As part of my need to keep my personal spending reasonable, I like to keep a spread sheet budget. Each paycheck I get a set aside amount of money dumped into a separate bank account that I use for personal spending on hobbies and things like eating out and gas for my car. Part of the reason for this is that my wife gets annoyed trying to keep track of a bunch of small purchases, like ebooks and fast food stops. Part of it is to keep my spending somewhat reasonable.
I have a spread sheet I’ve used for a few years now to track what I spend and what categories I spend it in. I’ve used the same sheet for a few years now. It also serves as a way to forecast out my budget, which is really handy as more and more I’ve started just preordering things rather than trying to catch them in stores.
For example, I’ve already got pre orders going out through June of 2020. I keep a page of just these pre orders with approximate dates, where it’s been ordered, and a generic value, usually estimated up. Like all those Black Series figures. I reordered a bunch of them using a coupon over the holidays, so they are all 20% less, but for now it’s easiest just to keep them in the list as is.
These also go in the main sheet with approximate dates, mostly based on expected paycheck. Above is a generic form of the first week, though chances are the Endgame Wave will get pushed back, and at least one of those Hasbro Pulse orders is coming out of a different bank account for other reasons. The point is more to help illustrate how the spreadsheet works.
I’ve pre filled out the deposits, each with a bunch of blank lines in between to add in purchases. I also add in a generic $20 for gas out of each paycheck, though that doesn’t always get spent and occasionally it’s more. It’s a good starter ball park. I also fill in any pre orders on the appropriate dates. Some of the dates are approximate. I know however that, Amiami order usually come at the very end of the month. For the most part, if something happens and I need to cover something, I can pull from the seperate main household budget, but I generally prefer not to. The sheet also does not include a buffer amount that is always in the account. The above sheet suggests a $2.73 balance, but it’s actually higher than that, since the buffer is intended to remain as a buffer.
I also add in reoccuring costs. Website domains and hosting costs, subscriptions for some websites and games, that sort of thing. The idea is that I can be covered for any larger months. For example, in 2019, around the end of August, I had a huge ball of pre orders coming all at once. So I cut back on spending leading up to that time, so I could cover everything.
Lastly, the sheet is also useful for getting an idea on what I spend my money on. For example, in 2019, I spent roughly 54% of my budget on toys. Eating out, Gas, Video Games, and Books were all around 10%. Everything else was smaller. This tracks as a sort of running total, so I can watch it rise and fall over the year if I want.
I do this all in Excel. It’s easy to edit and adjust, and I can easily sync it between my desktop, laptop, and phone with One Drive.
Anyway, If you’d like to take a closer look at the spreadsheet, I’ve worked up a clean version of it which can be found here.