Calculate a running balance

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Let's say you may want to see a running balance of items that you purchase so that you don't exceed your spending limits. You can use a running balance to watch values of items in cells add up as you enter new items and values over time. To calculate a running balance, use the following procedure.

  1. Set up a worksheet like the following example.

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow to copy an example

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
  3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
 
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A B C
Deposits Withdrawals Balance
$1,000 $625 =SUM(A2,-B2)
1000 740 =SUM(C2,A3,-B3)
  1. Click anywhere outside cell C3 to see the calculated total.
  2. To maintain the running balance, add a row for each new entry by doing the following:
  1. Type the amounts of your deposits and withdrawals into the empty rows directly below the existing data.

For instance, if you were using the example above, you would type the deposits into A4, A5, and so on, and the withdrawals into B4, B5, and so on.

  1. Extend the running balance formula into the new rows by selecting the last cell in the balance column and then double-clicking the fill handle (fill handle: The small black square in the lower-right corner of the selection. When you point to the fill handle, the pointer changes to a black cross.).

For instance, if you were using the example above, you would select cell C3 and then double-click its fill handle to extend the formula into all new rows that contain deposit and withdrawal values.

 Note   A running balance differs from a running total (also called a running count), in which you watch the number of items in a worksheet add up as you enter new items. For more information, see Calculate a running total.

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003