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# How to Create a Budget Using Excel

By: Sharyl Stockstill

Break Studios Contributing Writer

Need to know how to create a budget using Excel? Budgeting is an essential skill every man must have, and Excel just makes mastering that skill an easier process. The spreadsheet format is the perfect tool to create a budget with.

1. Identify your income. By using Excel to create your budget, you can divide the columns of the sheet into different pay periods. For example, if you are paid weekly, you should have your budget divided into four columns to represent the four pay periods in the month. If you receive income only once a month, then one column will be all that is required to create a budget using Excel
2. Identify your recurring expenses: Your recurring expenses are your housing, utilities, car payment. These will have to be paid every month. List them down the left hand side of the Excel spread sheet.  Type in the name of the bill first, and in the cell next to it, type in the amount to be paid. If you have a car payment, you can choose to list the balance of the payment in the third column.  This way you can watch your balances come down. Just remember, interest will be a part of the payment, so if you pay \$100 on a loan, that does not mean your balance goes down a full \$100. You will have to check the balances online or on your monthly statement to get the exact amount each month.
3. Identify your variable expenses.  Below the recurring expenses, you can list your variable expenses. This could money for entertainment, eating out, or clothes.  This is where any extra money in your budget can be used, and, if you are having a short month, where money will come out of in your budget.  If you need \$10 to pay your phone bill, then it will have to come out of the \$30 budget for coffee.

By spreading out when your income is and matching it up with when bills are due, you can create a budget using Excel.

Formulas can automate your budget using Excel. You can also change the color on a row when you pay it. This can help you keep track of what is paid and what you still have to pay when you create a budget using excel.

Posted on: Mar. 10, 2010