When I was learning how to drive, my father told me I have to look at everything all at one. I cannot just stare at the breaklights in front of me, or only pay attention to the traffic signals. He suggested I take in the big picture. Notice what the three cars ahead of me are doing, not focus on a single point, and give yourself enough room to react.
I guess I got into the habit of wanting to be able to see everything at once, because I created a colossal spreadsheet that to plan your weekly, monthly, and annual budget. It also has a sections to track your debt, input your interest fees, and set aside savings for emergencies or special events.
You want to #stripyourfinances? The best way is to lay it out all on our free to download spreadsheet so you can see what you are working with and take control.
Here is a simple step by step guide on how to use your free Naked Formula Budget spreadsheet. Please read through all the steps first so you are familiar with the spreadsheet before you download your free copy here.
Change the month and dates listed on the spreadsheet to reflect the current month. Divide your weeks based on when you receive your main source of income. This sample reflects a pay period that occurs every other Thursday. Because of this, the week’s start with a Thursday and ends with a Friday. There is an extra space available for any months that happen to land in a way that requires extra space for the beginning of a fifth week.
Insert all your monthly expenses and debt payments into the corresponding boxes. If you want an accurate list of how much your are spending a month and what you are purchasing, fill out this free monthly spending spreadsheet.
I highly suggest taking the time to review your statements and receipts (for any cash payments) so your budget is an accurate picture what you really spend, rather than what you think you spend.
Insert all the debt payments and expenses that have a recurring monthly due date on the top of their corresponding lists. Insert the monthly totals of all remaining expenses afterward. Your free Monthly Expense sheet is designed in a way that will gather all these dates and totals for you.
Type in each expense that has a due date under the week the bill is due. Not everyone is paid on the 1st and 15th of the month, therefore it is important to track how much you can expect to have in your account exactly when the bill is due.
Do not copy and past the numbers into the expense section of the week’s boxes because you will delete the formula saved in those cells. This goes every cell that is meant to hold a numerical value. Type in the number but do not paste numbers into these cells. If you do make an error, then you can download another spreadsheet so you can copy and paste the correct formula in the from the blank sheet onto the cell of your spreadsheet.
Now take the expenses that do not have due dates, but you know that you will purchase at least once or more per week. *Group together similar purchases made every week in an effort to simply your chart. Once you calculated the total for each of these particular expenses and/or group of expenses, then divide each total by the number of weeks in the given month. Type in each expense or name for group of expenses into each week.
*Notice that in this sample there were enough purchases made at the office cafe that it was given its own row in the spending tracking sheet. However, there were also a lot of purchases recorded being made at coffee shops. These two are very similar
All remaining expenses should either be made once, twice, or three times per week. Figure out when you plan to make these purchases and place them under the week(s) chosen.
List all sources of income into each week. If your paycheck varies week to week, then add it into your spreadsheet as you receive it. Make sure you are using the dates you receive your paycheck from your main source of income as the determing factor when deciding what your fiscal weeks will be. You should not receive a paycheck from your main source of income on the 10th, but have a debt payment due on the 8th of that week. If something like this occurs, then you did not use the paycheck from your main source of income as the indicator of when to create your fiscal week.
Also in the top left cell next to “checking account”, Add the amount of money you had in your checking account before your first fiscal week started for that month.
At this point you have completed your budget. However, it is important to also track your debt. Once your interest fees are laid out in black and white, I guarantee you will think twice before making frivolous purchases on a credit card. In this section of your spreadsheet, you will need to pull up all your loan and credit card statement. You will find in each statement the amount you where charged in interest fees. This number is too often not even known, yet it may be one of the contributing factors to keeping you in debt. Type in the amount you are charged per month in interest fees and the total amount of the loan, and any additional payments you are able to make that month.
The last section is to track your savings account. I know it may seem like if you are in debt, then you have no reason to save. However, chances are high that if you do not have money set aside for an emergency or life events, then you will end up using a credit card to fund these events. You can allot however much per week you can or choose to save. Use the savings box to list out the events or purchases you are saving for. Decide how you would like to distribute these savings among the events or purchases you are saving for.