How To Track Your Finances Using Excel and your Bullet Journal

As you’ll already know, if you’ve been following my Dear January series, I’ve really been trying to get my finances in order in 2017. In all honesty, I haven’t made very much progress (sigh), but one thing I have gotten really good at is knowing where I’m at, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.

I created this spreadsheet in July and I’ve been filling it out fairly consistently ever since. I’ve now mentioned it in a good few posts and thought it was about time I put you out of your misery and talk you through it.

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Week commencing

Pretty self-explanatory. A simple way of knowing which week I’m looking at. Personally, I use the Monday as the start of the week, but it doesn’t really matter where to start so long as you keep it consistent.

Hours worked

Once the work rota comes out for a given week, I simply add up the number of hours I’m working and shove it in here. That way I can easily calculate how much I’ll be making and how much I have to work with.

Wages

This is one of those cells that, once you’ve set it up, does all the work itself.

The formula for this cell is as follows:

= [the hours worked cell to the immediate left] * [the amount you make, per hour, after tax]

To find out how much you actually make per hour after tax, I’d recommend looking at your payslip and dividing the amount shown by the number of hours listed on that same sheet – simples.

Other income

This is a great cell for any student, although it may not be essential for everyone.

This is where I’ll account for any profit made from Etsy sales, decluttering sales, my student loan payments or gifted money (from friends or family).

Once I’ve inserted the amount in here, I always make sure to write a little bit in the notes section on the far right of the spread so I know where that money has come from!

Actual expenses

The word ‘actual’ is a little pointless at this stage (I once had another cell in this sheet called ‘ideal expenses’, but I got rid of that and should really have dumped the word ‘actual’ too), but oh well!

At the end of the week, I look at my online banking app, see how much I’ve spent and insert the numbers into a simple addition formula.

If the number turns out to be astronomical, I sometimes break it down into categories (e.g. food, shopping, transport etc) in a separate sheet, so I can get a better understanding of where my money is going and how I can cut my spending further.

End balance

For ease, in the example above, I put my initial balance in at zero, but again, at the start of the month, I always like to check that this figure is the same as in my online banking app.

This is basically a way for me to track my debt and to see how far I have to go before I’m debt free.

Total Savings and Added To Savings

This is where I track the rest of my money, outside of my current account. I like to try and put a little bit of money into this account every week, and these two columns allow me to see both what I added and a total savings figure – that way I know exactly how I’m doing.

My goal for this is to eventually save £5,000 and then to start investing, but I’m a long, long way off that. For now, it’s there for emergencies and travel expenses.

Notes

I’ve already talked about this in the ‘Other income’ section, but essentially this is where I write down where all my extra income has come from.

If I have a week with a pretty big expense (e.g. booked a flight, had to get my car fixed, topped up the heating oil etc), I jot that down in here too to keep me accountable.

What does all the red mean?

Good question! You’ll have noticed that some of my cells include red text, which signifies that the current figures in that cell are suggestions/estimations.

That way, I can look ahead in my financial planner and see what sort of expenses I have coming up, or what income I can expect, it just makes the sheet a little bit more functional.

Into my Bullet Journal

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If you’ve seen my Setting Up My New Bullet Journal post, you’ll already have seen this spread, but essentially this is a place for me to keep track of my money, at a glance, by month.

On the last day of the month, I total up all the different columns and copy those figures into the spread in my bullet journal.

That way I can see all the progress/mistakes I’ve made!

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And that’s it!

I know this wasn’t the most exciting post I’ve ever written, but hopefully it was useful for you guys and can help you to get your own finances in order before Christmas hits!
I’d love to hear your financial tips and tricks in the comments down below, I’m always looking for better ways to manage my money – help me out, guys!

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