Microsoft Excel, as many computer users know, is a very powerful and effective spreadsheet program. Along with calculation of numbers, insertion of graphs and comparison of trends, it also enables its users to produce budgetary spreadsheets for businesses and homes alike. With the help of this feature known as expense sheet, users can calculate monthly expenses and lay the foundation of a detailed monthly and annual budget.

It is important to begin with an expense sheet if you want to save money and get a control over your spending or pay off debt. It will allow you not only to track how much money you have been spending each month but also to learn where you might be able to cut your expenses.

Instructions to create an Expense Sheet in Excel

Step 1: First of all, open a new Excel worksheet by accessing the MS Excel application, and then clicking the ‘File’ menu followed by ‘New’. In cell A1, enter ‘January income’ and the income for this month in cell B1.

Step 2: In cell A3, type ‘Expense Type’ and enter ‘Jan 1’ in cell B3. Click on cell B3 for selecting it and move the mouse to the bottom right corner of the cell till you see the fill handle that looks like a plus sign. Drag the fill handle through Row 3 to fill all the days of the month in the rest of the cells. Then in cell AG3, enter ‘Category Total’.

Step 3: Beginning in cell A5, enter the various expense types in Column A and include everything that you spend money on. It could be food, clothing, utilities, rent, automotive, child care or entertainment. Then you can culminate by entering ‘Daily total’ in cell A20.

Step 4: Click on cell B20 and enter ‘=SUM(B5:B19)’ in the formula bar. Then click on the cell again and then drag the fill handle to cell AG20 for copying the formula in the other cells in the same row.

Step 5: In cell A22, enter ‘Monthly Balance’. Then click on cell B22 and input ‘=SUM(B1-AG20)’ in the formula bar. Once you enter expenses in the sheet, this cell would display the monthly income balance.

Step 6: Click in cell B2, go to the ‘Window’ menu and select ‘Freeze Panes’. If you are using Excel 2007, you can select the same option by going to the ‘View’ tab. By scrolling across the page or by going up and down, you’ll be able to see the first row and first column.

Step 7: Save the worksheet and then right click on the worksheet’s tab to select ‘Move or Copy’. Under ‘Before sheet’, select ‘Sheet 2’ and click ‘Create a copy’ which will copy the data to the next tab. Then you can change dates to the month of February and make tabs for every month of the year.

Once you regularly follow the instructions to keep a check on your overall expenses, it will be a relatively easy job. Budgeting can be complicated in general but the Excel application helps you in managing your earnings smoothly.