About ever year I change up the finance spreadsheet I use. Circumstances change throughout the year. Or my preferences do. Either way, I like to stay flexible. Changing the way I track expenses also helps to show my growth and keeps me on the path I want to be on. Always customize a budget spreadsheet to you, otherwise you will be on the path to someone else’s goals and not your own.
Determine your focus? Tracking debt pay-off? Tracking income growth? Tracking networth change? Make sure that whatever you would like to accomplish this year, you are tracking and focusing on. If you’re going to spend time tracking data, make sure it’s the right data.
Budget Template & Personal Finance Spreadsheet
Because there is more to personal finance than simply having a budget. In fact, this year, I removed the budgeting portion of this template completely. My spending has been consistent and I have a good mental idea of how much I spend on what, each month. I also have a sense of my income. I haven’t been drastically over my budgeted amounts in months and no longer feel it is helpful to me. However, tracking my spending is still helpful to me. And I want to continue to do that. So this year, I will be tracking each expense (as I make it) in this spreadsheet.
Starting last year, I began tracking more than just my spending. I used my own finance spreadsheet to track my credit card pay-off, savings change, 401K growth (very encouraging!) and networth change (also encouraging!). Having all of this in one spot, under my control, makes it much easier to have a full perspective of all my finances.
In the spreadsheet, there are tabs for yearly expenses, credit card, savings, 401k, student loan, networth, and credit score. Customize this however you need to. You may not want to track each individual source of income/spending like this. I find it helpful especially when paying down the debts. It is also helpful to see my networth grow and my credit score increase.
Since all these finances are tied together, they might as well be tracked together too.
I’ve also tried to include all historical data in one spreadsheet. I have many spreadsheets throughout the year and it’s difficult to go back through them. It’s difficult to get a broader picture at how my finances have changed in the last 3+ years. By including everything together, you can look back up to last year or the year before and see just how much you’ve progressed!