Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Financial Dilemma

Along with finding out I was pregnant this May I also graduated from The University of Southern Maine with my bachelor's degree in business management. It took me six years, but that's all right; I decided to find my career then get a degree in it which seems to have worked out just fine so far. The last month of school I had handed over the financial responsibilities to my wonderful fiance Jack hoping to have to deal with one less thing. Unfortunately, he had no previous experience in paying bills and creating budgets so this backfired on me.

Soon after this Jack and I traveled down to New Orleans, LA to see my best friend marry the love of her life. While, we had a splendid time (and let me tell you, she looked gorgeous) it cost us a pretty penny.

Jack and I are also trying to save up for our baby, my maternity leave, an engagement ring, a wedding, and a house, in that order. So currently we are in a bit of a money pinch trying to save every single extra penny we can find. The situation presented us with the need to create a budget. Thankfully I have a deep love for accounting and using excel to create spreadsheets which has turned out to be beyond beneficial. I have invented some wonderful easy to use easy to create budgeting spreadsheets that help me plan and watch where every cent from our paycheck goes. These spreadsheets are also customize able and you can easily take out the parts you do not need.

Creating this template is actually quite easy, probably as easy as it looks. Thanks to ABU 190, my stellar Excel class I have become quite a pro at this.

Step 1: Creating the Bills, Necessities, and Income tabs. This part is extremely simple Just type them in. You can obviously enter your own subcategories to your specific needs.

Step 2: Enter the dates you can do weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly whichever is easiest for you. I chose to do it weekly as that let's me know exactly what I can spend each week and exactly when bills need to be paid entering the dates is also easy just type them in. You can change the format by highlighting the row, selecting the "format cells" button, click on the date tab to the left and choosing the format you would like to use.

Step 3: You are going to also format the center cells so the negative numbers (bills) show up in red and the positive numbers stand out in black. To do this you want to click cell B3 and drag it to F26 this will highlight all those cells. Right click them and do the same thing you did in step 2 except choose currency.

Step 4: You now want to create the formulas. In cell B17 write =sum( then click on B3 and drag it down to B16) make sure you do the open and closed parentheses. you can copy this formula by highlighting the cell containing the formula putting the arrow on the small black square and dragging it as far as you'd like.

Step 5: You will repeat step 4 for the Income total

Step 6: The Net formula will be a little different. You will still enter =sum(, however instead of dragging the cell you will click on the two cells you want to add and separate them with a comma. It should look like this. =sum(B17,B24). You will then copy the formula to the rest of the cells.

TaDa! you're done and now you can save this and use it each month or however you'd like. The hardest part about this budget is looking at all your bills (very depressing as well) and figuring out when you need to pay what and organizing them. The benefits of this are so great that it is completely worth the time it takes. Before I create my budget I stress and stress about money as soon as I see it laid out in front me it puts my mind completely at ease!

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