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How To Create A Personal Budget Spreadsheet In Excel

Creating a personal budget in excel is not a difficult task, even for the novice who are not familiar with all of the functionality involved in creating spreadsheets. In fact, with a little basic knowledge of excel, each individual can create a personal budget that they can use for years to come.

When creating a personal budget sheet, the major objective is to design a standard format that does not have to be changed once the person is complete. While certain modifications are easy to make, others may take some additional timing, especially when significant changes are made to the format. Therefore, it is important for the person to design the standard format well on the front end of these projects.
Listed below are a few basic steps that can be used to create a workable plan.

Step 1: Create the Basic Structure.

Most people like using excel because they can build a basic structure to calculate a wide variety of things that they need. From calculating their weekly paychecks to adding up their kid’s lunch money, these spreadsheets can be used for virtually any type of calculation. This is also true for the basic budget. Therefore, when getting started, creating the basic structure can be simple to do.

Create the headings. Starting with the top headings on the spreadsheet, the personal budget developer can list all of the terms that apply to that specific type of budget. For instance, the headings may reflect the following: Account Name, Balance, Amount due, and Date Due. Based on the individual, this may be the only names and fields needed to build a standard form.

Once the person has identified all of the headings, they should be typed in each cell and highlighted in bold. The bold highlighting will help the person with quickly identifying each heading type when they are working with the budget in the future.

Add the Names of each Account. Many times people have multiple accounts that they must pay on a monthly basis. Some of these accounts include the mortgage, telephone bill, utility bill, and the car note. Some of these amounts are the same amount each month, while others are not. In either event, all accounts must be listed on the spreadsheet if it is going to be accurate.
When listing the account names, the developer of the personal budget sheet must enter each account under the Column = Account Name. Which means, they will be entering the each account name vertically on the spreadsheet that they are creating. The order of relevancy will depend on each individual. For instance, some people may prefer to list the large account balances first or they list them in alpha order.

Step 2: Enter all Relevant Data

After the developer of the spreadsheet has completed the structure, the next step in this process is to enter all relevant data. This information can be obtained by gathering all of the bills that the person is responsible for. The bills should have the balance of each account, the monthly amount due, and the date due. This information will be entered on the spreadsheet to create the budget that is needed. For instance, based on the headings that were entered and the account names, the developer will use this information to fill in the balance that is due for mortgage, car, utility bill, telephone and etc. Using numbers from each hard copy bill, the person will also enter in the amount due for the month, and the date due.

The information will be entered in each column, as it is appropriate. However, it is essential that all of the data is entered in the correct cells or the budget will be incorrect. Thereby, making the entire monthly personal budget spreadsheet useless (i.e. garbage in means garbage out)

Step 3: Create Calculations

Once all of the relevant data has been entered into each cell on the spreadsheet, the next step in the personal budget spreadsheet process is to create formulas for the sections that need them. The formulas needed for a personal budget are normally easy and straightforward so there is no need for any type of complex formulas, specifically in the beginning. Complex formulas, however, may be needed in the daily personal budget spreadsheets or weekly personal budget spreadsheets.

Some of the formulas that should be created will include basic addition. For instance, the creator of the budget may want to create a formula that adds up all of the account balances. Which means, this balance will indicate how much the person owes everyone, since it will include the total amount of the mortgage, car balance and any past due amounts that the person owes in utilities. Therefore, if the person has the money and wants to pay all of them off at one time, this is the sum that they will need to use.
In addition to creating a formula for the entire amount owed for all accounts, the developer of the spreadsheet may want to add a formula that calculates the total amount due for all monthly payments. This information is normally the most valuable, since it will be used to pay off the bills for that specific month.

The formulas created for the spreadsheets are standard and they will not change. Therefore, it is important for the developer to use the right formulas in the beginning. If the person has problems with creating the formulas, they can get help by using the ‘help’ utility in excel. The ‘help’ utility is great for all kinds of calculations including creating a yearly personal budget spreadsheet.

Using excel sheet to create a personal budget is not a difficult or complex task to complete. Even the beginner can start building a spreadsheet with only a few basic formats and calculations. Fortunately, there are many different examples that can be used as a basic format. Sometimes an individual may copy a format from another user so that they can modify it to fit their specific personal needs. By using these spreadsheets to build a budget for personal needs, each individual can save time and money.

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