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How to categorize bank transactions in Excel?

Let's say you receive bank transactions every month and want to group the transactions into different categories based on the description of each item, so that you can know a more specific breakdown of the cost each month.
As shown in the screenshot below, you want to convert the description in column B to a simpler and easier classification based on some keywords. For example, if the cell contains "Mc Donalds", categorize the expense as "Takeout", if the cell contains "Walmart", categorize the expense as "Family fee", etc., according to your own needs. This tutorial provides a formula to help you get it done.

Categorize bank transactions with formula in Excel

Categorize bank transactions with formula in Excel

The following formula can help to categorize bank transaction in Excel, please do as follows.

1. Firstly, you need to create two helper columns containing the keywords in the Description column and the corresponding categories respectively. In this case, the helper columns are in the range A29:B41. See screenshot:

2. Select a blank cell (the cell F3 in this case) next to the last column in the original table, enter the below formula into it and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys to get the first result.


Select this result cell, drag its AutoFill Handle down to get the rest of the results.


1) In the formula, B$30:B$41 is the helper column containing the specified categories you created in step 1;
2) $A$30:$A$41 is the helper column contains the keywords of the “Description” column;
2) B3 is the cell in the “Description” column where you want to start categorize the cost;
3) “Other” in the formula means that if there is no matching category, the formula will return the result as “Other”.
Please change the variables in the formula as you need.

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