort and filter your data, making it easy to view specific information like your most expensive expenses or least profitable income sources. By analyzing your budget regularly, you can get a better understanding of your spending habits and make necessary changes to achieve your financial goals.

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    Tips and Tricks

    Along with the basic steps of creating and managing your budget in Google Sheets, there are also a few tips and tricks to make the process even easier.

    • Customize the look of your spreadsheet with different fonts, colors, and formatting options.

    • Use conditional formatting to color code cells based on certain criteria, such as highlighting your expenses in red if they exceed a certain threshold.

    • Make your budget shareable with others, allowing for collaboration with a spouse or financial advisor.

    APOLLO can’t make your budget for you, but we can make your “insurance” column happy. Get a free tenant insurance quote in less than a minute and we’ll send your policy documents straight to your inbox.

    Read more about budgeting tips in our article Decorating Your Apartment on a Budget.

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    Originally published April 18, 2023, updated September 7, 2023

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