Automated Excel Expense Categorization

This prompt aims to help users create an Excel system to automatically classify and sum expenses based on predefined categories.

Prompt Text

How can I set up Excel to automatically categorize my monthly expenses into predefined categories, and calculate the total for each category? Please provide formulas and examples.

Example Response from AI

To automatically categorize your monthly expenses in Excel and calculate the total for each category, follow these steps: Step 1: Set up your Excel spreadsheet Create a table with the following column headers: Date, Description, Amount, and Category. Enter your expenses in the corresponding rows under each column. For example: ``` | Date | Description | Amount | Category | ---------------------------------------------------------- | 01/01/2021 | Grocery Shopping | $50 | | | 01/05/2021 | Gasoline | $30 | | | 01/10/2021 | Dining Out | $40 | | | 01/15/2021 | Grocery Shopping | $70 | | | 01/20/2021 | Utility Bill | $100 | | ``` Step 2: Create a category list Create a separate table with two columns: Category and Total. List all your predefined expense categories in the Category column, and leave the Total column blank. For example: ``` | Category | Total | ------------------------------- | Grocery | | | Gasoline | | | Dining Out | | | Utility Bill | | ``` Step 3: Apply formulas to categorize and calculate totals In the "Category" column of your expense tracking table, use the VLOOKUP function to automatically categorize each expense based on the description. In the "Total" column of your category list table, use the SUMIF function to calculate the total for each category. In the Category column of your expense tracking table, use the following formula in cell D2 (assuming your expense table starts from cell A2): ``` =VLOOKUP(B2, Categories!$A$2:$B$5, 2, FALSE) ``` This formula will look up the Description (cell B2) in the Category list table named "Categories" (change it to match your table name) and retrieve the corresponding category. Drag this formula down to apply it to all expense entries. In the Total column of your category list table, use the following formula in cell B2 (assuming your category list table starts from B2): ``` =SUMIF(Expenses!$D$2:$D$6, A2, Expenses!$C$2:$C$6) ``` This formula will sum all the Amounts (column C) from the Expenses table (named "Expenses," change it to match your table name) where the Category matches the current category in cell A2. Drag this formula down to apply it to all categories. Step 4: Format the cells as currency (optional) To format the "Total" column as currency, select the cells and choose the currency format from the toolbar. Your table should now automatically categorize expenses and calculate the totals for each category, like this: ``` | Date | Description | Amount | Category | ------------------------------------------------------------- | 01/01/2021 | Grocery Shopping | $50 | Grocery | | 01/05/2021 | Gasoline | $30 | Gasoline | | 01/10/2021 | Dining Out | $40 | Dining Out | | 01/15/2021 | Grocery Shopping | $70 | Grocery | | 01/20/2021 | Utility Bill | $100 | Utility Bill| ``` ``` | Category | Total | ------------------------------- | Grocery | $120 | | Gasoline | $30 | | Dining Out | $40 | | Utility Bill | $100 | ``` By following these steps, you can track and categorize your expenses automatically in Excel.

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