Learn Easy Steps: Create a Budget

Learn: Easy Steps

Activity Card: Create a Budget

How will you ensure that your expenses do not exceed what you planned to invest or spend? You can create a budget to plan your expenditures and earnings. As a family, you can plan an expenditure budget for a holiday trip. For a business, you can make a budget for a business trip, to calculate the start-up costs of a new project, or to provide an estimate of profits and expenditures.

Look at the following example:

As in the example above, a Budget created on the computer typically has:

  • A worksheet with Information about the items
  • Sum functions
  • A pie chart that shows the relationship of each item’s expenses to the grand total

Steps to Create a Budget

Type Headings on Your Worksheet

  1. Start the spreadsheet tool, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, and open a new, blank worksheet.
  2. Type a worksheet title in cell A1. Change the column widths or merge cells as needed.
  3. Type “Costs” in cell A3. Then, in the cells directly below, type the items for expense. Make sure you put each item in a different cell. Change the column widths or merge cells as needed
  4. Type “Day 1” in cell B3, “Day 2” in cell C3, “Day 3” in cell D3.
  5. Save your work. Make sure you save your work after every couple of steps you complete.

Type Estimated Expenses

  1. In the cells below the column headings, type the amount of money that a person could expect to spend each day on the items you typed in Column A. Make sure you type this information in the correct cells.
  2. Save your work.

Show Numbers as Currency

  1. Format the numbers in columns B, C, D, and E so they look like money or currency.
  2. Save your work.

Insert Formulas

  1. In cell E3, type “Subtotal.” Then, in the cell below, insert a Sum function to add the Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 costs for the first item in your list.
  2. Fill the Sum function down so there is a subtotal for each cost in column A.
  3. Click the empty cell two rows below the last cost amount in column D. Type the words “Grand Total,” and change the column width as needed.
  4. In the empty column E cell to the right, insert a Sum function that totals all of the item subtotals in the final column. This is the total amount of money that one person can plan on spending while visiting another town for three days.
  5. Save your work.

Change the Look of the Worksheet

  1. Change the look of information however you wish. You might want to make the worksheet title, the column labels, the cost names and the grand total information stand out.
  2. Try different alignment options to see which one makes the information look good. If needed, make the columns wider.
  3. Save your work.

Insert a Pie Chart

  1. Select the cost names in column A, hold down the Control key, and then select the subtotal costs in column E. Then, insert a pie chart to show the relationship of each type of cost to the grand total. Be certain to title your chart and add the values as data labels. When you are done, save the chart as a new sheet.
  2. Save your work.

Budget Challenge (Optional)

  1. Select all of the rows containing information (from row 3 to the grand total row). Change the look of the table by applying an AutoFormat. Change the look of the words and numbers in the chart. You can also change the colors of the different pie slices. Note: When applying the AutoFormat, avoid selecting the top row containing the worksheet title. Explore a few Auto Formats before picking the one you want to use.
  2. Save your work.

Review Your Work

Look over your budget worksheet. Make sure it has the following elements:

  • A worksheet with information about your items
  • Sum functions
  • A pie chart that shows the relationship of each item’s expenses to the grand total

If any elements are missing, add them to the worksheet now. You should also make other desired changes. Remember to save your work when you are finished.

Optional: Print Your Budget Worksheet

  1. Preview your budget worksheet before you print it. Set up the document so it prints sideways (landscape).
  2. Print your budget worksheet.
  3. To print more than one copy, click the up arrow in the Number of copies list. Note: By default, the number of copies to be printed is 1. Just click on the up arrow to print more than one copy. Click on the down arrow to print fewer copies.
  4. Click OK or click Print.

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