In honor of Spreadsheet Day, 2011, I’ve prepared a workbook where a person with minimal knowledge of Excel can enter amounts they actually earned and spent, enter a budget for a month, and have Excel automatically show them a comparison of actual amounts versus budget amounts as well as show actual trends. Please see the article written by Debra Dalgleish of Contextures at both Excel Student Budget: Spreadsheet Day 2011 and in her Pivot-Table blog. (From my perspective, Debra has the best Excel website on the planet!) Please post any questions you may have here and I’ll answer them promptly. I’d also love to hear any suggestions you have to make it better.
Click this link to download a free version of the Actuals and Budget Excel 2007 workbook (zipped, no macros).
If you’ve never prepared a budget before, just record your actual amounts for three or four months, then look for trends in the PivotTable in the sheet named “Actuals by Month.” Hopefully, you’ll then be better able to prepare a budget.