Personal Finance Tracker Instructions
With the Spreadsheets Crafter: Personal Finance Spreadsheet you will track every penny that you earn, spend, save and invest for the period of a year.
In addition, you will be able to setup goals, track your bills, and view everything in beautiful graphs filtering by month or for the whole year.
STEP #1: INPUT SUBCATEGORIES
Go to the 'Input: Categories & Budget' worksheet tab and start inserting your subcategories from top (Main Income) to bottom (Credit Cards).
Edit only the white cells, subcategories. All Categories must NOT be edited, with the exception of Expenses Categories that must be renamed as preferred (Category #1, Category #2,...)
All empty subcategories can be hidden by the button "Collapse". If in the future you want to add a new subcategory, use the button "Expand".
STEP #2: INPUT BUDGETT AMOUNTS
Budgeted amounts are planned quantities set aside for each subcategory for the spending expected during the month. Start inserting the budgeted amount for the current month.
While you are inserting every budgeted amount, you will see the balance at the top with a message.
If the message indicates "Overbudgeted", it means that the sum of the "Outflow" (Expenses, Savings, Investments, and Debts) is higher than the expected "Inflow" (Income).
On the other hand, if the message indicates "Remaining to Budget", it means that the sum of the "Outflow" is lower than the expected "Inflow".
The perfect spot is to keep this number at zero, indicating that all expected Income has been allocated into Expenses, Savings, Investments, and Debts. At this point, you are using a Zero-Based Budget.
STEP #3: SET UP THE ADDITIONAL CONFIGURATION
Scroll to the right side and fill up the additional configuration.
Expense type: define each expense between "fixed" or "variable" expenses.
Bill Schedule: select de payment due date for each category bill. Left the cell empty if the category is not a bill.
Please take special attention to bills that are due at the end of the month. If for some reason the due date change for the following month, come back and edit the number.
Goals: determine the income, savings, investments, and debt payoff goals to be reached at the end of the year.
STEP#4: ENTER EVERY TRANSACTION
The 'Input: Transactions' worksheet tab is where you will record every penny.
Transaction Date: double click to reveal the mini calendar pick up date.
Amount: enter the total amount for the transaction.
Main Type, Category, and Subcategory are dynamic dropdown lists according to your budget categories defined in Step #1. Start by selecting the Main Type, then the Category, and at last the Subcategory.
Credit Card Expense: it will be available only for expenses. If you paid with credit card, select this option to know the total amount you owe to credit cards.
Description: use this for any notes/remarks you need for the transaction.
IMPORTANT NOTES IN TRANSACTION TRACKING
You do not need to track credit cards as Debt Payments if you use them to pay for expenditures and pay them off at the end of each month because they are already accounted for under Expenses.
For refunds, enter the refunded amount as a negative number in the same category as the purchase was made originally.
If you are withdrawing from savings, two record transactions are required for the same amount: (1) Record the amount in negative and use the savings category you are taking the money from (2) Record the amount in positive to the category that it is going to be used (or the total sum if you are using multiple categories).
STEP#5: INPUT ACCOUNT BALANCES
The 'Input: NetWorth' worksheet tab is going to be used at the end of the month.
First, insert every account according to the Category:
Cash Account: checking accounts, savings accounts, cash
Retirement Accounts: 401k, HSA, Roth IRA
Taxable Accounts: Crypto, Stocks, Taxable Investments
Personal Assets: Property Value, Car Value, Jewelry
Debts: Mortgage, Personal Loans, Car Loans, Student Loans, Credit Cards
Then, insert each account balance at the EOM (end of month).
MONTHLY DASHBOARD, CASHFLOW, ANNUAL DASHBOARD
None of these worksheet tabs needs to be edited or modified since they are auto populated with the data from the other Input worksheet tabs.
Monthly Dashboard: choose your month in the dropdown list button and all the tables and graphs will be automatically adjusted for the month selected.
On the left side, you will have the budgeted and actual amounts, the difference, and the progress bar for easy indication of each subcategory status.
The next section is a visual dashboard of the selected month. From top to bottom (scrolling down), you will see Income, Expenses, Savings/Investments, and Debts. You will also see breakdowns and progress graphs according to the goals defined at the beginning.
The following section will show the bill schedule. It will tell you automatically if the bill has been paid, partially paid, upcoming, or late.
The next section is the goals graphs. It shows a breakdown of the progress up to the selected month according to the goals as on Step #3.
CashFlow: here is a general overview of the actual spending for the whole year, divided by month. You will see totals by Main Type, Categories, and Subcategories. In addition, you will see the average for the year and a Mini-Bar Chart that visually represents the amounts by month (mini cool feature).
At the top, you will get the Cash Flow Balance. If your Inflows have been higher than the Outflows, the message will say "Available". This is a good indication that you have spent less than what you make and you can use that for Savings, Investments, or paying off Debt faster.
On the other hand, you will see an "Overspent" message if your Outflows have been higher than the Inflows. In this case, you may be getting into debt spending more than what you make. No worries, is good to know this and make a plan to spend less or make more money in the future.
Annual Dashboard: this is a visual overview of all your finances for the whole year. From the left side to the right side you will see: Income, Expenses, Savings & Investments, Debt Payments, and Net Worth.
Each section is a column with overall details. See how is your goal progress, or spending behavior by month or average, or how is your investment breakdown, or how the net worth has been changing over time, and more.
Setting up a budget is not restrictive, but living a more conscious life within your financial reality.
Don't compare your financial status to anyone. Every person/family is different with different goals in life. Instead, make a plan to live the life that is fulfilling to you, live below your means, and work to be better than yesterday!
We are providing a tool to help you stay organized. Is up to you if you want to make it work! Are you willing to change and make this your best year?