“TGIF with a smile!” ~Security Guard at my office
Welcome to the first ever installment of my Personal Finance series focused primarily on keeping track of finances! In this weekly series, I’ll be showing off a portion of my rather large financial spreadsheet that I’ve developed over the past couple years of my working career.
A Little Bit of Inspiration
My tracking was forever changed after seeing the spreadsheet of reddit user /u/FITemp34097 in this post. Since seeing it, I’d taken his or her scrubbed spreadsheet and reverse engineered the damn thing and gave it a new life with my own twist on it to fit my needs. I highly encourage you to do the same after seeing my set up. Take the pieces that would be helpful to you or take the whole thing!
What’s On The Menu Today, Chef?
Download the scrubbed version of my “Cashflow – Monthly” sheet. All values shown are made up in this one.
Today we’ll be going over one of the core sheets in my overall finances spreadsheet. Cashflow – Monthly. This sheet covers a month-by-month tracking of things like my total Assets/Networth, Expenses, Income, and other notes such as big life events that have occurred that relate to a larger transaction.
First up is keeping track of assets over a monthly period. This section (And most of this sheet, for that matter) is relatively self explanatory. At the end of each month (so today!) I gather the values of my total assets using Personal Capital and enter them into the appropriate rows for that month. Similarly, if I have any debts that I’m carrying, I’ll enter them in here as well. The number one rule for FI is making sure these debts get to 0 ASAP (except for maybe a mortgage).
The row labeled “Logged?” is part of how I automatically track certain graphs. We’ll get to that in another installment.
Some things missing that you might want to keep track of that I currently don’t (because I don’t have them) could be: Home Equity, other plans like a 529 or 403(b), and other liabilities like a mortgage or student loans.
All of these values get summed up in the appropriate rows (Assets Sum/Debts Sum) and then those get summed together to give me my Networth at the end of that month!
Cashflow – Income
I screen capped less columns, because I think you get the picture (hah) of each column being a different month.
So begins the larger section for Cashflow, broken up into a few smaller sections such as Income.
This is another pretty straightforward tracking of any income streams I have for the month. The bulk comes from Salary as you would imagine. I also include my 401k match as “income”, but I also count it as an investment “expense” later on in the sheet which you’ll see.
Other covers things like twitch streaming payments or cash gifts for birthdays/holidays.
At the bottom there are two summations, True and Total. True sums are a summation of actual income, basically anything that doesn’t include my 401k Match and my Insurance reimbursement(*) (Since it’s not really income). Total sum is just everything in the category.
(*) Long story short, the medical insurance through my work is cheaper than my parents. So until I turn 26 (the age where I could no longer be under my parent’s insurance), my parents are reimbursing my medical insurance payments in good faith and banking the difference between what they would be paying with a full family plan vs just Solo + spouse. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Cashflow – Needs
The Needs section covers a lot of basic expenses like Utilities, Insurance and Taxes. Your spreadsheet would likely have things like mortgage payments or a separate row for estate taxes (If you have those in your state).
Each sub category has it’s own total, labeled in bold and similar to the above, I have distinctions between True and Total sums. True sums in this category ignore taxes, but include everything else.
Cashflow – Investments
This section can be a bit tricky and I’m still perfecting how I go about filling in. At the top I have a quick note about my total cash available, primarily for quick access for some graphs in a different sheet.
As mentioned above, I note my 401k match as an expense here and as such, cancels out with the one from the Income section.
While I currently don’t keep a true Emergency Fund aside from a handful of cash, (A catastrophy level event which I would need to shell out an exorbitant amount of cash is extremely slim in my current position) I am definitely looking to begin contributing to one soon enough.
Most of these are pretty self explanatory, except for Taxable Investments which can be tricky. For the most part, anytime I purchase some index fund shares in my taxable account that amount gets subtracted from here, but I also need to account for times that I re-balance my funds, do any tax loss harvesting, or sell off shares from my ESPP and move them into an index fund. Essentially, I do my best, but it is likely not perfect.
Cashflow – Other
Other Expenses is really just a list of any expenses I’ve made for the month, categorized as I see fit. You really have a lot of freedom here to add any categories you like that may be missing.
At the bottom is a summation of the results of the Cashflow section. Additionally, you’ll note that the True Expenses is a summation of the True Expenses from Needs and the Other Expenses. Total Expenses includes that and everything from the negative cashflow in above rows. (Investments, Taxes, etc)
There are a few summations for Cashflow as well which are just the difference between my Income and my Expenses. True cash flows act similar to the True Expenses/Income. The final row is a real cash flow in the sense that my total holding of cash goes up or down by that amount for the month, even if I’ve gotten an improvement on my Networth due to values of my assets/investments.
Below all those calculations are random data points for the month. Things like Effective Tax Rate and Savings Rates. These are all prefilled with formulas you can use yourself which take from the above columns. A few take values from a different sheet, but you can ignore those for now.
Additionally, you can keep track of life events that occur which may leave clues about certain changes in your expenses. Sometimes it’s hard to remember why you started or stopped doing or buying something!
I hope you enjoyed this installment and I’m looking forward to continuing this on a weekly basis. I have LOADS of more Excel awesomeness to show you including things like some fancy and useful graphs. How I automatically fill in my excel sheet every Sunday/End of Month. And so much more!