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Making a budget can help you keep track of where your money goes, and help you set goals to get more out of your money. Excel is a great way to do this. Excel is an awesome program for personal budgeting. When you create your own budget yourself you can customize it to meet your own needs and circumstances exactly. This article starts from the very beginning for those who have never made a spreadsheet before. If you don’t have Excel, there are free alternatives (Open Office or Google docs) which are pretty similar. 1. Start a new document, give it a heading and type in the months along the next row starting at B2. tip: if you type in January and click on the small black box in the bottom right hand corner of your cell B2 (your cursor will change to a black cross hair as you hover over it) and drag it across, it will fill in the rest of the months for you without you having to type them).

2. After December, type the headings Total and Monthly Average.

4. Skip a row and type the heading Expenses in A10 and list all expense categories followed by a Total row.

I’ve just typed in a few basic categories for the sake of example. Type in as many categories as are relevant to you. You may prefer to set out more specific expense categories like this:

5. Double click the line between each column to automatically adjust the columns to fit the content.

3. In A3 type the heading Income and list below all streams of income followed by a Total row.

For the Monthly Average heading, click in the cell and select wrap text. This should automatically adjust the height of row 2, but if it doesn’t, click and drag the line between row 2 and 3 to adjust the height to fit the heading. Select the cells January to Monthly Average (when selecting cells, your cursor should look like a white cross) and center them vertically and horizontally.

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