Budgeting is not an activity that most people enjoy, unlike shopping in the world of digital money where everything is accessible at a single swipe of a bank card.
Budgeting simply needs to be done. You will never keep track of your spending otherwise, and you will never know how your investments are doing unless you measure that.
Whether you are looking for financial spreadsheet templates to set up an investment portfolio, or you just want to get a fool-proof tool that will help you track your personal finances, the internet is full of free budgeting and investment spreadsheet resources. Lucky you!
Now that you know what to search for in Google, let’s look at three tips that will make the chore of tracking your finances easier for you.
1/ Keep it stupid-simple
There are so many financial spreadsheets out there that it’s easy to get stuck and unable to choose. How do you pick the right spreadsheet tool from so many options?
The tell-tale sign is your first thought as you glance at it. Do you immediately understand what you’re looking at? Or are you overwhelmed?
It’s that easy: You will never stick to using a spreadsheet that is difficult to understand.
2/ Plug in your mailbox
Free tools like Zapier let you set up a special email address where you can forward any bills or invoices or notes regarding your financial planning. The content of those emails will be automatically recorded as a new line in any Google spreadsheet that you select.
If you set up an extra sheet in your financial planning Google spreadsheet, all you need to do as far as legwork is concerned is to process the numbers mentioned in each of the recorded emails. No need to worry they’ll get lost in your mailbox!
Thanks to this quick little hack you will be able to leave all your financial planning work to a single session, let’s say once a month.
3/ Plan what to do with the extra money
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Most budgeting spreadsheets leave out this aspect, but you can easily fix that.
Just add a note to a margin anywhere in your spreadsheets, listing the things you are currently saving up for. It can be major things like a two-week road trip, but it can totally be something simple like a fancy drinks budget. It’s up to you!
If you are investing, your investment spreadsheet will definitely have a cell to show you your total profits. Copy that value next to your wishlist and you’re done.
Budgeting often feels like an overwhelming chore, but it doesn’t have to. The key is choosing a budget template that you feel comfortable working with. Making budgeting less of a chore is what will keep you at it for as long as you need to.