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I’m an avid proponent of budgeting (firmly disagree with whoever made this video), but I understand that sometimes it can seem overwhelming to start. That’s why I thought it’d be a good idea to share the financial trackers I currently use in the hopes of giving those lost a good starting location. I use a simple combination of a mobile app and an Excel spreadsheet for my financial tracking purposes.
This file serves as the motherboard for my personal finance needs. I create a new one every month and have them saved under the Finances folder on my computer.
Each month has an identical layout with many tabs,
but the most important is the “Budget” tab:
I’ve blocked out some numbers and descriptions, but essentially this is where I keep track of my cash inflows and outflows (I’ll update the Actual column every few days as expenses come in, just to make sure I’m not being overcharged). These are usually all recurring expenses, like my phone bill and Netflix, which I’ll roll over from month to month. My savings contribution (labelled “TFSA” this month) is a plug based on how much money I want to keep as “Spending money” at the end of the month. In addition to a spending fund, you’ll notice I keep some others: a Groceries fund, a Dating fund, and so on. These relate to more day-to-day expenditures that I think would be too much of a hassle to keep track of on a formal Excel document, so I use…
I’m an iPhone user, so I use the Expense app to keep track of my funds. I’m not sure if this is available for Android users, but it has very basic functionality so I’m sure you can find one similar on Android phones. Essentially it allows me to create several different accounts, and fund them by adding money in, taking money out, or transferring money in between the funds. This way, when I’m out and about, I just plug in the expenditure onto my Expense app without having to worry about keeping the receipt and plugging it into Excel later.
Let me know in the comments below if you found this post helpful! Budgeting doesn’t have to be a tedious thing – I don’t spend more than a few minutes each month on it – but it can help you sleep better at night knowing you’re on track in your financial journey.
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