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How to make a Budget Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

February 18, 2024 400 views

Taking the time to keep tabs on your domestic or office budget offers significant benefits, fostering mindfulness and awareness of spending habits. This proactive approach proves crucial for long-term financial tracking and effective budget management. In this guide we will walk you through the simple steps of how to make a budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

How to make a Budget Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

How to make a Budget Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

How to make a Budget Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

In this section, we will learn how to create a monthly budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets from scratch, starting from creating a new sheet and building a complete, effective budget spreadsheet to manage your finances. Let's begin:

Step 1: Open Google Drive and click on the "Apps" icon.

Step 2: From the applications, select "Sheets" to open the Google Sheets console.

Google drive applications

Google drive applications

Step 3: On the Google Sheets homepage, click on "Blank Spreadsheet" to create a new spreadsheet from scratch.

Google Sheets create new spreadsheet  Step 4: With the new blank spreadsheet open, rename the

Google Sheets create new spreadsheet

Step 4: With the new blank spreadsheet open, rename the "Untitled" sheet at the upper left corner.

Google Sheets rename spreadsheet

Google Sheets rename spreadsheet

Step 5: Select your main categories and subcategories. For example, consider "Income" as the main category and include subcategories such as job income, freelancing, rental income, or any other sources.

Step 6: Differentiate categories by changing the font, style and colors using the toolbar.

 Google Sheets differentiate categories

Google Sheets differentiate categories

Step 7: Add appropriate columns for budget, actual, and the difference between budget and actual.

Step 8: Add months above your columns. If needed, insert rows above by right-clicking on the row numbers and choosing "Insert 1 row above".

Google Sheets insert rows or columns

Google Sheets insert rows or columns

Step 9: Use the “Merge” option in the toolbar to merge three cells for the month, making it visually appealing.

Google Sheets merge cells

Google Sheets merge cells

 Google Sheets cell alignment

Google Sheets cell alignment

Step 11: Set cell borders using the toolbar. Click on the “Border” icon and set borders according to your preference.

Google Sheets cell borders

Google Sheets cell borders

Step 12: Resize columns by selecting them and dragging the border. Place your cursor at the border, and when it changes, drag to adjust the column size.

Google Sheets resize columns

Google Sheets resize columns

Step 13: Copy cells using the shortcut "CTRL + C" to copy and "CTRL + P" to paste, rather than copying each cell individually.

Google Sheets copy cells or columns

Google Sheets copy cells or columns

Step 14: Make any other amendments as needed before finalizing the budget spreadsheet using the toolbar.

Step 15: To share your spreadsheet, click on "Share" at the top right corner. You can then share your budget spreadsheet with others.

Google Sheets share spreadsheet

Google Sheets share spreadsheet

This guide should help you create a basic and effective monthly budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Adjust the steps based on your specific needs and preferences.

Simple formulas to make budgeting more effective

A budget sheet without any functions would be incomplete, especially when Google Sheets allows users to use functions with ease. So, let's see how to make a finance spreadsheet in Google Sheets using simple functions:

SUM Function:

Step 1: Simply click on an empty cell or insert an equal sign.

Step 2: Type "sum", or suggestions for the sum function will appear below. Navigate to the simple sum function using the arrow keys on your keyboard, and then click on "Tab" to move forward.

Google Spreadsheet select sun function

Google Spreadsheet select sun function

Step 3: The sum function takes a single argument. Use your cursor to select the range of cells you want to sum, and then press “Enter” for the results.

Google Spreadsheet SUM Function

Google Spreadsheet SUM Function

AVERAGE Function:

Step 1: Go to an empty cell and, in a similar fashion, start the AVERAGE function with an equal sign.

Google Spreadsheet select sun function

Google Spreadsheet select sun function
Google Spreadsheet select sun function

Step 2: The AVERAGE function is also a single argument function. Simply select the range of cells, and press “Enter” for the results.

Google Spreadsheet select sun function

Google Spreadsheet select sun function

These functions enhance the functionality of your finance spreadsheet, allowing you to easily calculate the sum or average of specific ranges.

Templates to make budgeting more visual

If you need a fully personalized budget sheet for yourself, learning how to create one is for you. However, this method may not be ideal for everyone, meaning that not everyone may have the same requirements for columns, functions, and the overall appearance. In such cases, let's take the simpler route and learn how to use free Google budget templates.

Step 1: To access Google Sheet templates, simply go to the Google Sheets homepage.

Step 2: Now, you can find a few free templates under "Start a new spreadsheet". However, to view the whole template gallery, click on the "Arrow" keys beside "Template gallery".

Google Sheets template gallery

Google Sheets template gallery

Step 3: There are multiple budget templates available. We are selecting the "Monthly Budget" template by double-clicking on the template.

Google Sheets budget templates

Google Sheets budget templates

Step 4: A new spreadsheet with the monthly budget template will open in a new tab. Edit, personalize, and share your budget template with others.

Google Sheets Monthly budget template

Google Sheets Monthly budget template

Best Free Alternative to Google sheets

Google Sheets is a widely favored choice, offering the dual advantage of being cost-effective and delivering functionality similar to Microsoft. However, the emergence of WPS Office in the office suite domain is nothing short of a phoenix rise. Beyond remarkable collaboration features, WPS Office's spreadsheet tool distinguishes itself with extraordinary compatibility across operating systems—be it Linux, Windows, or Mac. This versatility extends to accommodating various file formats, significantly simplifying users' experiences. The icing on the cake is WPS Office's extensive template range, promising not just collaboration but a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for diverse office needs.

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FAQs

Q1. How do I create a monthly expense Spreadsheet?

To establish a monthly expense Spreadsheet, consider utilizing a template from Smartsheet, like the Monthly Expense Report Template tailored for Google Sheets. Downloadable from Smartsheet's official website, these templates offer customization options to align with specific requirements, offering a transparent assessment of financial standing across common categories. Utilizing Google Sheets's monthly budget template is beneficial for forecasting and tracking financial elements, facilitating the organization and presentation of a comprehensive budget overview, covering expenses, income, and operational costs.

Q2. How do I download a Google Spreadsheet?

To download a Google spreadsheet, follow the guide below:

Step 1: Open the desired Google spreadsheet you wish to download.

Step 2: Go to the File option in the menu and click on “Download” from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Opt for the preferred format for downloading the spreadsheet, such as Excel (.xlsx), PDF, or CSV.

Google Spreadsheet download spreadsheet

Google Spreadsheet download spreadsheet

The spreadsheet will be saved and downloaded to your computer.

Smart Budgeting With WPS Office

Mastering how to make a budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets lays a solid foundation for effective financial planning. Google Sheets offers a reliable platform with user-friendly features for crafting organized and efficient budget sheets. However, as we've explored, WPS Office presents an enticing alternative with additional perks like remarkable graphic representation and potential AI integration. For those intrigued by WPS Office's unique features, don't forget to download WPS Office and explore a new dimension in budgeting.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.