How To Find Your Expenses Using Chase Banking Data

If you are like me and always want to completely track all of your spending and income, then the first place you need to look at is your expenses. But it can be hard to figure all this out. This post is to help you find and track all your expenses in order to create an optimal budget.   Simply put, if you can see all your expenses (money out) and all your income (money in). Then you can use that information or data, to better budget or track for any financial goal you may have. 

I understand that it can be challenging for some people to tackle using data. But the goal of this post is to make it easy for anyone to do. 

I currently bank with Chase, but the process will be similar with any other bank. Here is an outline of the step by step process to accomplish pulling in all your expense data. 

  • Download bank statements:
  • Import data into a Google Sheet:
  • Organize Data:
  • Summarize Data:
  • (OPTIONAL) Visualize Data:

Downloading bank statements

The first step is getting the information from your bank. In the example, I will be using Chase with Google Sheets but this will be similar with almost any other bank or with excel.

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Once on the homepage, look for settings or a menu bar
  1. Navigate to statements

Now, you have two choices here. Either download the statements, or view them as a PDF. I prefer to download them so that I have them saved for offline viewing at another time.

Importing data into a Google Sheet

Once you open the PDF, then we need to transfer the information from the PDF into a Google Sheet (or Excel). By far the easiest way to do this is by using the best tool ever invented, Copy and Paste. 

  1. Copy the rows from the transactions section (Ctrl + C)

Note: There are other ways to do such as using a tool that scrapes PDF files and organizes the data in a csv, or dsv format. This option will be best for individuals that have a ton of transactions each month +100. 

  1. Paste the info into a Google Sheet (Ctrl + Shift + V)

Depending on the bank the data can be formatted in many different ways. Using the paste values only option works best in most cases (Ctrl + Shift + V). In addition, if you want to save time cleaning the data, you can only copy and paste the transaction amount value only. 

Note: For any account:

Money In = All positive transactions

Money Out = All negative transactions

Organizing the Data

Once you have the info inside a Google sheet, now begins the process to organize the data. If you decided to copy and paste only the transaction values then you can use this section to assign categories (rent, food, car etc) to each transaction. Since we are mainly concerned with expenses we can either remove the income, or save it someplace else. 

  1. Clean the data

To clean the data, what we want to do is get rid of the stuff we don’t want and keep only the stuff we want. In case for calculating expenses, we want the transaction amount and the category. Everything else can be removed. 

Here is an example of what you should get:

Summarizing the Data

Once you have the data nicely formatted then you can add up all the columns using the SUM formula in sheets. 

  1. Getting the Total


This will give you the total for the month if you are looking at 1 months transactions. Now you know exactly what you have spent/saved/investment for that month. 

This last step comes with a caveat. I understand that I only used one account in my example, while all your expenses can be spread out across many different accounts. For example, the transaction “credit card” contains many little transactions from my credit card which is in a different account. This means depending on how your spending is done via credit card, debit card, or multiple other cards. Then you will need to do steps 1-7 for each account to get a final summary. In my case, my checking account has all my spending so I can see my total money out for the month. 

The key is to look at what is missing, or what needs further breakdown. For example, my credit card expenses can be broken down into additional categories. To complete this process I will do steps 1-7 with my  credit card account then add the new data to the existing data, and remove the rows that are for credit cards. Thus, removing the duplicates and ensuring the total does not change.  

(OPTIONAL) Visualizing the Data

To wrap-up there is another option, and that is to visualize the data to make things easier to read. If you were following along with Google sheets then you can use their chart functionality to easily create a graphic. 

Note: For pie charts the values need to be positive and not negative, so you can create a formula that “=(a2*-1)” then sheets allows you to copy this into all other rows by using Ctrl + Enter, or clicking on the corner of the box and drag down. 

Now that you finally have all your expenses in one place then you can see where you are overspending. Then adjust your budget to get a more optimal budget just for you.

Thank you for reading and hope you learned something! Also if you made all the way through it congratulations! You have completed a data science project!  

2 thoughts on “How To Find Your Expenses Using Chase Banking Data”

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