Having been involved with a number of “bootstraps” (4 in a row!) I found myself struggling a little with my personal cashflow… cashflaw might be a more appropriate name TBH.
So anyhow; last year after a joyous debacle I decided that it was pertinent that I took the bull by the horns and really get to know just how these things work. Today I find myself more than comfortable with finances from the personal level all the way to large-company level (double-entry basics, debit, credit, invoices, credit-notes, credit-ratings, credit-insurers yada yada) and today I would like to share with you a pretty powerful spreadsheet that I use to analyse my personal bank account.
http://oodavid.com/finances/template.ods - designed for Open Office, sorry Excel users, but it probably doesn’t work! Feel free to port it :-)
It’s been tweaked and tinkered with and I think I’m finally happy with it. It’s designed to be a no-brainer to user:
- Paste in your bank statement at the end of each month
- Assign each transaction a category
- Magic happens
There are 14 tabs:
- About - this explains how it works and allows you to set some variables that affect the way the thing works
- Money - this is your balance sheet if you will, or a summary of your monthly spendings and earnings with opening balance, closing balance and a grouping of how you spend your cash
- April > February - this is where you paste your bank-statements then categorise each transaction, once you’ve done that the Money tab is automagically updated!
by selecting the category the transaction is added to the correct month / category cell on the Money tab (click for a bigger image)
So every month I paste in my statement, categorise each item (about 60 on average) and then I have a number of useful things in my possession:
- An exact breakdown of how much I’m spending and earning in different areas (groceries, clothes, electronics etc).
- An intimate knowledge of my money. Quite a handy thing when you want to budget etc.
- Proof. Just in-case the taxman or some other arsehole needs it.
Please download it and have a tinker, if I make your life a teeny tiny bit better just give me some love and we’re even :-)