Each Christmas, the M-Network blogs celebrates the 12 days of Christmas with 12 posts on personal finance. Of course, these aren’t the real 12 days of Christmas, but since those come after Christmas it’s rather anti-climactic. We’ll be posting from December 1st to December 12th.
Today, I’m introducing three worksheets which can help you manage your financial life. If you haven’t started yet, the New Year is a great time to get your finances in order!
The first two are spreadsheets, the third is a Word document (since it’s most likely to be modified and should be easiest to modify). If you don’t have Microsoft Word/Excel/Office, you can still use them. Just get the free Open Office suite.
Basic Budget Spreadsheet
This basic budget spreadsheet ( [download#8#nohits] ) is based off the one I use. Jeff at My Supercharged Life points out that a rigid budget normally dies quickly. Take that into consideration, look for ways to give yourself flexibility of possible and remember that it’s ok to spend more in one area as long as you reduce in others. That’s why the sheet has a balance tally at the bottom. As long as that’s 0, you’re perfect. If it’s positive, then you have extra in your accounts and if it’s negative, you spent more than you earned.
The budgeted amount areas have numbers such as $100 pre-entered as placeholders. They bear no reflection on what I think a budget should be. Simply enter your budgeted amount in the budget column, your actual spending in the next column, and you’ll find out how much you have left in the third. It all adds up at the bottom.
At the top, there is a section for income. I put in two incomes, since it’s easier to delete a row than add one. I added a third section for misc. income from such things as blogging, freelance, consulting, and odd jobs. You can also put any planned withdrawals from savings in the third line.
There are sections for variable monthly spending (groceries, gas) and fixed monthly spending (cable bill, rent/mortgage payment, insurance payments and money saved for biannual/annual insurance payments). Fixed monthly spending includes debts. You may want to budget the amount of your snowball or just snowflake on as you decide. Either way, your income should still equal your outflow.
There’s onepagefor each month, since your needs will probably vary month-to-month.
You can download it here: [download#8#nohits]
This one ( [download#9#nohits] ) has already been introduced on the blog, but I’ve updated it for 2009. It has two pages, one for recording income from advertisers and the other for recording specific consulting jobs. The first allows you to easily enter a series of payments from one advertiser or spread out effective payments which were made in a lump sum. So not only can you keep track of your earnings, you know when a pre-paid ad is due to come down.
The second sheet makes it easy to record job-by-job. It has a place for the name of the client, amount due, whether or not it’s been invoiced, whether or not it’s been paid, and then room for a description of the job (useful for your portfolio).
You can download it here: [download#9#nohits]
Financial Life Worksheet
This worksheet ( [download#10#nohits] ) is a in a Word document. It prepares for the possibility that you or your spouse/partner may die (eventually, both of you will) and compiles all your important financial information. If you’re single, you may still want to have a copy kept somewhere safe with your parent or a trusted relative to ease the handling of your affairs.
It includes places to write your checking, savings, cd, retirement, college savings, credit card, student loan, and car loan account numbers, instutions, login information, payment schedules, interest rates, etc. Then there are places for insurance information (policy numbers, coverage, payment schedules) and for monthly bills such as water, heat, electricity, cell phone, and cable/phone.
Of course, some sections will be completely irrelevant to you, which is why it’s in a Word document rather than a spreadsheet. You can easily delete entire sections, add new ones, add more account information, etc. Be sure to keep this document in a safe place, you may want to print it out and delete the file from your computer. While it could provide you or your partner with everything they’d need after one of your deaths, it could also be very useful to a thief.
You can download it here: [download#10#nohits]
The 12 Days of Christmas
Day 1 – The First Rule Of Personal Finance at Paid Twice
Day 2 – Two Financial Goals – Less Debt, More Income at Cash Money Life
Day 3 – 3 New Year’s Worksheets at Mrs. Micah
Day 4 – 4 ways to be better prepared for Christmas next year at Gather Little By Little
Day 5 – 5 Golden Rules To Follow During The Holiday Season at My Two Dollars
Day 6 – 6 Ways To Give at Moolanomy
Day 7 – 7 Savings Strategies at Being Frugal
Day 8 – Eight Simple Snowflakes at Paid Twice
Day 9 – 9 Year-End Money Moves at Moolanomy
Day 10 – 10 Personal Finance Essentials at Cash Money Life
Day 11 – 11 Ways To Decorate at Plonkee
Day 12 – 12 Steps to a Prosperous New Year at Being Frugal