When it comes to personal finance, spreadsheets have become my best friend. Unlike templates, apps, and printables, they are customizable, have limitless space, and can be accessed from almost any device.
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These 6 personal finance spreadsheets will help you get through your 20s.
Savings Tracker Spreadsheet
One of Dave Ramsey’s recommendations is to pay for everything (especially big purchases like homes and cars) with cash. Although I somewhat disagree with this, I do think it’s important to only spend money that you have. One way to do that is by saving money. But keeping track of your savings can be tricky if you only have one savings account.
Reasons you should have more than one savings account:
- One savings account should hold your emergency fund. This is money that is easily accessible for expenses you can’t predict:
- Car accidents
- Getting laid off
- Another account should hold big recurring expenses that you need to save up for:
- Car insurance
- Christmas presents
- And you should have one account for each big purchase you are saving up for:
If you’re looking to save up for one or more big purchases, this savings spreadsheet by Vertex 42 will help you keep track of your savings for each purchase. Don’t forget to check out the “Help” tab in the spreadsheet if you have any questions.
Monthly personal finance budget spreadsheet
With this simple budgeting spreadsheet, you can easily:
- Compare your actual spending to your goals.
- If you are continuously overspending, it could be a sign that you need to start paying for your expenses with cash.
- See the percentage breakdown of where you spend your money.
- This will help you see if your spending habits align with your life priorities.
- Allocate each dollar you make to an expense category.
- This can help prevent you from spending money frivolously.
Travel Planning Spreadsheet
This is a very simple but effective travel budgeting spreadsheet.
Here’s how to use the travel spreadsheet:
- Enter your destination, number of vacation days, and total budget.
- Enter in your fixed expenses (hotel, flights, etc) by adding or subtracting to the existing rows.
- If you are unsure of how much to budget for these fixed expenses, you can google the average cost of the expense at your destination. For example, if you are headed to Austin, TX, you can look up, “average cost of hotels in Austin, TX.”
- List your unfixed expenses (food, activities, etc).
- The spreadsheet will total up your fixed expenses and give you the amount that will be left over for unfixed expenses.
I spent quite some time looking for a free retirement planning spreadsheet. Most of what I found wasn’t self-explanatory and required a bit of prior knowledge of personal finance terms. Retirement planning is too important to leave off of this blog post. So luckily, I found this blog post.
It’s perfect for beginners. The blog post explains all of the terms and sections in the spreadsheet. And the spreadsheet is simple enough to use and understand.
Here’s what you need to know when using this spreadsheet:
- I highly recommend first reading the blog post.
- You will find the original spreadsheet and the updated spreadsheet. I recommend using the original spreadsheet because it is simpler.
- The blog post specifically talks about retiring early. But the information is useful regardless of whether or not you want to retire early.
- You will add/subtract rows from the existing list under “Investments” so that the spreadsheet matches exactly what you have
- Enter your current age (B13), current monthly expenses (B18), and yearly additional investment (E3). Everything else will be calculated for you.
- Once you’ve entered all of this in, the spreadsheet will tell you how much you need to retire (B20) and the age you will be able to retire (B14).
Here how to use the spreadsheet:
- After downloading the spreadsheet, enter all of your debts in the first table.
- In the second table, enter the amount you have budgeted to pay off your debt.
- There’s no need to touch the third table. This table shows you how much extra repayment money you have (the amount you have budgeted monthly to pay off loans – the sum of the minimum payments of your loans).
- The last two tables show you two popular repayment strategies — highest interest rate first or lowest balance first. Here are a few things to know:
- Dave Ramsey recommends paying off the loan with the lowest balance so that you can quickly pay off your first loan then feel motivated to keep going.
- Use whichever strategy will keep you motivated.
- Regardless of the repayment strategy you choose, you pay the “New Payment” amount + the minimum balances of each of your loans.
Student Loan Payment Tracker
I know that the section just before this was also about debt. But this section is specific to paying off student loan debt bi-weekly.
Unlike the spreadsheet above, this student loan repayment spreadsheet shows you how long it will take to pay off your student loan and how much you save by paying bi-weekly instead of monthly.
The downside of this spreadsheet is that it can only track one student loan at a time.
Start getting your finances in order by quickly finding and landing your first job out of college with the Productive Job-Hunting Game Plan.
Now that you have these 4 personal finance spreadsheets, it’s time to start getting your finances in order. And that starts with being able to find and land your first job out of college as quickly as possible. Tap on the image below to get started.