Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reader Email: My Savings Spreadsheet

I got an email recently from a reader who wanted to know how I keep track of my spending/saving in a spreadsheet. So here it is! I'm no excel expert, but I know enough to make things work for me.

HERE is a link to a copy of the spreadsheet for you to download. Pull the spreadsheet up on your screen while I walk you through some of the features below.

This is what he spreadsheet looks like. You enter each shopping trip you make in a new row, by entering the store name, date, subtotal and tax. Then you can enter your savings for that trip (sometimes tallied for you on the receipt) and any rebates you plan to get back from this trip (mail in rebates, Rite Aid SCR's, etc.). The last space is to list what you purchased in that trip -- just enough to make it memorable in your mind.

There is a payment type column which has a drop down menu to keep track of your method. I purchase groceries on our household shared credit card, but I purchase drugstore goods on my debit card (because it drives my husband batty to see 10-billion two dollar charges every month). I also tally gift card purchases separately, because they are often freebies I got from other methods (like Mypoints or prescription transfers), so I don't count them in my overall monthly spending.

The columns are tallied below -- including each payment method separately and your total coupon savings and rebates. At the bottom of the page you can create a new tab for each month.

To the right of the spreadsheet, there is a box that automatically calculates your monthly totals for spendings, rebates, savings and overall percent savings according to the information you've filled in. That way at any time during the month, you can see your net out of pocket total as well as how you are doing on saving.

The biggest difference this spreadsheet made for me when I first began using it, was to help me see how much tax can add up when purchasing "free" items at the grocery or drugstore. In Utah, you always end up paying tax for those items even if they are free, so if it's something you don't really use or need -- the tax may not be worth it!

I hope this spreadsheet gives you some insight as to how I keep track of my spending and can help you a little as well!

No comments:

Add This

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...