Personal Finance

Get Your Personal Finances into Shape by Using a Spreadsheet

When it comes to getting our personal finances into order, there isn’t much in the way of choice regarding software and personal finance packages. These usually tend to be geared towards businesses. It is no wonder then that a spreadsheet remains the first choice for a clear majority of people when it comes to keeping track of their finances on their computer.

How to Use a Spreadsheet to Gain Maximum Personal Finance Efficiency

These are just a few easy tips you can follow as you work on creating your personal finance spreadsheet:

  • Use 12 tabs and label them for all the months of the year putting the exact number of days needed in for each month on each tab – this way you get to work on upcoming months, instead of just waiting to see how the future is going to unravel.
  • Write up a standard list of regular income and regular expenses and paste this into every month, then add the actual amounts which remain the same each calendar month.
  • Then make sure you add every single item of expense that you will be required to pay out each month, but which varies each time – if you are not sure of the exact figure, round it up to the most practical value to account for it.
  • On one side of every month, keep a running total for each day, which is based on the balance from the day before, plus any income less any expenses for that day in question. This figure will allow you to reconcile your bank account regularly to your spreadsheet balance.

With the basics of your spreadsheet in place, you will then be able to get an estimation of how the year ahead is looking. When most see their finances from this point of view, it often encourages them to explore some figures in further detail and make an effort to start changing some of them – reducing them or even eliminating them!