Complete guide to creating a personal budget app using AppSheet
AppSheet no-code personal budget calculator. AppSheet is a platform where you can build no-code mobile and web apps. The platform supports a wide range of data sources such as Google Sheets, Excel, SmartSheet, SQL, Salesforce and more.
The aim of no-code platforms is for business owners and entrepreneurs to become citizen developers. Since you understand your businesses process well, with a no-code platform such as AppSheet, you’re able to build apps in minutes at a low-cost.
Particularly, this article shows you how to convert a personal budget spreadsheet into an app.
The aim of this article is to give you an idea of how to get started with AppSheet.
Creating a spreadsheet calculator
As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you can create a simple personal budget calculator on spreadsheet to help your financial planning.
This article starts by explaining how a spreadsheet budget calculator is and how to create one. Thereafter, you’ll learn how to convert a spreadsheet into an app using Appsheet.
You need to understand the important columns and what they represent to help you in preparing your own spreadsheet calculator.
The use of a personal budget calculator
A personal budget calculator helps you as a small business owner or entrepreneur to track your income and spending – you may need it for personal reference.
In addition, a funder or an investor giving you a start-up loan could use part of this information (in a Cash Flow statement) to determine whether or not you’ll be able to meet your start-up loan repayments.
Therefore, as a small business owner if you ever need to borrow funds, you’ll need to show that your average monthly income minus costs and expenses are such that you’re not overspending.
Otherwise, you could be taking out of the money meant for the business and that is not a good sign.
Therefore, with a personal budget calculator, you can easily keep track of your personal income and expenditure.
You can watch the tutorial video below.
How to create a personal budget calculator from scratch
If you’re already familiar with spreadsheet and can already prepare a template by yourself, you may skip this section and move on to creating a personal budget app using AppSheet.
Before moving on to explaining how to convert a spreadsheet budget calculator to an app, I’ll first begin by explaining how a calculator to make a budget calculator template using spreadsheet. You can also watch the tutorial video above.
The first thing you need to do to create a personal budget calculator on a spreadsheet is to open a blank spreadsheet.
You can download the free template here.
Create a personal income section of a budget calculator
In order to create the personal income section, you’ll need to add the following four columns:
a. Personal income column
Under this column is where you list all of the sources of personal income you earn in a month. For example:
- Salary from an employer
- Other income
The number of items under this column will depend on your personal situation.
If you need more rows just insert and add as many as you need.
Add a brief description for any items to help someone else understand each source of income. For example under income you can make a note that the income is from contributions.
c. Monthly net income
Include the value for each item under this column. For this column, you can rely on your bank statements to get an average of last three months for the items that are not recurring.
Your net monthly income is the final amount you get from each item less any deductions.
For example the net income from your salary is your ‘take home pay’.
d. Annual net income
In this column, you’ll need to include a formula – each monthly net income multiplied by 12.
For example, the annual net income for ‘salary from employer’ is calculated by the formula =D6*12.
Click on the cell and drag down the plus sign for the rest of the items.
That is, annual net income would be calculated automatically for you by multiplying your anticipated monthly income by 12.
Add the annual net income (use = SUM ()) to give the annual total income from all sources.
Create a personal expense section in a personal budget calculator
Copy and paste the entire personal income section a few lines away to create the personal expenses section and edit the columns.
Change the columns to:
a. Personal expenses
The items you list under this section are the expenses you personally incur in a typical month. That is, the money you personally spend each month.
For example, if you share the rent or utilities payments with your other then you only need to include the amount that you pay – not the whole rent owed on the property.
Other items you can have under personal expenses are personal loan repayments, utilities bills, childcare or school fees, personal savings or monthly grocery bill etc.
Just like in the personal income section, the number of items you include will depend on your personal situation.
Add a brief description for any items to help some else understand each of the expenses you list.
c. Monthly expenses
This is the value of each personal expense item in your budget.
d. Annual expenses
If you are using the template this is auto-calculated. However, you can get the annual expenses by multiplying your anticipated monthly expenses by 12.
If you copied and pasted from the income section, the formula is the same. For example, the first monthly expense cell is multiplied by 12 in the first row of the annual expense i.e. D17*12.
Click on the cell and drag down the plus sign to add the same formula for the remaining rows.
If your personal expenses are greater than your personal income each month then, this figure is negative (in deficit).
It means that your business will need to bring in sufficient income to help you cover these costs.
This might imply that you’ll need to spend part of the money meant for your business to cover your personal costs.
Therefore, in your Cash Flow forecast your salary will be zero.
Otherwise, if you are earning more income than you are generating costs, the figure is positive (in surplus).
This means that any money you take from your business as a salary will be a bonus.
You don’t need make any changes to this column and any column in yellow because these figures will auto-populate.
The annual balance is the remaining balance after you remove all your total expenses from all areas from your total income from all sources.
You may not need this figure for anything other than for reference.
The annual figure will not be used in your Cash Flow Forecast.
You can watch the tutorial video on how to make a simple personal budget calculator using a spreadsheet below.
Creating an AppSheet no-code personal budget calculator app
AppSheet makes it possible to convert your spreadsheet template into an app for free.
In the video above, I created a personal budget calculator using a spreadsheet.
In order to make an app, I need to modify the personal budget calculator template.
There’s need to change the table structure. The spreadsheet template above is a pivot table.
In the video below, I highlighted the difference between a pivot table and the type of table that would give a stable app.
I needed to modify my tables because the personal budget template is a pivot table. This type of table wouldn’t work well in AppSheet.
A pivot table contains aggregate statistics and that would not make your app stable.
So, rather than have a single table with totals nested within a column, I created four tables, each in a separate sheet.
AppSheet works by going on top of your data, making you securely interact with your data in your web or mobile app.
The first step is to open the spreadsheet or database you would like to use for your app.
To make sure AppSheet can read your data appropriately, set up your data with column headers in the first row, and rows of data underneath.
I my case I’m using Google sheet.
To connect your data to AppSheet directly from Google Sheet click on Tools > AppSheet > Create an app.
Once you get your data structure well in the spreadsheet, AppSheet does the rest for you. It makes suggestions as you make tweaks to your app.
Creating a personal budget calculator on spreadsheet is easy. If you can create a personal budget calculator on spreadsheet, you can also make an app and no-code is required using AppSheet.