How to Track Expenses in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tracking expenses in Google Sheets is a simple and effective way to keep a handle on your finances. By setting up a spreadsheet in Google Sheets, you can easily input and categorize your expenses, set budgets, and see where your money is going at a glance. In just a few steps, you’ll have a personalized expense tracker that can help you stay on top of your financial game.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Track Expenses in Google Sheets

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of expense tracking, let’s talk about what you’ll achieve by following these steps. You’ll create a customized spreadsheet where you can record and categorize your expenses. This will give you a clear overview of your spending habits and help you make informed financial decisions.

Step 1: Open Google Sheets and Create a New Spreadsheet

Start by opening Google Sheets and creating a new, blank spreadsheet.

When you open Google Sheets, you’ll see a green "+" button that says "Blank" below it. Click on this to open a new spreadsheet. You can give it a name that’s easy to remember, like "2021 Expenses" or "Monthly Budget Tracker."

Step 2: Set Up Your Expense Categories

Create a list of expense categories that fit your spending habits.

Think about the different areas where you spend money, such as groceries, utilities, rent, or entertainment. Set up a column for each category in your spreadsheet. This will help you organize your expenses and make it easier to see where your money is going.

Step 3: Input Your Expenses as They Occur

Regularly input your expenses into the appropriate categories in your spreadsheet.

Every time you make a purchase or pay a bill, add it to your spreadsheet under the right category. Be sure to include the date, the amount spent, and a brief description. This will keep your expense tracker up-to-date and accurate.

Step 4: Use Formulas to Calculate Totals

Use simple formulas in Google Sheets to calculate the total expenses for each category and overall.

In Google Sheets, you can use formulas like "=SUM(B2:B10)" to add up all the expenses in a category. You can also use these formulas to calculate your total expenses for a set period, like a month or a year.

Step 5: Analyze Your Spending Patterns

Look at the data in your expense tracker to identify spending patterns and potential areas for saving.

By tracking your expenses, you can easily see if you’re spending too much in a specific category or if there are areas where you can cut back. This analysis will help you make better financial decisions and stick to your budget.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a functional expense tracker that you can use to monitor your spending and make informed financial choices. You’ll be able to see your financial habits at a glance and adjust your budget as needed.

Tips for Tracking Expenses in Google Sheets

  • Use color coding to differentiate between categories or to highlight overspending.
  • Set up automatic date stamps to ensure you don’t forget when an expense occurred.
  • Create a separate tab for each month or year to keep your spreadsheet organized.
  • Use the "Comments" feature in Google Sheets to note any specific details about an expense.
  • Regularly back up your expense tracker to avoid losing any important data.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I share my expense tracker with someone else?

You can share your Google Sheets expense tracker by clicking on the "Share" button in the top right corner and entering the email address of the person you want to share it with.

Can I access my expense tracker from my phone?

Yes, you can access your Google Sheets expense tracker from your phone by downloading the Google Sheets app.

What should I do if I have irregular income?

If you have irregular income, you can still use an expense tracker. Just be sure to update your income in the spreadsheet as it comes in, so you can accurately track your spending against it.

How often should I update my expense tracker?

You should update your expense tracker as often as possible, ideally every time you incur an expense. This will keep your tracker accurate and useful.

Can I use Google Sheets to set up a budget?

Yes, you can use Google Sheets to set up a budget by creating a separate tab or column for your budgeted amounts and comparing them to your actual expenses.


  1. Open Google Sheets and create a new spreadsheet.
  2. Set up your expense categories.
  3. Input your expenses as they occur.
  4. Use formulas to calculate totals.
  5. Analyze your spending patterns.


Tracking expenses in Google Sheets is a smart way to get a handle on your finances. With the step-by-step tutorial above, you can set up a personalized expense tracker that suits your needs. Remember, the key to successful expense tracking is consistency and regular updates. By diligently recording your expenses, you’ll gain valuable insight into your spending habits, identify potential savings, and take control of your financial future. So why wait? Get started on your expense tracker today and take the first step towards financial savvy!