Excel is a powerful tool that can help you manage your money. But how do you make the most of its features? And what are some tips and tricks to get the most out of it? This guide will teach you how to create budgets in Excel, including how to track expenses, forecast future income and more. So whether you’re looking to save up for a new car or just want a better understanding of your spending habits, we’ve got you covered.
How to Create a Project Budget in Excel
Generally, a project budget template contains all of the financial information about your project. It provides you with an estimation of all your relevant expenses. It’s always recommended for you to regularly monitor your project budget spreadsheet to make the most of it.
The creation of a project management budget template is an integral aspect of the planning stage of your project management process. Here are the steps to follow in creating your own project budget template:
- Identify the scope of your project
Before making an estimate of the costs of your project, you should first establish its scope. The best way to do this is to create a Work Breakdown Structure. With this, you can capture all of the work involved in delivering your project at a very detailed level. From there, it becomes much easier to assess your project’s resource requirements.
- Define the resources you need
This step entails determining the resources that you need to complete your project. These may include:
This is usually the most expensive cost for your project. Depending on the scope, you may need more team members for your workforce. You need to compute the salaries of each team member and include these numbers in your budget.
This expense can come in the form of machines like an excavator or a payloader for a construction project. It can also come in the form of addition of tools like software for project management. Include all of these in your template too.
Sales and Marketing
The nature of your project may involve marketing and sales costs although some don’t include these. If your project does, make sure to factor in the appropriate expenses.
In most projects, you will usually introduce a degree of organizational change management. Such change requires training and the more expensive the change, the greater your training investment will be.
There are other project considerations dependent on the specific needs of your project. For instance, if you need to travel for your project, you must include travel expenses as part of your budget. If you need the services of an outside company, you must include their fees. Things like these are part of your miscellaneous items.
- Assign estimated amounts
Now that you have identified your project’s resource needs, you can start to assign estimated amounts. Review your list of resources and start coming up with an evaluation for each of them.
Sometimes, it can be a challenge to determine exact dollar amounts. This is where research plays an important role. Research historical budgets for similar projects in the past. You can research online or talk with the members of your team who have some experience or insight into this aspect.
There may be some resources where you need to model out the costs. This is especially true for staffing, where employee salaries may vary from one person to another. As a result, it becomes more effective to create a model in a spreadsheet to estimate your staffing costs across your project’s timeframe using average industry or salary norms for the staff positions.
- Create your budget
After listing down the resources you need for your project and assigned values to them, you now have your estimate. Always remember to include a contingency fund as part of your budget.
The next step is to compile the estimates in a spreadsheet or whatever tool your company uses for this purpose. If your company uses spreadsheets, it will be a good idea to group the related items together first.
While in the process of building your project budget, you have to consider any assumptions that you made while coming up with your estimated figures. This is vital because as soon as your project starts, some of your assumptions might hold true while others won’t. This could lead to actual project spending or diverging from your budget. By noting these assumptions, you will have a better understanding of why your budget didn’t reflect reality.
Additionally, you also have to include a timeline if your budget spans a specific time period – usually over one month. This allows you to clearly identify any recurring costs in your budget. It will also help if you can identify the timings when certain costs arise.
When you have finally completed your budget, then the next thing to do is to review this with your team members and get feedback. It becomes a lot easier and faster to identify missing items or confirm the accuracy of your estimated amounts if there are several sets of eyes reviewing your document. This will avoid any budget mistakes before you submit the template for approval.
- Have your budget approved before implementing it
Make sure you’re well prepared to justify the amounts and items when you present your project budget to your stakeholders or other business leaders. It is during this time that you need to highlight key assumptions and other justifications like your staffing model.
After your budget gets approved, it will be the responsibility of the project manager to oversee it. It’s recommended that your project manager uses project management software to keep track of costs. That way, when members of the team start to get delayed on deliverables or other delays arise, you will know how these affect your budget.
How to Save Money by using Excel.
One of the most important ways to save money in Excel is by using the excel budgeting tools. These tools allow you to create a budget, track expenses and make adjustments easily.
To use the excel budgeting tools, open up your workbook and follow these simple steps:
1. Choose File => New Workbook.
2. Enter a name for your new workbook and click OK.
3. In the resulting window, enter some basic information about your business such as your name and contact information.
4. Click on the Add button to add some data to your workbook.
5. In this example, we are adding expenses for our business into our Excel workbook. We will be using VBA ( Visual Basic Editor) to do this so we need to select it from the File menu when we start our spreadsheet program.
6. After adding the expenses, click on the Close button to close everything in our new workbook and return to our original document folder where we left off before opening up our spreadsheet program again.
7. To save money by using Excel, follow these simple steps:
1. Choose File => Save As and select the file you want to save your money to.
2. Click on the Save button to create a new Excel document and save your money!
How to Cut Costs with Excel.
In order to cut costs with Excel, there are a few basic tips that you must follow. One of the most important tips is to keep track of your expenses and use Excel’s budgeting features to help you stay on track. Another important thing to remember when cutting costs with Excel is to make sure you factor in everyone’s needs when calculating expenses. This means including both your own expenses and those of your loved ones when creating an overall budget. Finally, be sure not to forget about time-saving tips such as using spreadsheets or templates to help organize your data and make tracking expenses easier.
How to Reduce Your Time to Save Money
One of the best ways to save money while traveling is by reducing your travel time as much as possible. By planning your trip well in advance, taking advantage of discounted airfare or hotels, and saving up for cars or appliances, you can shave months off your travel time without any real effort. Additionally, using Excel’s “time unavailable” feature can help you estimate how long it will take you to complete a task or do something based on the current date and time. Finally, consider using common sense when calculating travel costs – for example, estimating what type of food or drink we would need during our trip instead of trying to calculate every single item separately.
Project Budget Templates
The importance of a project budget template
Projects consist of several tasks and the completion of all these will result in the overall completion. For this, you need the necessary resources like hiring a team, possible contractors, and any other items that you need to pay for. You will include all of these in your project budget template.
You create your project management budget template at the early stages of your project. You must make an estimate of the costs while trying to be as accurate as possible to prepare the allocated funds. Make sure that you don’t go over your budget this places your whole project at risk.
Because of the uncertainties that a project could face, it is quite difficult to create a project costing template. Fortunately today, you can download templates or use applications like Excel spreadsheets to gain firmer ground to create your financial structure. Some of the costs involved in projects are much easier to gather like:
- Consultant fees
- Raw materials
- Software licenses
There are also some costs that might change or get carried over from one project to another like:
- General administration
- Telephone charges
- Office equipment
- Office space
- Company insurance
How to Create a Construction Budget Template in Excel
- Access the Bathroom remodel cost calculator for Excel. You’ll need to log in or create a free Microsoft account to get started.
- Click the ‘Open in browser’ button to get started.
- We’re going to begin by adding a new sheet and naming it “Inputs”.
- Next, in cell ‘A1’ type “Cost Categories” and in cell ‘B1’ type “Line Items”. Fill in each of these columns with the individual categories and items relevant to your company and projects.
- Now, navigate back to the first tab to start modifying the budget worksheet beginning by clicking on cell ‘B5’ and opening the data menu to select data validation.
- With the data validation window open, select “list” from the ‘Allow’ dropdown, click in the ‘source’ input and navigate to your inputs tab. Next, highlight the first category in your Cost Category list and drag to highlight all of the categories below.
- Back on the budget worksheet tab, click on bottom right corner of cell ‘B5’ and drag it down to cell ‘B20’.
- To finalize this modification, click on cell B4 and rename it “Cost Category”.
- Starting in cell C5 repeat steps 5 through 8 to create a line item column. Your construction budget worksheet should now look similar to the image below.
- Next, we’re going to delete some of the unnecessary rows and columns.
- Highlight and delete rows 23 and 24.
- Highlight and delete columns F and G.
- Rename cell E4 “Unit Cost”
- To get the budget worksheet back in working order, we need to add the following formula in cell G5:
Once in place, drag cell G5 down to G20 in order to copy the formula to all of the following rows.
- To clear the existing formula from the “Estimated” Column, just replace the value in cell F5 with 0 and drag the cell down to cell F20.
- Your construction budget worksheet is now ready for you to begin customizing for your project.
Use the dropdown menus to choose the cost category and line item for each row. Specify the unit quantity, cost per unit (i.e. each, sq/ft, hourly, etc.), and estimated cost.
- As you complete each row of your budget, the total is being calculated for each column on row 20, with cell H21 indicating whether your project is on budget or not.
Hopefully you found this construction budget tutorial helpful and easy to follow. If you’d prefer to skip the steps above and create a project budget using a template that is already complete and loaded with cost categories, line items, graphs, and print-ready summaries, simply download our free construction budget template.
Excel is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to save money on a variety of fronts. By using Excel to create a budget, save money in a week, and cut costs without any effort, you’re sure to make effective use of this versatile program.