To take control of your personal finances you need to have a clear view of what you get in and what you spend.
So I have always been keeping track of my income vs. my monthly expenses to make sure I don’t fall into a big hole of debt that I can’t get out of. I started out using a excel spreadsheet and works great, but the last year I have converted my personal budget to google docs and changed a lot to make it easy understand and update. So with my iPhone I can connect to this google docs spreadsheet and update my spending as and when it happens. This allows me to understand what I spend my money on and where I can change my habits to save more each month.
I have consolidated all my accounts into 1 account which I use to receive my income into and do all my spending from. This make is very simple to keep track of my current balance and wont stugle to see if I have a possible problem with overspending via multiple cards and accounts.
This spreadsheet is so useful to me I thought I publish it online for anyone to copy (File -> Make a copy…) and use for yourself, for free!! If you have any good change suggestion that might make it easier to use or just a bit better, please leave comments and I will add the changes into my published spreadsheet. Some things to help you get started:
Step 1 – Once off initial step on all 12 month sheets:
- Fill in the first sheet “Input” with your detail
- Change the Projected Income descriptions and values. This is any income your receive into your account (credits)
- Previous Month Carry-over will be the previous month or current balance of your account
- Change all the descriptions and values of your recurring monthly expenses. Look on your bank statements and fill in all your recurring debits.
This will give you more detail on your “Total projected Costs” and your “Projected Balance” at the end of the month, which is your projected monthly income minus your project costs.
Step 2 – Monthly on the current month sheet:
- Fill in your Actual Monthly Income as per the value on your bank statement. Remember that Actual might not always be the same as Project.
- Fill in your actual recurring debits from your account into the “Actual Costs” on all your expenses.
Step 3 – Ongoing:
- At the bottom of each month sheet you have the “Monthly Ongoing Expenses via CC or Cash” which you can update and add entries as soon as you buy something.
- Complete entries as and when required for groceries, spending, and petrol
At the end of the month you will have a accurate “Actual Balance” that will be carry-over to the next month.
The “Month End Projected Actual Balance” I have included to get a estimate of the balance at the end of the month before you started adding in Actual costs. This is not always 100% and only a good indication. This uses the 2 hidden columns “F” and “M” that calculates the bigger value between Project costs and Actual costs.
Hope you can use the spreadsheet to make your life easier and to take control of your budget. Remember to post comments if you have any suggestion to improve this online budget.