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# How To Make A Budget On Excel

By: W Roberts

Break Studios Contributing Writer

Knowing how to make a budget on Excel is a crucial part of staying out of debt. Paying more than one bill a month can become very confusing if you don't have a way to keep track of due dates and account balances. Can you afford that vacation trip in six months? By using Excel to create a year long budget, you will know the answer.

To make a budget on Excel you need:

• Excel (or other spreadsheet program)
• List of monthly bills
• List of income
1. To make a budget on Excel, organize your bills. In the Excel spreadsheet make a list on each row for each bill. For example, Electric, Food, Gas, Mortgage/Rent, Insurance, Cable, Phone.
2. At the bottom of the list add a line for income. If you have multiple income streams you can add them individually.
3. After the income row add a row for total. This will be the total amount you have in cash at the end of the pay period.
4. Label dates on a row above the budget items based on your income payment dates. This is easier if you just have one pay check.  If you are paid every two weeks then starting with your next paycheck date go across and label for every two weeks.
5. Fill in the budget with repeating bills. You can either create a section above or below the area and code in what each item costs and refer to that inside the budget area, or you can just manually enter each item and cut and paste across. Enter the bills as a negative number.
6. Fill in your income. Enter this number as a positive number on each pay period.
7. In the total row for the first date use the sum command to add up the column. This first column is different in that you have to deal with any starting amount you have in cash before the listed pay date.
8. In the remaining total row cells, sum the column above and add on the total from the previous week to get your current total cash. Copy this formula all the way across.

This Excel spreadsheet will keep you on a budget and show you when you are going to be low on cash on any given pay period. Knowing where your low points will be helps you plan ahead to either cut some costs or find additional income or maybe have a garage sale to help you budget if making a budget on Excel is not enough to keep you from over spending or from saving.

Posted on: May. 04, 2010