How To Keep A Running Total In Google Sheets

Keeping a running total in Google Sheets can be a handy method for tracking various types of numerical data, such as expenses, points in a competition, or even the number of cups of coffee you drink in a week. Here, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a running total in Google Sheets.

Step 1: Set Up Your Data

Create a new Google Sheets document and input your data into a column. For example, let’s say you’re tracking expenses. You would input each expense into its own cell in the column.

Step 2: Write the Formula

Click on the cell where you want your running total to start (this will usually be the cell directly next to your first piece of data). In that cell, type the formula:


Replace A1 with the cell address of your first piece of data. Note that the first ‘A1’ is absolute referenced (denoted by the dollar signs), and the second ‘A1’ is relative referenced.

Step 3: Drag the Formula

Once the formula is entered, you can create a running total. Click on the cell with your formula, then hover your mouse over the bottom right corner of the cell until a small blue box appears. Click and drag this box down the column to apply the formula to the rest of your data.


1 | $10 | $10
2 | $20 | $30
3 | $15 | $45

In this example, column A is the input expenses and column B is the running total of the expenses.


There you have it—creating a running total in Google Sheets is as simple as that! It’s a straightforward process that can make managing and interpreting your data much easier. So, next time you need to keep a running count of something, don’t hesitate to utilize this helpful feature in Google Sheets.