Hands up who knows they could be a lot better with money?
Hands up who spends too much on ASOS?
Guilty, guilty, guilty. We all do it. Amongst getting fit and eating well, what’s the guessing that many of us are also trying to keep our bank balances in shape too? And I’m not talking about the skinny shape.
I had a thought the other day. I realised that no one had really told me about money and the ridiculous importance of saving. I didn’t realise until I left university that being able to afford a house would be a dream for a while.
I’m fortunate enough to live at home but I don't want to stay here forever. I need a house but once my ‘essential’ bills have gone out like my keep, phone bill, petrol and car payments, I’m not exactly rolling in dollar to put towards a deposit.
I have been absolutely on it this month and tracked every penny that has gone out of my bank account and put it into a magic spreadsheet that helps me budget. It’s been both eye opening and pretty useful to see what I’m spending my money on.
So, because sharing is caring and I want you all to be millionaires, I thought I’d share my spending tracking spreadsheet with you along with a quick guide on how to use it. Enjoy!
How to track your spending
Tracking your spending is absolutely the first step you should take if you want to improve your relationship with money. It means I'm a lot more conscious of what I'm spending and it means you can also see where you need to cut down on the spending - (i.e ASOS ...)
Monthly summary sheet
First things first, fill out your salary / monthly income on the monthly summary sheet. This page gives you an overview of all your key spending. (If you are freelance, you might want to add an extra tab to keep track each month of different payments and projects) I've populated the spreadsheet with a formula that tells you how many weeks are between each payday too so you know how much you have to spend each week - you're welcome!
Next, fill out your outgoings. This is anything you have to spend money on every month. This includes things like rent / mortgage payments, gym memberships and phone contracts. Anything that doesn't always have a fixed total - like fuel or utility bills - leave in red until it comes in each month.
Spending tracker sheet
The spending sheet is where you can track all of your spending throughout each month. It automatically populates the spending total on the monthly summary and adds this into your outgoings and remaining total so you can see how much you have left each month.
I have been adding everything I spend on to this spreadsheet. Create a colour code for your spending too - that way you have a visual representation of what you are spending your money on.
Savings tracker sheet
The spreadsheet also has a 'savings tracker' sheet so you can see how much you can save over 12 months. If you edit the savings for each month to something you can realistically afford each month - e.g £150 - the total savings on the savings sheet will update. I have my savings set up as a standing order each month so I don't even have to think about the money going out. I also top up my savings with whatever I have left from that month's wages as an extra bonus. You will soon see it all add up!
Using the spreadsheet
I uploaded the spreadsheet to Google Sheets and keep it as a shortcut on my phone so I can update it in real time. The spending sheet is the only thing that needs updating in real time - the rest looks after itself!
So there we have it - how to keep track of your spending. I hope you found these tips useful! I have tried to make the spreadsheet as simple as possible and have added little instructions in each box to help you set it up to work for you.