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Totalling values of a specific category in a given month

Posted on 2016-08-21
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Last Modified: 2016-08-29
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:

=SUMIFS(Itemize!D:D,(Itemize!B:B),("Health"),(Itemize!A:A),(MONTH(8)))

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.
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Question by:David Bigelow
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by:tomfarrar
ID: 41764206
SUMIFS(Itemize!D:D,Itemize!B:B,"Health", Itemize!A:A,8).  Don't think you need the brackets.
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Expert Comment

by:tomfarrar
ID: 41764217
See the attached example.
EE.xlsx
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Roy_Cox earned 250 total points
ID: 41764230
Have you considered a PivotTable. Combined with formatting the Data as a Table the result is more dynamic.
EE.xlsx
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Author Comment

by:David Bigelow
ID: 41764683
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?
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Expert Comment

by:tomfarrar
ID: 41764692
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".
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Author Comment

by:David Bigelow
ID: 41764694
Sure, here's the sample.
ItemizeSample.xlsx
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Expert Comment

by:Roy_Cox
ID: 41764801
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.
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Assisted Solution

by:tomfarrar
tomfarrar earned 250 total points
ID: 41766070
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
ItemizeSample.xlsx
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Author Comment

by:David Bigelow
ID: 41774938
Tom,
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.

Roy,
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?
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Expert Comment

by:Roy_Cox
ID: 41774968
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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