How to Use Google Forms as an Expense Tracker

An expense report is vital if you are budgeting or want to know where your money is going. Google Forms is a free form builder that works great as an expense tracker.

Google Forms is highly customizable, so while it can also be used as a survey, RSVP tool, contact form, product signup sheet, or any other question/answer form, you can turn it into a custom expense record by choosing expense-related questions.

A Google Forms expense tracker can track anything you want related to a transaction, and since it works great from a phone, you have it with you everywhere.

You can stop saving receipts or try to decipher a charge on your credit card; just pull out your expense tracker right after you spend money to record all the important details and put it in a spreadsheet for you to review later.

Tip: See our list of the best budgeting and expense tracking apps for a number of other ways to track expenses. They are not as customizable as Google Forms, but they do have their own advantages.

Decide what to track

The idea of ​​an expense record is to keep track of what you spend your money on, so there are a few basic details that the form should include. But depending on what you want to track, you may need some additional fields in the form.

Here are some examples of what you might want to track:

  • Price: How much does this transaction cost?
  • Store: What do you spend the money on?
  • Description: What do you spend money on?
  • Category: What kind of purchase is it (entertainment, food, bill, etc.)?
  • Payment method used: How do you pay for it (which card/bank/app)?
  • Who incurred the costs?: If more than one person uses the form
  • Comments:: Any additional notes you need to take?

Keep in mind that you want the fields to be as wide as possible so they can apply to anything you buy. You don’t necessarily need a field asking what kind of food you buy unless it’s solely a food cost tracker; you may also want to use this for recording rent payments and phone bills.

In that case, you can make any of the fields on your expense registration form required or not required. So if you want a very specific field for something, don’t make it mandatory so you don’t have to use it for every transaction.

Build the Google Forms Expense Tracker

This is an example of an expense tracker, so yours doesn’t have to look exactly like this under any circumstances. We use broad questions with even broader answer options to show how this works. You will learn that editing the form is extremely easy, so you should have no problem customizing it for yourself.

  • Open Google Forms
  • Select Blank to start a new form.
  • Rename your form to something recognizable.
  • Select the first box and change it to Short answer
  • name this Priceconfirm that Is number is displayed, then highlight the Obliged knob.
  • Use the plus sign in the menu on the right to add a new question, but this time choose Multiple choice
  • name this Storeand then fill in the answer options with the usual stores you shop at. Other is added by default, so if you make a purchase from another store, you can enter it there.
  • Go through the form and create all the different questions you want to ask yourself every time you buy something. Use the suggestions above, such as the payment method and the description question, to give yourself as much detail as possible. This will come in handy later when we interpret all the results of the form.
  • Use the preview button (the eye icon) at the top of Google Forms to get the URL to your form. You can share this with anyone you want to use the form with, or send it to yourself for easy access from your phone.

This isn’t necessary, but your form can also include images, headlines, and a unique color scheme. A colorful form can make spending tracking fun, if at all possible! The paint icon at the top of the page is where you go for those changes.

Set up calculations

Every input from your form is collected in a nicely formatted spreadsheet at Google Sheets. Select ANSWERS from the top of your form, then click the spreadsheet icon to rename the spreadsheet (if you wish).

Once the spreadsheet opens, create a new tab at the bottom and name it like Calculations

From there, you can do everything Google Sheets supports: add up all your expenses for a period of time, create charts for a visual insight into your spending, see who spends the most money, identify which stores cost you the most, etc. .

Using formulas like this in Google Sheets is beyond the scope of this article, but let’s look at something really simple, like adding up all the expenses for each person, so we can really see who spends the most. You can always adjust the formula to the total amount you spend in each store.

The easiest way to total all expenses, regardless of who made the transaction, is by using the sum formula, as follows:

=sum(‘Form Responses 1’!B:B)

This calculation works for our example because the price column from the form responses is in column B.

Here’s a Google Sheets formula that gives a much more detailed picture of how much each person spends:

=sumif(‘Form Responses 1′!G:G,”Jeff”,’Form Responses 1’!B:B)

The way this works is by entering sumif and then choose the column that contains the names (G in our example). The next part is identifying the name, Jeff† Finally, select the column header with the prices so that when the other column matches the name we’re looking for, only those prices are added.

Look through Google’s list of Google Sheets features for some other ways to interpret your form’s data. Another way to see your expenses is with a chart or graph; Google has a tutorial on doing that.

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