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How to Keep a Running Total in Google Sheets (2024 Guide)

May 8, 2024

How to Do a Running Total in Google Sheets

To keep a running total in Google Sheets, you can use a simple formula that progressively adds the value of each new entry to the sum of the values above it. This is particularly useful for tracking cumulative totals over a period, such as expenses, points, or any other data that accumulates over time. 

Here's how to create a running total in Google Sheets easily using a simple formula: 

Step 1: Prepare Your Data

Enter the data you want to accumulate in a column. For example, let's say you want to keep a running total of daily expenses. Enter these expenses in column A, starting from cell A2 (A1 can be your header like "Daily Expenses").

Step 2: Start Your Running Total

Decide where you want your running total to appear. Typically, this would be in the column directly next to your data. For our example, this will be column B.

In the first cell next to your starting data (B2, if you started your data in A2), enter the value of the first item manually by referencing it. Simply click on cell B2 and type:


Press Enter. This cell now represents the starting point of your running total.

google sheets running total

Step 3: Create the Running Total Formula

In the next cell down in your running total column (B3, if you started in B2), you're going to add a formula that sums the current value to the total of the previous values. Click on B3 and type:


Then, press Enter. This formula adds the value directly above it in the running total column to the value next to it in the data column, updating your running total.

running total google sheets

Step 4: Drag the Formula Down

To extend the running total down the column as you add more data, click on cell B3.

how to keep a running total in google sheets

You will find a circle at the bottom right corner of the cell. Drag this down the column, as far as your data extends or further if you plan to add more data. 

how to do a running total in google sheets

Google Sheets will automatically adjust the formula for each row, updating your running total accordingly.

how to create a running total in google sheets

Step 5: Add More Data as Needed

As you add more entries to your data column (Column A in our example), simply extend the running total by dragging the last formula down to cover the new entries.

We hope that this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of how to keep a running total in Google Sheets. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our articles on how to swap columns in Google Sheets easily and how to use SUBTOTAL in Google Sheets.

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