Google Docs: Managing Your Family Budget

Google Docs is a great way for multiple people to access the one document from different locations. A very practical application that we use Google Docs for is managing the family budget.

For tips on how to set up the budget and how to track expenditure, please check out my post on Planning With Kids – Family Budget For The New Year.

Once you have a family budget in excel spreadsheet form to work with, you can then upload the spreadsheet to Google Docs like we have. This allows both myself and my husband to track our daily/weekly expenditure and monitor how we are tracking to budget.

At any time (providing we are both updating regularly!!!!) we can track our financial position for the week and a cumulative total for the year. There is no excuse for not updating the family budget spreadsheet as it can be accessed anywhere that there is internet access.

Once you have set up email address with Gmail, you can then follow these simple steps to upload your family budget spreadsheet to Google Docs:

Step 1

From your Gmail account, click on “Documents” as highlighted in the above screen shot by the red arrow.

Step 2

If this is the first time you have uploaded a document to Google Docs, your screen should look like the above. Click on “Upload” as highlighted by the red arrow.

Step 3

Click on “Browse” to select a file to upload. You have a choice in the third box to name the spreadsheet in Google Docs, something different to what you have named it on your computer. I tend to ignore this option and keep the name the same.

Step 4

Once you have selected your file, click on “Upload File” as highlighted by the red arrow.

Step 5

Your spreadsheet will now have been successfully uploaded to Google Docs. In this case the spreadsheet has four individual worksheets. The blue arrow highlights the sheet that is currently open. The red arrows highlight the names of the other worksheets in the file.

You now need to share the documents with the relevant person to give them access to the spreadsheet online. Click on the “Share” button as highlighted by the red arrow.

Step 6

The above box should pop up and you should click on “Invite People” as highlighted by the red arrow.

Step 7

Once the “Share with others” box has opened, you can invite people by typing in their email address, as shown by the red arrow. The people you invite do not have to have a Gmail account, only an active email address. Google Docs will bring up matches from your contacts, as highlighted by the green arrow.

You can then type a message to the invitees in the box highlighted by the blue arrow. Once you have finished, click on send (black arrow) and the invitation is on the way!

Step 8

Click on “save and close” as highlighted by the red arrow and you now have multiple users who can access and edit this spreadsheet. Google Docs allows you to upload documents, powerpoint presentations, spreadsheets and PDFs.

Google Docs is an effective way to make real time updates to a document without requiring version control etc.