Alright, I told you on Friday that I would be showing you how I made a quarterly report in excel. This quarterly report allows me to compare the three months in the quarter side by side and then see the overall difference of debt from the beginning of the quarter to the end of the quarter. You might be wondering why would I want such a thing and why would I want to subject myself to additional work, after all we created an expense sheet, that should be enough right?
With the expense sheet, I am only focusing on a single month. When I am in that month, I totally agree that is what I should be doing, however, I do want to see what progress I have made. These quarterly reports are exactly what I need as a means of encouragement. It also helps me see the full progress of my elimination of debt, whereas only the expense sheet shows for what and where I spent my money. Now don’t get me wrong, the expense sheet is still a necessity, and it becomes an easy way to create this is to use your Expense sheet that we created awhile ago.
First of all, you want to make sure that you have a complete list of the items that you will be recording. This includes every single piece of your debt. Your automobile(s), credit card(s), student loan(s), as well as the other expenses. Now you can make this as detailed as you want, but I broke it down into the simplest of categories: Auto, Credit, & Student Loan. I then would see how much Total Debt and Total Payments I had for that month before I even touched the other expenses. From there I wanted to also compare how much in other expenses (i.e. gasoline, medical, etc..) I had spent. Then it was Total Expenses, Total Income, and the hopeful Leftovers that would be in my savings and/or checking account.
- In Column A, you will be listing the major categories. So Debt would be the header, then Auto, Credit, Student Loan, Total Debt, Total Payments, Other Expenses, Total Expenses, Total Income, & Leftovers (Savings).
- Column B will be the specifics. This is where I broke the categories down further. For example, I was specific in my Auto make and model, as there may come a time where there are two cars for the family in the future. I also listed each credit card, student loan, various expenses.. etc..
- If you want to tidy this up like I did, I made my titles bold and merged the titles A Column with the B Column. Since there would be no information placed in the title cells, it just allowed me to shorten the width of the A column and not waste so much space.
- Next, widen your three columns the width that you wish them to be. I ended up making them three columns wide as I like having all that space and I’m a bit OCD when it comes to aesthetics. Because of this, I even added very thin columns in between B & C, C & D, and D & E and dyed the background of them a bright orange just to make the comparison factor that much more evident.
At this point, your excel sheet should look something like this:
- Put in your numbers, leaving Total Debt and Leftovers (Savings) blank. The rest, you can easily grab from your expense sheet (even the Total Expenses and Total Income as we already had those off to the right of the previous sheet we created).
- For Total Debt, highlight the box and insert =sum( and then highlight the cells above it from auto down to the last student loan. Press enter and your total debt should now be calculated. Follow this method for each month.
- For Leftovers (Savings), all you have to do is click the corresponding box, insert = Column Letter Total Income – Total Expenses. In this case, it would be =D28 – D27. Repeat for the other months.
Alright, now you might be wondering what exactly are those colorful boxes to the very right. Well, much like I did in the expense sheet, I wanted to see the total debt that I had eliminated, my total income for the quarter, total expenses for the quarter, and finally, the total savings that I hopefully have somewhere in between my checking and savings accounts. These are pretty simple to create as well.
- Again, I made things pretty. I like to see my final numbers in a bigger font, so I merged two rows and five columns together for each category. I also filled the background of these merged cells with color to make it pop better. Red = debt, light green = income, blue = expense, and a darker green = savings. Seemed appropriate for me, but if that doesn’t work for you… well you obviously don’t have to be as picky as me.
- For the change of debt section, this is easy. You insert = 1st month’s Total Debt – 3rd month’s Total Debt. This will show you how much you have eliminated over the course of the quarter.
- Total Income is just the sum of the three month’s incomes so =SUM(D,F,&H Total Income). In this case =SUM(D27+F27+H27).
- Total Expenses is the same as Total Income, only you use the cells labelled for the total expenses of each month.
- Finally, you do the summation formula one more time and add up the total leftovers (savings) for the quarter.
Like I said, real simple. I’m sure there is also a simpler way to put in expenses from the expense sheet in just a simple formula, but I’m not that great at importing from one completely different book to the other. Besides, it also allows me to refresh and reflect on just what I did over that month, so I’m not complaining much.
At the end of the year’s 4th quarter for 2013, I will be adding a block to see the comparison of debt, income, expenses, and leftovers from 2012, and 2013. This will allow me to further see my overall progress on a broader scale.
Hope this inspires you to organize your expenses and debt elimination just a little bit more!
Count those Raindrops!
Well, November has come and gone and with it my goals for the month. Perhaps it’s time to see what all progressed. At the mid-month report, this is what had been accomplished at the point:
- Every bill has been paid, and a massive chunk of one credit card bill was eliminated.
- My filing cabinets have finally come back upstairs and are put together and placed in my room.
- Speaking of my room, it is MUCH closer to being finished in its full cleaning.
- My Expense Sheet has been fully updated so that I can see what I have been spending this month
- I have been able to save money for next month’s whirlwind of expenses.
The rest of November consisted of:
- Putting up the Christmas tree/decorations
- Getting prepped and fully ready for Christmas season with my Amazon shop (which you can find here).
- Stocking/Packing/Shipping items for my Amazon shop
- Looking for a job
- Working on my room organization (this one may never be fully accomplished).
- Putting my (rather large) stack of handwritten addresses and phone numbers into an excel sheet.
Needless to say, it might not seem like much, but considering that I was working full-time for most of the month, I see it as a huge accomplishment. I’m enjoying unemployment life (as I’m able to help my mother during her recovery period from knee surgery) and I find myself getting a lot done because of it. Hopefully I do find a job soon, but if I can find a way of paying the bills and adding to the savings account without much hassle, that would be all the more sweeter.
Count those raindrops!
Normally, the middle of the month will be dedicated to showing the progress I have made on my goals for the month. However, because I am bound and determined to make a budget for myself, there’s a couple of key steps that I have to do first. You might all be thinking it’s pretty simple to make a budget right? You take the expenses and the income, and you pray that the income turns out be more than the expenses right? Wrong.
In order to figure out a budget, I needed to see where exactly I was spending money and on what. Perhaps if I know where my money is going, I will then know where to make cuts when I’m making my November budget. So then the question was… how do I get started?
It’s called Excel 2010 and it is becoming my newest and best friend.
After using Google and Youtube to get more familiar with how to work Excel (until now I’ve only dabbled in it for random college courses), I started organizing my columns and then my receipts. So before I go into how I’m using Excel’s formulas, here’s a snapshot of my own doctored Expense sheet.
As you can see, I have numbered down 1-31 for the days of the month. I highlighted the Car Loan, Student Loans, and Credit Cards yellow because they are the most pressing things of the upcoming budget. The blue are my necessities, and the really light orange-pink (salmon for you fellow artists out there), they are my random and fun expenses. To the right, I once again repeated the titles of the columns. This is because when I start using the Excel =SUM(….) formula, the total expenses will add up as I insert the receipts on a daily basis.
Okay, now here is where I use the =SUM(…) function. Click on the box next to your first category, in this case it will be my Car Loan category on the right hand side. Insert =Sum( and it will look like this:
At this point, Excel should be prompting you to finish you =SUM(..) formula. Highlight the column that says Car loan and scroll down until you have highlighted every box in that column down to 31 (being the last day of the month). When you have finished, the =SUM(…) formula will disappear and the total sum of the expenses in that column will show in that box. Repeat for the rest of the columns.
If you would like the simple expense sheet that I have created for your own uses, access it here: Monthly Expense Sheet
Now here’s the simple part: insert your receipts and expenses in the appropriate columns on the appropriate days. If you need to add a comment to remember what that particular expense was, well, right click on the box and click add comment. Add what you need and go onto the next receipt.
Don’t forget your income. I have a separate column in my own expense sheet for that tracking. The Total Expense and Total Income boxes will total on their own so that you can compare at the end of the month.
I’m not going to show you all the gory details of my personal expense sheet, as some of the comments I made to myself are personal, but I can give you a quick snapshot.
I hoped this helped for a few of you. If you need a more detailed, step by step process, let me know in the comments!
Do you use a program or device to help you track your expenses? Do you go old school? Share your experiences, and don’t forget to follow this blog.
Count those raindrops!