help me make my budget work for me!
April 14, 2008 9:02 PM   Subscribe

Excel Filter: I can't figure out how to make Excel show my budget the way I need it to.

I need a very basic spreadsheet, or so you would think, but apparently I don't want to see what most people see.

Alot of our bills are completely fixed so all the "actual vs. difference" templates are not what I want. What I need is one column where all the incoming and outgoing money is listed, almost like a projected bank statement, and a corresponding running total on the other side.

Because of the way our withholdings and whatnot are scheduled and the fact that he gets paid every other Friday and I am paid on the 1st and the 15th, it gets confusing because our money is pretty freaking tight. I really feel like I at least need to know where we should stand every week, but all the templates are set up as monthly.

I know this should be simple, but I have no idea about how to make this spreadsheet. If you can point me at a template that does what I want or just some formulas and suggestions on how to set it up, that would be great.
posted by stormygrey to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you be more specific about what you are wanting? I can't make heads nor tails of what you are actually wanting to happen.
posted by jseven at 9:19 PM on April 14, 2008

Is there a sample spreadsheet you can post and then describe how you want it modified?
posted by junesix at 9:26 PM on April 14, 2008

Response by poster: Nothing as far as templates I've found is really close. I don't want a "budget", but more of a cash flow tracker. The first column should look something like this (expanded by all 4 weeks):

x/x/2008 Mr. Pay $2000
x/x/2008 Mortgage -$2000
x/x/2008 Billx -200
x/x/2008 Billx -200
x/x/2008 Bartending 200
x/x/2008 Ms. Pay $1500
x/x/2008 Billx -200

Then with a column next to it that would give me what money I have left over, a running total of what I should have on any particular day.

The other thing that would work is a calendar where I could schedule all the incoming and outgoing bills and it would total everything up by week.
posted by stormygrey at 9:38 PM on April 14, 2008

Best answer: Row - Column A / Column B / Column C

1 - Date / Deposit is + # / This field should be blank
2 - Date / Debit is - # / in this field put: =B2+B1
3 - Date / Deposit / in this field put: =C2+B3

Click on the bottom right of the C3 box and drag down to automatically update the formula for as long of a period as you like, same with the date, then in column B always add debits and deposits. The list on the right will be kind of messy in that it will be a running total repeated a million times but it is a fast way to get what you want.
posted by occidental at 10:10 PM on April 14, 2008

Just make sure that your cells are set up for currency, and then list all income as a positive number and all expenditures are negative [either -num or (num)] depending upon your settings. Then just keep a running total - you can drag the total cell down the spreadsheet, and it will update - your total is what you have remaining.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:32 PM on April 14, 2008

Best answer: If I understand what you want correctly, it is indeed very easy. You don't need a template. Open a new, blank worksheet, and fill in top left corner as follows:
      A           B           C           D1    Date         Received    Spent       Balance2    15-Apr-08                            1003                                         =D2+B3-C3
Instead of 100 in cell D2, put the amount of money you're starting with. Next time you receive or spend money, put the date in A3, and the amount received or spent in B3 or C3. D3 will show you the resulting balance. Keep adding entries to A4, B4, C4 and so on by hand; when you want to see balances, click on D3, grab the autofill handle (black spot at bottom right) and drag it downward to fill as much of column D with running totals as you need.
posted by flabdablet at 1:17 AM on April 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks! All good helpful solutions to help me to tweak it so I get what I want.

Ya know, I used to this on paper when I was younger and had more patience and I only had three teeny bills.
posted by stormygrey at 3:22 AM on April 15, 2008

It sounds a lot like the Excel checkbook register I downloaded from
posted by Joleta at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2008

I just downloaded that to have a quick squiz, and it looks like the logic is pretty much identical to what I posted, but the formatting is much nicer. It's got a bit of extra stuff in there to help you do reconciliation, too, which could be handy. Nice find.
posted by flabdablet at 4:22 AM on April 16, 2008

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