Totalling values of a specific category in a given month

Column A = Date
Column B = Category
Column D = Cost

I'd like to get a total cost of a given category in a given month. This is to itemize some expected expenses in a budget in order to better prepare the budget. I've tried variations of:


This is a formula acceptable to Excel (no error messages), but it also gives a total of zero, even though the only dates in column A are for the month of August.
David BigelowStaff Operations SpecialistAsked:
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SUMIFS(Itemize!D:D,Itemize!B:B,"Health", Itemize!A:A,8).  Don't think you need the brackets.
See the attached example.
Roy CoxGroup Finance ManagerCommented:
Have you considered a PivotTable. Combined with formatting the Data as a Table the result is more dynamic.

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David BigelowStaff Operations SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Hello Tom,
The formula you provided works as you laid it out. I was hoping to retain a date format when I itemize expenses and then extract expenses in a given month. How would you do that?

Hello Roy,
I'd considered a pivot table, but don't have enough experience with them to lay it out like you did. That will work just fine. How did you have the dates align with your month names?
I didn't realize there was a date format.  I assumed the Date column was the number of the month.  Can you show me what the data looks like in the spreadsheet?  Roy also has a good point about the pivot table which gives you more flexibility of the data in the event you need something different than Aug or "8".
David BigelowStaff Operations SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Sure, here's the sample.
Roy CoxGroup Finance ManagerCommented:
In my example I used dates then grouped them by months. Right click in the PivotTable and select Group. Note the dates must be entered correctly as dates not text dates.

Group Data
Read this introduction to PivotTables. I usually, change the default headings generated by the PivotTable Wizard to e.g. Sum of Amount to Amount.

PivotTable Fields
Read about and experiment with PivotTables. You will find them extremely useful.
David - If you are familiar and comfortable working with a pivot table, it is a powerful tool.  So you may want to consider Roy_Cox's suggestion.  I am attaching a spreadsheet that gives you a "sumifs" solution, but it requires parsing out the month from the date column.  This may not be acceptable to you.

In the meanwhile I am investigating embedding the parse within the "sumifs", but have not be successful as of yet.  - Tom
David BigelowStaff Operations SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the extra work with using the date with "sumifs." It most closely matches what I originally wanted. And, as you stated, the pivot tables are quite powerful once you get a grasp on them.

Thank you for the pivot table description. Once I figured out how to use it, I can see it is easier and more powerful to use. I'm not seeing a link for the introduction to pivot tables. Did you mean to insert one?
Roy CoxGroup Finance ManagerCommented:
Sorry, here's the link. There's a host of similar articles if you Google PivotTables.

 I would never use formulas when a PivotTable can be substituted.
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