To be a good saver, you must be a good spender. To have financial stability, you must spend less than you earn. This can be achieved by focusing on your needs, rather than your wants.

The best way to save is to know what you spend, because you are what you spend!.
Here is a simple tracking method I employ using LibreOffice Calc or Microsoft Excel. The following table simulates a spreadsheet file.

Date Description Currency Currency(IN) Currency(OUT)
01/01/2017 Payment: Reason +1000
02/01/2017 Shopping: Reason -500
10/01/2017 Payment: Reason +2000
20/01/2017 Miscellaneous: Reason -1000
31/01/2017 Donate: Reason -100
OUT -1600
NET +1400
+3000 -1600
01/02/2017 Payment: Reason +1000
02/02/2017 Shopping: Reason -1000
10/02/2017 Payment: Reason +5000
20/02/2017 Miscellaneous: Reason -1000
31/02/2017 Donate: Reason -500
OUT -2500
NET +3500
+6000 -2500
2017 +9000 -4100
NET +4900

At the end of each day, you should add your incomes and expenditures to your expense tracking file. Daily incomes should be positive, while expenditures should have a negative sign. Some people even go as far as painting expenditures in red, just to feel the pain and get them not to spend much.

You can insert a date and time to the Date column with the shortcut Ctrl + ;. The Description column takes a short explanation of the income or expenditure, while the Currency column takes the actual income or expenditure. The Currency(IN) and Currency(OUT) columns hold the monthy total incomes and expenditures respectively. This will be used at the end of the year to calculate the yearly income, yearly outcome and yearly net income.

You should insert your desired currency in the Currency header column. You can also add columns for as many currencies as you want, if you spend and earn in multiple currencies.

At the end of each month, you can track your total income, total expenditures and net income for that month as shown in the simulation table above.

The figures in bold are of special interest. Hover over them to see their corresponding formulae.

=SUMIF(C2:C6, ">0") Sums the figures from Columns 2 to 6 if they are positive - Incomes
=SUMIF(C2:C6, "<0") Sums the figures from Columns 2 to 6 if they are negative - Expenditures

Happy Tracking!


powered by TinyLetter