Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Using Spreadsheets for Finances

Spreadsheets have revolutionized our budgeting.  Especially our savings.

A couple of years ago we were in a small group at church looking at Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, and the leader helped us with a spreadsheet detailing our budget (thanks Sherry!).  Since then we have been working to get outta debt!

While our budget spreadsheet is very useful, the spreadsheet I made outlining our savings is amazing!

I have a column for each "cause" we're saving for:
  1. Emergency savings
  2. Tithes (we put half "away" until we feel led to give and give half to our church)
  3. Car savings
  4. Rent
  5. Vacation
  6. Christmas
  7. House down payment
When I look at my bank account, it (obviously) gives a total sum.  So, instead of guessing how much we can use for a given purpose, I have it all mapped out in the spreadsheet.  I used to save a certain amount of money per week or paycheck and put it back for rent.  I'm not sure if I'll still do it that way--it depends on how our paychecks fall in relation to each other. 

I also want to stress the "car savings" category.  We hope to build this one so that if we have any car issues, we have money put away for it so its no big deal.  I want to eventually do the same for clothes and medical stuff like new glasses. 

So far its been working well.  Although, we sometimes say screw it and spend some money.  However, we are in a much different place than say, two years ago.

I wouldn't call myself a "spreadsheet kind of girl," but lately I've been using them like crazy!

How do you keep your finances organized?

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