2. Set Up a Budget and Estimate Costs

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In this video, you will begin filling in your budget sheet so you can use it to track financial information for your project.

To start, add column headings so you can list project budget line items and compare estimated costs to actual expenses.

Make your headings bold.

Next, add 1 line item in each row in the Items column.

These are things that must be accounted for to complete your project successfully.

Fill in line items from your own real or imagined project.

Or, use the community park project shown in this video to fill out your spreadsheet and practice budgeting.

Project line items include direct costs.

Direct costs are tangible goods associated with the project you are managing.

Indirect costs are items such as advertising, consulting fees, insurance, and utilities.

These are costs that might not be directly accountable to a particular project or facility but still need to be considered in your budget.

These are often intangible goods.

Keep in mind that your budget spreadsheet will grow as your project progresses, so include items in a lot of different categories to get a more holistic view of your budget.

Widen column A to fit more text...

...or wrap the text so it fits in the cell.

Freeze the column headings and the column containing your line items.

Next, fill in the estimated costs of your line items.

Estimating costs is an important project management task.

An estimate gives you an idea of the total you will spend on each part of your project and helps you create a realistic budget.

To estimate project costs, you might conduct a Google search using terms that relate to a specific item or task.

Scroll through the search results to find websites or documents that include cost information about similar items or projects.

Narrow the search by typing in more specific terms about the line items in your budget.

You might receive cost estimates from vendors and contractors.

Or, your company might have an existing cost sheet.

This is just an example, so accurate costs aren’t important.

Just be sure that you have cost estimates entered for all of the line items on your sheet.

Finally, format the numbers in the estimated costs column as currency.

Nice work! This is a great start to a budget.

In the next video, you will use data validation to create a category list for budget items.


  1. Add column headings.
  2. Add a list of budget line items.
  3. Freeze the first row and column.
  4. Fill in estimated costs.