How to Make a Google Sheets Expense Tracker (in 5 Easy Steps)

Calculator, Calculation, Insurance, Finance, Accounting

{Ditch the calculator and pen and keep track of your expenses with Google Sheets}

Do you have a hard time keeping track of your expenses? Do you know what categories each expense falls into, and how much you are spending in each category? It can be difficult to keep track of your expenses, especially if they vary from month to month or even day by day. 

In this article, we will talk about why creating a Google Sheets Expense Tracker can help keep your budget on track. We’ll also discuss the steps to create one from scratch in just 5 easy steps!

Why Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is an easy-to-use, user-friendly spreadsheet application that you can access via any computer or mobile device with internet connectivity. 

With Google Sheets, anyone has the potential to become a financial wizard; without having to spend money on expensive, complicated software. By using Google sheets as an Expense or payment Tracker, you are provided with the user-friendly tools to make your budgeting and tracking a breeze.

Pros of using Google Sheets

  • Free to create and use. You can save it on your computer or even in the cloud so that you’ll never lose your data again! Plus, since everyone has access to a computer and internet connection these days, there’s no need for complicated software downloads: just open up a browser and go directly to the Google Sheets website.
  • Can be accessed from any computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access. This means you’ll always have your budget at hand and won’t need to won’t need to worry about losing your valuable financial data.
  • User-friendly budgeting features. No advanced knowledge is required in order to successfully navigate the program. If you can create a spreadsheet or type on a computer, then you can easily manage your expenses with Google Sheets.
  • You can create multiple users (for example, if you have a spouse or partner) and share the budget sheet with them, allowing both parties to access the file at any time. You can also choose whether or not they are able to make changes in order to help your financial situation stay secure.
  • There are many Google Sheets templates (including an expense tracker) available online that range from simple to more complicated sheets. If you’re not very tech-savvy, you can download a pre-built template and use it as your base to build from.

Cons of using Google Sheets:

  • Google Sheets is an online spreadsheet, which means you’ll need to have access to the internet throughout your work. If you’re working somewhere where there’s unreliable wifi or cellular data service available, then this may not be for you!
  • There are some formatting issues with Google Sheets. You may not be able to edit or access certain tools for custom formatting, adding different fonts and text sizes, etc.

How do I make a Google Sheets expense tracker?

Step One: Create your spreadsheet by either downloading an existing template or making your own. Even if you’ve never worked with Google Sheets before, it’s very easy to make a spreadsheet from scratch! 

With Google Sheets you can:

  • Find a template that suits your needs or design your own
  • Add as many rows and columns as you need, with as much data as you want
  • Save time inputting information by automating formulas

Step Two: Add in the columns that you’ll need. These would include:

  • Date – Each time the transaction is inputted, it will be recorded by date so that you can keep track of how often and when expenses are made. It’s important to note whether or not these transactions were one-time occurrences (like a birthday gift) or if they’re something that happens regularly (like a monthly gym membership).
  • Category – Write out the category of spending that you’re tracking and keep it as general as possible. For example, if you go to Starbucks every morning before work, then this can be categorized under “Morning Coffee” or even just “Coffee”. If there’s something specific like baby formula or coffee beans, then these can be categorized as “Groceries”.
  • Amount – Next to the category of each expense will be the amount that was spent. If you’re keeping track of your budget by month, write in an average monthly number here; if it’s a one-time purchase, just input the exact value.
  • Account – If you have a debit or credit card, then this would be the name of that account. This way when it comes time to review your expenses and see where money is going, you’ll know exactly what’s being spent on groceries vs. clothes etc.

Organizing your Google Sheets Expense Tracker this way:

Step Three: Decide how often transactions will be entered into Google Sheets (this would be the same as how often you want to check back on your expenses). 

This can either be daily, weekly, monthly, or even just quarterly. (We recommend inputting transactions weekly, to avoid overwhelm) 

Updating your Google Sheets Expense Tracker regularly:

  • Empowers you to control how often you see their expenses
  • Gives you a better understanding of how your finances are going
  • Simplifies the process of inputting transaction information

Step Four: Automate the calculations with Google Sheets formulas. 

This is the part that will save you a lot of time and energy! No more manual inputting or copying and pasting, Google Sheets has formulas built in so that every transaction automatically inputs into your spreadsheet according to custom dates and categories.

Simply put, automating calculations with Google Sheets formulas:

  • Auto calculates totals so you don’t have to calculate time and energy 
  • Saves hours and hours of tedious paper and pen calculations
  • Saves time in relation to manual data entry

Step Five: Determine your monthly budget and enter it into Google Sheets! In order to keep track of your expenses more easily, it’s a good idea to create an average monthly budget. This way you’ll know how much money is coming in and going out without having to calculate each individual transaction. 

Keep this number somewhere visible so that it’s easy to check in on and make sure you’re staying within your financial goals!

Your Google Sheets Expense Tracker helps you:

  • Create a budget and stick to it
  • Reduce financial anxiety by knowing what you can afford
  • Stop overspending

What you can expect from this tracker?

Once you have your Google Sheets Expense Tracker set up, all there’s left to do is to keep track of your expenses! This is a lot easier than keeping track of everything by hand, and it’s even simpler when you auto calculate using Google Sheets built-in formulas. 

You’ll always know how much money you’re spending in each category, making it easy to stick within your budget at the end of each week/month/quarter! 

This will help you save time and energy by having all of your expense information in one place. Google Sheets is easy to use and can save you a lot of time when it comes to finances! This is a great tool for people who want something simple, yet effective.

Five key features of a google sheets expense tracker are:

  • It helps you calculate your budget
  • Keeps track of all your expenses in one place
  • It’s easy to use and shareable across multiple accounts (like a family)
  • It saves time and energy by automating everything
  • You can access it from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection (phone, computer, or tablet)

Using Google Forms While Creating a Google Sheets Expense Tracker

Another way to add expenses into a spreadsheet is by using Google Forms. With Google Forms, you can ask a specific question for each expense and have your answers sent directly into the spreadsheet.

Using Google Forms to Export Surveys and Quizzes to Your Google Sheets Expense Tracker 

Google Forms can be a great way to collect information from multiple users at once. Instead of asking people for each expense one by one, you can have them answer on the same form and then export all their responses into Google Sheets as expenses!

What are Google Forms?

Google Forms is a tool that allows you to create surveys and quizzes. You can use it as an alternative way of adding expenses into your Google Sheets expense tracker!

How do I make one?

Creating a Google Form is very straightforward. Once you’ve logged in, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and look at the “Start a new form” section at the top of the page. You can choose a black form or a pre-built template. 
  2. Name your Google Form by typing in a title under “Untitled Form”.
  3. Now that you’ve created your first form, it’s time to set up your questions!
  4. You can either choose a pre-existing question or create one from scratch using Google Forms’ built-in options.
  5. Click on “Question types” to see all of the available options you have for specific question types!
  6. Now that you have a Google Form set up with different questions, you can send the form link to whoever you’re working with (users, parents, etc.) to fill out!
  7. When they click on the link in their email or browser window, that person will see your questions and be able to input answers. Once all of that information is collected into one place by Google Forms, it can automatically export the response to a Google Sheet

Why should I use a Google Form with my Google Sheets Expense Tracker?

Google Forms can be a great alternative to having family members type in responses one by one. Instead of asking everyone for their expenses, you can have them answer on the same form and then export all of those results into Google Sheets as expenses!

With the combination of these tools, you can make the process of tracking your expenses easier than ever before. These are great ways to stay on top of where all your money is going, and will help you decrease spending in certain areas if needed!

It’s easy to overspend but it doesn’t have to be

With some discipline and organization, you can reduce your financial anxiety so that more of your budget goes towards what’s important to you. Want more help? 

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