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In this video, you will calculate the total cost of your monthly expenses using a spreadsheetformula.

A formula is a mathematical rule that is used to solve a problem.

Adding up a long list of numbers takes a long time.

A formula does that work for you and helps you avoid errors.

Formulas also update automatically when you enter new data.

This can be helpful when you are considering different options for reducing your expenses.

For example, what happens when you cut down on your entertainment expenses, but your car payment goes up?

Will the total cost balance out?

A formula will let you know.

A SUM function is a formula that adds up the values in cells.

To begin, select the cell two rows beneath the final entry in your cost column.

Enter the formula in this cell, so the total cost appears here.

Formulas in Google Sheets always begin with an equals sign.

Type the word sum.

As you type, a dropdown menu suggests different options.

Select SUM.

Next, select the cells you’d like to add up.

In this case, you’re adding the item costs in the range of cells from B2 to B18.

Close the parentheses to complete your formula, and press enter.

This is the total cost of your monthly expenses.

Nice job!

Now that you’ve calculated the total cost of your monthly expenses, move on to the next video to wrap up the lesson.

Now, it’s your turn.

Use the SUM function to calculate the total cost of your expenses.


  1. Use the SUM function to calculate the total cost of your expenses.