Why would you want to create your own Excel budgeting sheet?
I could not find what I wanted to fit my needs for these reasons:
1) Companies get hacked all the time, no matter how secure they say they are
Mint, Bundle and Wesabe (online budgeting tools) scare me because it’s online, and the Canadian government has warned against online budgeting sites, and I would never give my personal banking information to a stranger, so why trust an online company with DIRECT access to your financial history and transactions?
Read this book: Art of the Steal by Frank Abagnale
(Yes, THAT Frank Abagnale, the real inspiration of the movie: Catch me if you can).
2) I don’t want to give my personal information for free, in exchange to use their site
On a personal level, also I don’t want my information collected by another company and used for their own analysis, marketing or promotional purposes.
Even if they never sell my info to anyone else, I know that nothing is free in life (not even this sheet!) — so how are they making money by providing me with this ‘free’ service to budget online?
3) Online budgeting tools don’t let you track things the way you want
Budgeting tools like Pear Budget was very cute (love the name) but didn’t track my money the way I wanted it to. It was too simple.
Mint and other online budgeting sites also only track your DEBIT or CREDIT card transactions.
They also (definitely) use the information you provide to gather customer data, do analyses, and then sell the reports to industries and companies you shop at and frequent so they can know how better to sell and market to you.
I don’t want to give my information for free.
4) Budgeting tools only track credit card or debit card transactions
So what about using cash? Nope.
You’re out of luck. You may see an ATM charge under “Uncategorized” but you have no freakin’ clue or memory of what that was for!
At least with a budgeting tool that you can control and modify on your own, you can save that receipt, and input it into your sheet without worrying about forgetting the name of the restaurant, what you paid and when you went out.
5) Their categories were too broad and general
They also have fixed and too-general categories “Entertainment” for me, can be split into different areas, or “Food” can be Eating Out, Treats, and so on. Or maybe I want a Starbucks category!
6) Software programs are too rigid and annoying to use
I also tried software programs like Microsoft Money and Quicken.
Frankly, it’s kind of annoying how difficult they are to use and how I couldn’t customize it to show me the data I wanted to see, and to let me put in the data I wanted to track.
So.. I created this Budgeting Tool to be the queen of all personal Excel budgeting sheets out there.
How long did it take to make it?
Hours upon hours.
I thought about how I wanted a sheet to look, from the structure to the organization to the way everything is organized. Then the real work began with the linking of cells, and all the way down to the formatting.
I am completely debt-free as of the end of summer 2008, but I still use it daily, and I track my monthly and yearly statistics as a result.
Is this a cash flow budgeting sheet?
No, it isn’t.
This is a budgeting and expense tracking tool in Excel.
If you want to track your assets going back and forth from one account to another, but you aren’t really spending any money then this is not the sheet for you.
It will also NOT connect automatically to the internet and track your gift card balances (unless you want to do it manually, by yourself).
If you are still unsure about your situation, please contact me before you purchase it and I would be happy to tell you what it can and cannot do.
NO REFUNDS will be given.
It’s a digital product.
PLEASE contact me.
I am more than happy to answer any and all questions until the cows come home.
What’s new in Version 4.0, and why should I upgrade?
Now, everything you type in expenses will automatically sync up with your budget!
You won’t have to know any Excel formulas any longer to use this sheet, which means no more mistakes made, and there’s less of a hassle when you have to enter in your expenses.
- Assets Analysis Tool
- Debt Analysis to the Debt Repayment tab
- Retirement Calculator
- Structured Categories: No more mistakes in choosing a category
- Debt Repayment tab to be simpler
- Income to be a longer column (as a freelancer I needed a lot more space)
Where does the money go?
To charities of my choosing. I like the following types of charities:
- Medical research (cancer and diabetes runs in my family)
- Children’s charities (makes me think of Baby Bun when I donate)
- Third World countries like Charity Water and Doctors without Borders
- Nature conservancy charities (World Wildlife Fund for instance; or buying tracts of land to conserve for future use)
I do a 100% match of all the net proceeds in charitable contributions (net of fees) out of my own pocket.
(And yes, the tax credit is my financial benefit from all of this.)
Why are you charging for the sheet then?
I understand that you think: Hey! I’m in debt! She should be helping people like me for free because I need to get out of debt and I need the money, but let me explain:
You and I don’t need the money.
If you have money to budget, you and I are lucky enough to live in a country where clean water, a safe community and a war-free life is the norm.
Others, are not so lucky, so even if you think your situation is bad, I can guarantee that if you have a laptop and/or access to the internet, have time to browse blogs, you (and I) are not in their league of ‘need’.
Besides, if this sheet was free and easily downloaded, would you really use it diligently and appreciate the work that went into it?
Perhaps, but more than likely, not. Money is a great motivator.
This is an investment for you to get you to stick to a budget, track expenses and have everything be automated without worrying about online security or any other problems.
I believe what I’m asking for is a fair price for investing in your future.
Can I pay for a separate consultation to have you help me figure out my budget?
If you’d like specific, one-on-one budgeting help because you’re still not sure how to do all of this, I can certainly help you for a flat fee of $100 for a single session.
You do not need to have purchased the budgeting tool to receive this help.
With your income, I’ll personally help you figure out the setup, the structure, and what categories to put in there, and how much to allocate to each category.
Please contact me for more details.
Hey, I don’t have a PC. What about MAC users?
I use a Mac but I use Microsoft Excel for the Mac, and that’s how I built the sheet.
Can you use OpenOffice with this?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Those services are great for basic Excel functions, but this sheet is more advanced than a simple Excel sheet. I would recommend using MS Excel.
It has no formatting in the sheet (loses its prettiness) and the cells are not always as perfectly linked up.
Can you use Google Documents with this?
No, you cannot.
Google Docs just isn’t robust enough to handle all the formulas and stuff I put in the sheet.
You can try Open Office, but as I mentioned above, I will always recommend using MS Excel.
Can you use LibreOffice with this?
I have never used LibreOffice with this, nor tried, but John who purchased the tool wrote in saying:
Also, I have just explored the tool using LibreOffice. It looks like it works well with it.
Thank you for your little creation!
What version of Excel is this?
I made it in the 2011 version with the ending “.xlsx” so it will work with all the new features I added.
Can you customize it for [insert currency] users?
Sure, but I will have to surcharge $10 USD for the work involved.
Can you customize it and add more debt trackers or categories?
Sure, however depending on how easy this will be, I may charge for the time it takes to change all my formulas.
Contact me to find out if I can come up with a solution that works without any changes!
Will everything I enter roll up from each expense to the monthly and yearly totals?
Yes. Automatically, by category. It’s a real time-saver.
Do I have budget categories I can customize for myself?
Yes, up to 15.
Contact me if you want to ask more specific questions about this.
How do I pay?
I only accept Paypal payments.
Paypal is very easy to set up, and you can link your credit card or bank account to it and pay instantly.
Sorry, I won’t accept cheques, cashier cheques, cash or any other form of payment EXCEPT Paypal.
Once I pay, what happens?
You will be able to download the documents instantly if you paid via Instant Paypal.
If you DO NOT get the instant window to download the documents, contact me immediately.
Otherwise, I will personally email you the documents once your payment has been cleared.
Do you offer any refunds, discounts or for free in return for a review?
There will be no refunds at all under any circumstances. This is a digital product.
Please ask your questions BEFORE you purchase, you can contact me here.
I also don’t offer discounts, nor do I give the sheet for free to anyone under any circumstances.
Because it isn’t fair to those people who don’t have blogs, and I don’t need to (or want to) pay anyone to sponsor this in exchange for anything.
If you want it, you’ll have to buy it so that the money goes to charity.
I’m sorry, but it’s only fair to everyone.
Full disclosure: What I get out of it (other than donating to great charities), is I get to match the donated amount 100% in the years I work, and this allows me to have a charity tax credit towards my income taxes each year.
That’s my financial benefit.
When I bought the sheet it didn’t redirect me to a download page!
It happens, and I’m sorry!
I’ll email you all the documents personally as soon as I get access to the internet. Just contact me.