In College and Starting Out

In college and just starting out as young adults, read along as these bloggers face a new stage and increased responsibility.

Do Spreadsheets Simplify Saving?

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Is saving money simple? Saving money can be a challenge, yet I believe it is important to know what you are spending, before you can determine what you should be saving.

With the help of a spreadsheet, saving money becomes a lot more manageable as you can identify expenses as well as income. I have a habit of keeping my receipts for every purchase, and this helps me understand how much money I am spending on a weekly basis. It might not seem necessary that I record purchases that are only a couple of dollars, but it ensures that I stick to my routine. After recording my purchases on a spreadsheet I am able to recognize where I am spending my money.

Spreadsheets can be created by the use of pen and paper, or by using an electronic copy by using a program like Microsoft Excel. I would recommend using Excel since it is easier to total up your expenses and income. With an Excel spreadsheet you can total up all of your weekly expenses with the touch of a button by inserting a formula.

On the spreadsheet I suggest making various columns and separating those by week. Within the weekly columns you should categorize rows separated into different "buckets" for all of your expenses. I recommend separating the following rows:

  • Travel and Entertainment
  • Dining Out
  • Automotive
  • Merchandise
  • Services
  • Miscellaneous

These "buckets" should cover all of the expenses from your day-to-day activity.  After you create your expenses it is time to include a section for your income. This is important because with the use of formulas you can pinpoint how your spending ranks against your income. It is ideal to make more than what you spend and I try to follow this routine as I don't want to end up in the negative.

In addition to creating a spreadsheet I file all of my paystubs, car payments, and insurance statements. On my calendar I mark off when each of my bills are due so that I can make sure these are submitted and paid on time. I pay off my credit card bills and manage my activity online as I find this easier to manage. Through these methods I am able to make sure that my bills are paid on time so that I don't incur late fees or other charges. These allow me to not only save money, yet I am also able to save time as I can avoid mailing these bills and ensure payment prior to the due date. Summing up this concept of saving may not be simple, but having a routine in place makes is easier to save money once you can identify where you are spending.

Please share with me tips that you are using to save money and how it is working for you. I'm always looking for new ideas and would love to hear your opinions. 

  • As the holidays approach and we run our mental highlights of the past year, let's all take the time to recognize what a brave change we are making in our lives.

  • Definitely - completely agree that we should all take the time to recognize the changes in our lives as the new year approaches!

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