It’s the last Friday before Labour Day and my wife is out shopping for the kids as one of them is starting school next week. I figured I’d use this time to make my triumphant return to blogging after a two week hiatus. I do apologize for the downtime – it’s just that kids, illnesses, and life sometimes get in the way.
I wanted to return to the blog with something a little more meaty than just an opinion post or a quick how-to article tonight, so I decided to take a few minutes and put together an Excel sheet for you to tinker with. If there’s one question I get asked a lot it’s about setting up a budget using a program like Excel.
The idea behind this sheet is that you can download what I’ve started for you and then use it to help you track your expenditures/finances on a regular basis. If this sounds like something you’d like to try, feel free to download the file and get started:
Now that you’ve got a copy of the sheet open and have taken a look at it, here are a few things you should know:
1) This spreadsheet was created by me, from scratch. All values are for demonstration purposes only and do not reflect anyone’s actual life. Actually, I’d love to live in a world where parking was $40/month!
2) I open this file every payday – that’s it. Upon opening the file I scroll through the bills that I have outstanding and I highlight them in grey as I pay them. Any upcoming bills that I have no control over (i.e. when my car payment comes out) are left white to indicate they haven’t yet been paid. This is where sections 2 and 4 come into play – see Excel sheet “Legend” for more details.
3) This is merely a template. Feel free to add things, remove things, and send me emails telling me it’s brilliant or that I’ve overcomplicated things beyond all reason.
I hope this gives you a solid starting point for maintaining a monthly budget and tracking your finances. Let me know how it works or what changes you’ve made if you like it.
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