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New Tool – Monthly Budget With Tracking

One of the best disciplines anyone could ever develop is the practice of budgeting.  It is biblical.  It is smart.  And it is completely necessary in order to truly have peace of mind with money.  You gotta plan it and you gotta track it to know how you’re doing against the plan.

There are so many options out there for doing a budget and tracking expenditures, and for me none are as simple to customize to my liking as a good ole fashioned excel spreadsheet.  That’s why I have an ever-changing system that works for me.  It includes an excel sheet I tweak consistently and Quicken that I learn new tricks on as I see fit.  But for everyone I meet with in one-on-one financial coaching I always recommend starting with what is most simple – excel.

The problem with most excel budgets out there is it is simple to create one for budgeting but not as simple to do the transaction entry and reporting that helps you know how well you’re sticking to the plan.  That’s why I created the  Monthly Budget With Tracking tool (click the link to download it).

The beautiful thing about this tool is the transaction log and report page.  Enter your transactions on the log and then use the report page to do the sums and comparisons.  No more of the failed attempts to add up actual spending in your head, or trying to remember exactly how you got to such a wrong amount.  The transactions are right there and they tell the whole story – the truth and nothing but the truth.  Because numbers don’t lie (unless they’re statistics).

It is a bit of a work in progress, but I’ve shared it with several folks in the coaching process and they all seem to appreciate the simple approach to planning, logging, and reporting performance.  So if it might be helpful to you then take some time to download it, read the short instruction page, and get to work.  You can’t control your money without giving it a plan, and you can’t control your plan without tracking your behavior.

As I adapt more of the excel sheets that work for us to be sharable for all I’ll definitely post them on the tools & tips page.  So stay tuned.

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