Each of us have our mechanisms to track how we spend money. We use Excel, various online sites and software like Quicken or Microsoft Money to track how we spend our bucks. The bottom line is to track where each penny / paisa / cent is going. So, how great would be it be, if by a click of mouse you can open a form that can take details of what you have spent the money on and add the details to the end of a huge list and let you analyze the expenses at leisure?
Well, you can do that using Google docs – spreadsheet forms with 4 simple steps. Doubt it? Take a look at expense tracker form that I have created here.
1. First create a new Google docs – spreadsheet.
Once you are inside the spreadsheet click on the “forms” tab as shown below.
This will open a new window where you can create a form. We will use this form to enter spending details.
2. Create a basic expenditure tracker form
We will now create a basic form with the following fields:
- How much you spent?
- What did you spent it on? A description for the spending
- Category of spending A list of categories from which you can choose
The first step is to name the form:
Next we will add 3 fields as shown below, the process is very easy, just try for yourself.
Finally we will save our expenditure tracking form:
3. Now lets start entering expenses in our form
When you are done, click on the “Next, choose recipients” option. This screen will show the form:
Bookmark the form url shown in the screen and this is the url we will access whenever you want to enter new expense.
Once you enter few expenses the spreadsheet will look like this:
See how Google adds the time stamp to each expense. This is a good thing as you dont have to enter the expense date. You can use this column to see how much you are spending everyday (provided you enter information as soon as possible)
4. Analyze the tracked expenses
What is the use of tracking when you are not analyzing. You can use built-in charts in Google docs to do some analysis of the expenses. I did a bar chart to show what is possible.
Take a test drive at the expense tracker form by accessing the one here.