I am very excited to announce the release of my new Money Management template. It has long been my goal to create a simple, macro-free, money management spreadsheet that provides the same functionality as basic budgeting and money management software. The bare minimum you need from such a tool is the ability to:
- Define budget categories
- Record payments and deposits for your various bank accounts and assign the transactions to one or more budget categories
- Compare your current spending to your budget via a report or dashboard of some kind
Over the years, I've created many different types of budget spreadsheets, but none of them included a way to record transactions like you can with Quicken or Microsoft Money. I use a spreadsheet similar to my checkbook register to record my business transactions, but it is too complicated to try to share. Such is the case with most spreadsheets that people create for themselves. If a spreadsheet is so difficult to use and customize that you might as well create your own from scratch, it doesn't make a good template.
I've always used Quicken for my personal finances (and will probably continue to use it), so the real motivation for creating the Vertex42® Money Management Template came from the prompting of multiple customers over the past few months. In my first attempts, I tried using separate worksheets for different accounts, like Quicken, but that didn't make the spreadsheet simple enough to customize. Recording transactions for multiple accounts (checking, credit cards, savings, etc.) within a single worksheet turned out to be the solution.
I don't want to be too redundant, so to learn more about the new Vertex42® Money Manager, visit the download page.
Try it out and come back here to leave your comments and suggestions.
Update 5/16/2017 - Many people have asked about how to track money that is allocated to future expenses or individual savings goals. One method is to create virtual sub-accounts via the Accounts worksheet. This method allows you to use the Transactions worksheet and record transfers just as you would with a real account, except that these transfers and the sub-accounts don't show up on your actual bank statements. Another approach is to use a separate spreadsheet to track individual goals (such as the Account Register or Savings Goal Tracker). Because this is such a common request, I've added a new Goals worksheet into the money-manager.xlsx file that lets you track individual savings goals.
I know this is going to come up, so I'm going to mention it now: The ability to automatically important transactions from your financial institution(s) would be a bonus time saver, but that is not a critical feature and would add a significant amount of complication to the spreadsheet. So please don't ask for this feature - it's not going to happen. I purposely avoid using macros and VBA within my templates because I've found that causes the number of questions and problems to sky-rocket.