I put a lot of time into preparing a clean version of my family finances Excel spreadsheet to offer in our Dollar Barrister shop, and I wanted to point readers to it here again now that we’re in the middle of tax season.
You might be getting ready to write a check to the IRS (ugh) or trying to figure out what to do with a refund check (yes!). If so, having a spreadsheet like this at your fingertips to calculate credit card payoff balances and utilization rates, cash flow, savings, and your net worth is critical to staying on track with your financial goals once April 15 comes and goes.
It’s priced at $15, which I think you will agree is a fair price once you dig into the template, start using it, and see your net worth and cash flow management skills increase. What gets measured gets improved!
As you’ll see, my Ultimate Family Finances Spreadsheet includes four different, but equally important, tabs:
Cash Flow: essentially your checkbook, which you will balance yourself, in real-time, as often or as infrequently as you like (but hopefully often!). This sheet will also calculate your after-tax stock, bond, and cash savings on a percentage of total savings basis so you can keep track of your preferred asset allocation.
Credit Cards: I have always struggled staying on top of my credit cards. I created this tab to do just that – tracking balances, current credit limits, annual interest rate, utilization, and payment and expense budgets. While I’m not perfect at paying my balance every month, this tab has made a huge difference for me in keeping my overall utilization rates low (this is a critical factor in your credit score) and budgeting monthly payments to different cards. The tab is set up with three hypothetical cards with different balances and limits to get you started.
Net Worth: I started tracking my family’s net worth in early 2015 and, less than two years later, we crossed the $1 million mark. It’s likely we wouldn’t have had a clue where our net worth stood if we weren’t paying close attention to it. This tab in our spreadsheet is also filled in with dummy data that you will obviously update with your current details.
Monthly Savings Budget: As I’ve written here before here at Dollar Barrister, I do not track every penny going out the door. (I tried it for a month and it slowly drove me insane.) Instead, I shoot to save 40% of our post-tax income, and track total dollars saved and that percentage on a monthly basis using this tab on my spreadsheet. That monthly percentage is also broken out by taxable bond, stock, and cash investments so I can observe trends in asset allocation over time.
Again, you can download my Ultimate Family Finances Spreadsheet in our shop, where you’ll find it along with a bunch of other products that will help you be a happier and wealthier in-house lawyer! Good luck!