Living on your own can be a crazy ride, when you think you know something, life makes sure you realize you actually don’t. If you thought you could manage your money without much trouble only to figure out you were wrong, we’ve got your back. There are a few ways to keep track of your money, in my opinion, using a pivot table is the best one since it allows you to easily do so while sorting your expenses into categories.
What is a pivot table?
A pivot table is a statistics tool that allows you to reorganize and summarize a big amount of data to get a single report out of all of it. It is used for cases in which the amount of data available is way too big to keep track of by hand.
Why is a budget pivot table useful?
While it is possible to keep track of your money by hand, loading all of your expenses into a pivot table will not only allow you to know the exact amount of money you spent and how much you have remaining but to also divide the money you spend into categories which can be really helpful when looking to reduce expenses.
How do I make one?
There are a few steps to follow in order to create a budget pivot table, however, this is quite an easy task that will help you have better control over your money.
- Create a Google Form. After you’ve done this, create two questions that can be answered with a short answer. The first of these questions is “Item” and the second is “Price”. Lastly, add a “Category” question with a dropdown answer that includes all the categories in which your expenses are divided.
- Link the form to a Google Sheet. This is quite an easy task since there’s a button that allows you to do so without much trouble.
- Create an actual pivot table. Once you have your form linked to the spreadsheet, the next step is creating an actual pivot table. In order to do so you’re going to select the four columns created and click “Insert”→”Pivot table”.
- Fill it in. Once the pivot table is created, the next step is to fill it in in the editor. “Category” shall be added in the Rows field, “Price” in the Values one, and, lastly, “Day” in the Columns one.
- Create a pivot date group. Once the categories are all sorted out, the last step is to organize the data by month. All you need to do is select a cell containing a date, click on “Create pivot date group” and, lastly, choose to group it up by month.
- Start keeping track of your money! The pivot table will take the data you upload and divide it into the selected categories. By the end of the month, you will have a clear vision of where your money goes.
It is never too late to start managing your money to enjoy as much as you can with it. If this seems like too much work for you, don’t worry, we’ve already put together a pivot table for you! You can check it out here