Microsoft Software

Creating a Budget in Excel

Creating a budget is a great way to efficiently manage your money. Excel and other spreadsheet software can be useful tools when it comes to budgeting. To start, gather any paperwork or information that you may have regarding monthly income and expenses.

Let’s Get Started!

  1. To begin, open Excel.
  2. In the first cell (A1) you can type in a title for your budget.
  3. In A3 type “Expenses”. You will be separating your expenses into two categories: variable and fixed. (Variable expenses will be expenses that are likely to change each month. Fixed are those that are normally the same each month.)
  4. In A4 type “Variable”. In the cells below, list your variable expenses which may include groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.
  5. In the cell below this list type “Fixed”. List your fixed expenses which may include utilities, insurance, rent, etc.
  6. Below this, write “Total Expenses”
  7. In cell D3 type “Income”.
    1. Below this header, you may list your sources of income such as net income, gifts, etc.
  8. When your income list has been generated, skip a line and type “Total Income”.
  9. In column B, go down the expenses list and fill in the amount that you pay in monthly expenses. When all expenses information has been entered, go to column B next to the Total Expenses cell and generate a total. This can be done by typing in a sum function: =sum(B5:B13) 
  10. Hit enter and a total should appear.

To use the sum function, you can select and drag the the item box to cover the data that you wish to create a sum for. You can also manually type in the cells that you wish to select (B5:B13). The colon (:) is used to represent all data from B5 to B13.

Go to the income column and in column E, enter the amounts that you receive in monthly income. In the cell next to Total Income, generate another sum function. This can be done by entering =sum(E4:E5)

Formatting the Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet can be formatted in any way that you like. For general formatting, you can follow these directions:

  • A1…Increase font size to 14 and Bold face the text.
  • A3 and D3…Bold face the text and Underline
  • A4 and A8…Italicize the text and center.
  • Boldface Total Income and Total Expenses.
  • Select A1:F1 and select merge and center (Located on the Home tab under the Alignment section).


expenses income
variable net income 800
groceries 100 gifts 100
gas 100 total income 900
entertainment 75
utilities 120
insurance 100
rent 600
total expenses 1095

Additional Resources:

To obtain a Simple Monthly Budget template from Microsoft, click here.

For a LibreOffice Personal Budget template, click here.