Financial experts recommend creating a budget in order to track your finances. However, many people seem to avoid this process saying it’s tedious and difficult.
But not with a spreadsheet software on your side. If you’ve never used such software before, you better buckle up because this article will take you through 5 simple steps to create a budget using a spreadsheet.
1. Select a Preferred Software
First things first. You must choose a preferred software capable of creating spreadsheet files. One of the most common software is the longstanding Microsoft Excel from the Microsoft Office suite. You can get this for both Mac and Windows. In addition, you can also download iOS and Android apps.
If you don’t have a smartphone or a computer, then you can access the software via a web browser. Other spreadsheet programs in the market include Google Sheets also available on all platforms. You can also opt for LibreOffice, Calc and Apache OpenOffice programs.
2. Choose a Template
These programs have been in the market for the longest time, thus the developers know what the consumers want. Since they want more sales, they’ll include these needs and some include templates for various purposes.
In this case, you want to create a personal budget. Therefore, go ahead and start your preferred program and navigate to the templates section. In there, search for the appropriate template to fit your personal budget needs.
This template will have the formulas and designs associated with budgeting already formatted. All you have to do is input the number and the computer will do the math for you.
3. Enter the Numbers
After opening the software, you’ll see various boxes also called cells which is where you’ll enter your numbers. The numbers in question include statements, bills, pay stubs and other types of expenses and income for the month.
Further, you need to input the information describing these numbers. This includes health insurance, taxes and savings. Don’t forget to include monthly expenses such as gas, mortgage, power and water bills, credit cards and other forms of expenses.
4. Analyze Your Results
After entering your numbers in the different categories, it’s time to analyze the results. You’ll come across two items. First, there’s the line-by-line accounting which analyzes your finances for the entire month.
Second, you’ll see the added totals of the expenses and the income columns. This allows you to see and analyze your cash flow. In some templates, you can develop graphics such as bar graphs and pie charts for visual presentation common with corporates.
Note the entire time you don’t have to use any sophisticated text functions or any other formulas. Everything is built-in to ease the process.
5. Elevate Your Status
By now, you’re a pro at using this software. If you feel you want more than simple calculations, you can move on to more specialized apps. Such apps provide spending trends, money tips and financial coaching among others.
There you have it. Five simple steps you can follow to create your own personal budget. Now budgeting doesn’t have to be difficult, does it?