Excel Tutorial: How To Make An Excel Sheet For Budget


Creating and sticking to a budget is essential for managing personal or business finances. It helps to track expenses, control spending, and achieve financial goals. Utilizing Excel for budgeting offers a user-friendly and comprehensive way to organize and analyze financial data. In this tutorial, we will show you how to make an Excel sheet for budgeting so you can take control of your finances with ease.

Key Takeaways

  • Budgeting is crucial for managing personal or business finances and achieving financial goals.
  • Excel provides a user-friendly and comprehensive way to organize and analyze financial data.
  • Setting up an Excel sheet for budgeting involves naming the sheet, adding categories for income and expenses, inputting data, creating formulas, utilizing Excel features, and reviewing and adjusting the budget.
  • Utilize Excel features such as sorting expenses by category, using charts to visualize spending, and utilizing conditional formatting for overspending to effectively manage your budget.
  • Regularly reviewing and adjusting the budget, as well as setting goals for saving or reducing expenses, is essential for successful budgeting in Excel.

Setting up the Excel sheet

Creating a budget in Excel is a great way to keep track of your finances and make sure you stay on top of your expenses. Here's how to get started:

A. Opening a new Excel file

To create a new Excel file, simply open Microsoft Excel and click on "Blank Workbook" to start from scratch.

B. Naming the sheet

Once you have your new Excel file open, it's important to give it a name that reflects its purpose. To do this, click on the tab at the bottom of the page and select "Rename Sheet" to give it a clear and easily identifiable name.

C. Adding categories for income and expenses

Next, it's time to start adding categories for your income and expenses. Create a clear structure for your budget by labeling columns for income sources, such as "Salary," "Investment Income," and "Side Gig," and for expenses, such as "Housing," "Transportation," "Food," and "Entertainment."

Inputting the data

When creating an excel sheet for budgeting, the first step is to input all the necessary data. This includes listing all sources of income, including all monthly expenses, and formatting cells for currency.

Listing all sources of income

Start by listing all sources of income in a separate column. This may include salaries, bonuses, rental income, and any other sources of money coming into your household.

Including all monthly expenses

Next, include all monthly expenses in a separate column. This may include rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, transportation, entertainment, and any other regular expenses.

Formatting cells for currency

After inputting the income and expenses, it's important to format the cells for currency. This will make it easier to read and understand the financial data. To format cells for currency, select the cells containing the financial data, and click on the "Number Format" drop-down menu. Then, select "Currency" from the list of options.

Creating formulas

One of the key aspects of creating an Excel sheet for budgeting is using formulas to automate calculations. This not only saves time, but also ensures accuracy in your budget tracking.

A. Calculating total income

When creating an Excel sheet for budgeting, it's important to start by calculating your total income. To do this, you can use the SUM function to add up all sources of income, such as salary, bonuses, and any other additional income streams.

B. Subtracting total expenses

Once you have calculated your total income, the next step is to subtract your total expenses. You can use the SUM function to add up all your expenses, and then subtract this total from your total income using the minus (-) operator.

C. Using formulas for specific categories (e.g. groceries, utilities)

Excel allows you to create formulas for specific categories within your budget, such as groceries, utilities, and entertainment. For example, if you have a column for groceries expenses, you can use the SUM function to calculate the total amount spent on groceries for the month.

Similarly, you can use formulas such as AVERAGE to calculate the average amount spent on utilities over a period of time, or MAX to find the highest amount spent on entertainment in a given period.

Utilizing Excel features

When creating an Excel sheet for budgeting, it’s important to utilize the various features that Excel offers to effectively organize and analyze your financial data.

A. Sorting expenses by category

One of the key features of Excel is its ability to sort and filter data. When creating a budget sheet, you can use this feature to sort your expenses by category, such as groceries, utilities, entertainment, etc. This will allow you to see how much you are spending in each category and identify areas where you may need to cut back.

B. Using charts to visualize spending

Excel’s charting tools are a great way to visualize your spending habits. You can create pie charts, bar graphs, or line charts to see a visual representation of where your money is going. This can help you quickly identify which areas of your budget may be out of balance and need to be adjusted.

C. Utilizing conditional formatting for overspending

Conditional formatting is a powerful tool in Excel that allows you to set rules for how your data is displayed based on certain conditions. For example, you can set up conditional formatting to automatically highlight any expenses that exceed a certain percentage of your budget. This can help you quickly identify areas where you may be overspending and need to make adjustments.

Reviewing and adjusting the budget

Managing a budget effectively requires regular review and adjustment. This ensures that your financial plan remains relevant and aligned with your goals. Here are some key steps to consider when reviewing and adjusting your budget:

A. Monthly review of budget performance
  • Track expenses: Regularly monitor your expenses to see how they compare to your budget. This will help you identify any areas where you are overspending.
  • Analyze income: Review your income sources to ensure that they align with your expectations. This will help you determine if any adjustments are needed to maintain financial stability.
  • Identify any discrepancies: Look for any discrepancies between your budgeted amounts and actual expenses. This will help you identify any unexpected costs or areas where you may need to adjust your budget.

B. Making necessary adjustments
  • Identify areas for improvement: Take note of any areas where you may need to make adjustments to your budget. This could include cutting back on discretionary spending or reallocating funds to cover unexpected expenses.
  • Update budget categories: Adjust your budget categories as needed to reflect any changes in your financial situation. This will help ensure that your budget remains relevant and effective.
  • Consider long-term goals: Take into account your long-term financial goals when making adjustments to your budget. This will help you stay on track to achieve your objectives.

C. Setting goals for saving or reducing expenses
  • Establish savings targets: Set specific goals for saving money each month. This will help you build a financial cushion for unexpected expenses or future investments.
  • Identify cost-cutting opportunities: Look for ways to reduce expenses and free up additional funds for savings or other financial goals. This could include negotiating lower utility bills or finding more affordable alternatives for everyday expenses.
  • Monitor progress: Regularly monitor your progress towards your savings and expense reduction goals. This will help you stay motivated and make any necessary adjustments to your budget.


Creating a budget in Excel is a powerful tool for managing your finances. Excel makes it easy to track your expenses, analyze your spending, and set financial goals. By using Excel for budgeting, you can gain better control over your money and make more informed decisions about your finances.

Now is the time to start using Excel for budgeting. Don't be intimidated by the software – with a little practice, you'll be able to create a budget that works for you. With features like formulas, charts, and graphs, Excel can provide insights that will help you reach your financial goals.

Final tips for successful budgeting in Excel

  • Regularly update your budget with new expenses and income.
  • Use conditional formatting to visually highlight important data.
  • Explore different Excel functions to simplify your budgeting process.
  • Consider using templates to get started quickly.

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