A Mixed Bag – A bit of everything under the sun

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category


The first step in taking charge of your finances is to make a budget. It gives you a clear idea of how much of you income is going where and what you need to cut down on. Only then can you think about saving money. Given that it is such a simple and important step, here is an excel template that makes it even easier.

This excel sheet was created by me based on another budgeting template available online the author of which is unfortunately not known.

Features of this budgeting spreadsheet:

Budgeting Template

1. Track your budget every month – There are 12 sheets for each month of the year and you can track the budget for the whole of 2010 in just one workbook. Also, it’s easier to refer to the previous months when you need to.

2. It is customizable – You can enter your checking account, savings account and credit card account names. You can add your own budget categories and their amounts.

3. Displays the amount budgeted and spent in each category – For every category you name and set a budget for, you can track your progress.

Click to enlarge

4. Summary graph of your spending – A graph in the summary page shows how your spending varies in each category every month

5. Shows your net worth – Once you enter all your accounts and their initial balances in the first month, the spreadsheet displays your net worth every month

6. Tracks your savings each month – Every dollar you enter as “Savings” in the category column is kept track of by the worksheet and is displayed at the top left corner of the page.

Click to enlarge

7. View all your account balances in one page – You don’t have to log into multiple accounts everyday. Once you have entered the initial balances, the spreadsheet automatically calculates the balances and you can see them all in one sweeping view.

8. Alerts you when you are exceeding your budget – A red box on that category immediately warns you that you are exceeding your budget allotted in this category.

Download this spreadsheet:

1. Download the spreadsheet in xlsx(Office 2007) format

OR

Download the spreadsheet in xls(Office 2003) format

How to use this spreadsheet:

Step 1: Use the categories given or add your own in the drop-down box.

You can do this using Data Validation. Also update it in the budget section.

Step 2: Add your own accounts in the Account Summary section. Also add them to the drop-down box

Step 3:. Update the initial balances. You need to do it only once. The spreadsheet will keep track of it for the rest of the months.

That’s it. You’re good to go. Start tracking your spending.

More cool features:

1. Enter the initial balances only once – Once you do it, for the rest of the year, the worksheet will work out your balances for you.

2. Change the budget amounts whenever you like – When you do, the rest of the months will reflect the changed budget.

3. There’s place to figure out your budget – There is one sheet dedicated to planning your budget where you can enter your income, see how much you need for paying bills, how much you can spend in other categories etc.

4. Formulas are protected from accidental changes– Just to prevent accidental clicking and changing of formulas, the sheets are protected. You can nevertheless type in the fields which require you to. If you however need to make some changes, you can always go to Review -> Unprotect Sheet and make them.

Hope this proves to be a useful tool. If there are any bugs or questions, please do let me know. I will address them immediately.

Other articles you might be interested in:

15 Simple tweaks to save money without sweat

Earn some pocket money in your free time

Other downloads you might be interested in:

Organize with a Master Grocery List and Weekly Menu planner

Relationship Appraisal

Advertisements

Do you spend the whole day using the internet and then feel guilty?  Have you wished you could have a control on the time spent browsing? I certainly have. To the extent that I realize I cannot limit it and would rather someone else did the controlling job.

Hence I wrote a simple program which doesn’t let me browse for more time than i intended to.

Here is what it does:

  1. It asks me for how much time I would like to browse
  2. Starts my browser for me
  3. Keeps track of the time while I am browsing
  4. And then when the said time is up, just shuts down my browser.

Crude, but effective nonetheless.

If you would like to use it too, I have the files here. One is for Firefox and the other for Internet Explorer. Download the file depending on the browser you use often.

For Firefox

For Internet Explorer

Usage:

  • Click on the appropriate link.
  • A window pops up asking you to save the file. Click save where you want it.
  • That’s it. From now on, whenever you want to limit internet time, just double click this file and browse.

Some points about the firefox program:

The next time firefox is started, it may ask you to restore the session.This is because it doesn’t shut down firefox in a ‘clean’ manner. Click on “Restore” or “Don’t Restore” and simply continue.

This problem does not happen with Internet Explorer.

It is NOT spyware or adware. It is my own plain batch program and I use it myself. Download without worries.