Q:

What should be included in an Excel budget worksheet?

A:

The base elements in an Excel budget worksheet include the income and amounts for the given payment interval, usually a month, as well as the expenses for the same period of time. The sheet may also include deductions for contributions to savings plans, investments or other recurring payments.

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The first step to building a budget worksheet in Excel is to compile a list of all the income sources for the person, household or organization and then the exact amount earned from each source each month. For income sources with a variable amount, it is best to use an estimation of the approximate amount skewing lower to avoid inflating the monthly income. After listing and labeling all income, find the sum of the earnings for each month by creating a formula adding all the cells in that section. The sum should appear directly below all the income sources in a row labeled Total.

Beneath this, make a list of all expenses for the month, such as utility bills, rent, health insurance premiums, car payments and grocery costs. Organize the expenses into groups of similar payments to track expense categories, and then find the sum as with the income. This section may also include areas for monthly deposits into a savings account, contributions to a retirement plan or similar costs that don't reduce the overall wealth.

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