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How to Use an Excel Spreadsheet to Track and Itemize Monthly Home Office Expenses

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: John Garger•updated: 2/18/2014

You need to track what you're spending in your home office, but the box full of receipts isn't working anymore. Don't worry. We have a simple and easy way to track all of your expenses month in and month out using an Excel spreadsheet.

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    Simple Excel Spreadsheet

    You can have a lot of expenses in a home office. You have to buy computer equipment, paper, pens and many other items just to be able to start a day of work. Plus, you need to be able to keep track of all these expenses so that you can deduct them from your taxes at the end of the year.

    But, it can be quite a hassle to have to go through every receipt in order to figure out how much you have spent. This is where Excel can help you tremendously. First, however, you need to figure out what's a business expense. A business expense is anything that goes directly for your business. For example, food for the family would not count, but taking clients out to lunch would.

    With this in mind, let's get started on your spreadsheet. First of all, you should break your expenses into categories:

    • Office Equipment (computers, keyboards, etc.)
    • Office Supplies (paper, pens, calendars)
    • Software (Turbo Tax or new operating systems)
    • Other Hardware (phones, headphones)
    • Utilities (phone bill, electric bill)
    • Miscellaneous

    While you may have additional categories, these are the main ones that most people come across. You should probably run your categories down the left side and pick one column where you will write out the total expense of that category per month. That way, you can total out your monthly expenses. You can use the Excel formula Sum(Row:Cell:Row:Cell).

    For example, you want to know the exact total of a string of numbers from Row C, Cell 2 to Row C, Cell 12. You would create your formula in a cell or two after last cell that has a number in it. Then you would do your formula Sum(C2:C12). This will give you the total for that row.

    To keep track of expenses per month, I would suggest you create sheets with each month of the year. You can just copy over your formulas to the rest of the sheets.

    If you use an Excel document, it will be easier to keep track of your expenses year in and year out.