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How to make a holiday budget in Numbers

Let Numbers help you with the financial planning so you can focus on planning the fun

If you’re not going away any time soon, chances are you’re starting to think about how best to save up for your next trip. Well the good news is that you already have everything you need in order to get a grip on the costs – both at home while you’re creating your travel plans and while you’re away and spending your money.

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In this tutorial we’re going to set up a series of simple tables that will help you think about the sorts of things you’re going to have to pay for, and set budgets for each area of expense. Then once you’re away, you can add in the actual costs as and when they occur. We’ll also link everything together to give you a quick summary and show you how best to save for your big holiday. Check out the ready-made version we uploaded for you, downloadable from here.

Step-by-step: Make a holiday budget


1 Make a table

Create a four-column table on a blank new document. Pick a style you like from the Format panel, tick Table Name just below the table styles and then call this table Transport.

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2 Plan your expenses

Set your column headers to Budget, Actual and Money Left. Now plan all your transport expenses and write them into the first column, as shown. It helps to think chronologically.

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3 Set the budgets

Change the columns to Currency format, getting rid of the decimals (to round your figures) for clarity. Now estimate how much you’ll spend – be as realistic as possible here.

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4 Calculate differences 1

Add in your actual costs while you’re away. For now, select cell D2 under Money Left, type =IF( and click cell C2 to add its reference. Type >0, after it (note the comma).

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5 Calculate differences 2

Subtract C2 from B2 (ie Budget minus Actual) and then add another comma. Finish by adding “” – this leaves the cell blank if Actual hasn’t been filled in yet – and closing the brackets.

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6 Sum it up

Add a row at the bottom with SUM formulas for each column. We’ve added Actual figures here to show what’s going on – check the Knowledge Base to see how we highlighted it.

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7 Repeat for all

Now go through and do this for each of your other spending categories, giving them all separate tables. You may want to copy, paste and tweak your Transport table for this.

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8 Get the totals

Create a new sheet, add a holiday photo and create a 2×3 table. To add up your totals from the other sheet, hit = and click to select cells, adding a + between each.

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9 Plan to save

Make another table, 2×5, and use the anno guide to help you fill it in. If you keep the Total Saved figure up to date, you’ll know what you have left to save each week.

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In-depth: Plan your savings

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