In my initial #TMLFinancialdiet post I shared all my rules for the upcoming months. Rule number 13 was to track all my expenses in an excel budget. I had been doing this pretty diligently last year and had a great financial tracker which worked for me. I challenged myself to bring my financial tracker back from the dead, tidy it up and share it as a resource!
In our group of super savers many of us included tracking and recording expenses as a rule to follow. And I think understanding the reality of where we spend our money is the best way to work out how to save and where real changes can be made.
I have attached the excel file I created to help you on your saving journey.
Reasons I love this financial tracker:
- Vlookups which pull transactions into the correct categories
- Summary sheet to see the last six months as a snapshot
- Month on month comparison by category to see where I splurged or saved
- Traffic lights built in to highlight areas of improvement
- Comment boxes to allow justification of certain expenses or to set goals for the next month
- Great recons and checks across the sheets to make sure all your expenses are included in the right place and are adding up!
I really hope my financial tracker can help you. This is definitely a live document and a work in progress! I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions or issues you are having. We’re all learning together!
Lot’s of people have suggested money tracking apps like Wave and 22seven. I would highly recommend checking them out. I used to use the 22seven app and was very happy without. HOWEVER, I find with an app that auto-pulls my transactions from my bank statement… I stop opening the app and stop engaging with my spending. By manually adding my transactions and thinking about which category to allocate them to I find I am more conscious of my spending. App, excel, tiny notebook – any option – any act of consciously recording your spending makes you a better saver! Just find the option that works best for you.
Not sure what I am talking about? #TMLFinancialdiet whaaat? Have a read of my original post over here.