Calculate Expense by Category

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In this video, you will calculate the total cost of your expense categories using a spreadsheet formula.

Calculating the cost of each category makes it easier to identify what you are spending your money on and how you could cut costs.

To calculate category totals, you will list your categories in a spreadsheet table and use a formula to add the items in each category.

To begin, open your spreadsheet.

Your spreadsheet is automatically saved in Google Drive, and you can come back to it anytime.

Make a table that lists your expense categories.

For this lesson, limit your list to two categories with multiple items, such as Car and Child Care.

Put your list in the space below your expenses in column A.

Calculate the total cost of each category.

To do this, you could go through the spreadsheet and manually select all of the cells with Car costs and add them, then the cells with Child Care costs and add them, and so on.

But what happens if you miss something or make a mathematical error?

Or if you just have a lot of expenses to get through?

A formula helps with this.

The SUMIF function is a conditional formula.

That means it will add up all of the values IF they meet a certain condition -- in this case, if they belong to a certain category.

Use SUMIF to add the items in each category.

In the cell next to Car in the spreadsheet table, type Equals SUMIF, or select SUMIF when the autofill menu appears.

SUMIF requires three pieces of information, each separated by commas.

The first is the cell range that contains your categories.

Select this range to enter it as the first part of the formula.

Next, enter the category that you want to add, in this case, Car.

Put Car in quotation marks.

Remember the comma.

Finally, enter the range of cells with the values you want to add.

This is your cost column, as you want to find the total cost of the car category.

Press enter.

The spreadsheet automatically adds all of the expenses labeled Car.

Repeat the same steps to calculate each category.

Calculating the total cost of each category allows you to compare them and find areas in your budget where you could spend less and save more.

Now, it’s your turn. List your categories in a table, and use the SUMIF function to calculate the total cost of each category.

Choose an extension
Track More Monthly Expenses by Adding Sheets

Students add a sheet to their spreadsheet to extend their budget from month to month.

Sort Your Expense Data

Students use data sorting to reorganize their expenses.

Use Data Validation to Create a Drop-Down Menu

Students use data validation to organize their expense categories in a dropdown menu.

Calculate Your Monthly Savings Balance

Students use a spreadsheet formula to calculate their monthly balance.

Calculate Expense by Category

Students use a spreadsheet formula to calculate the total cost of each of their expense categories.

Highlight Data with Conditional Formatting

Students use conditional formatting to highlight selected parts of their expense data.


Choose one of the extension videos below to learn additional skills and continue working on the project started in the main lesson.