I used to be a financial analyst and used Microsoft excel in a variety of ways. From building financial models to using it as a crude database, excel can be used for many different purposes and you can use it very easy to keep an eye on your finances. This first thing to do is to create an excel file. Name it “Office.com/Setup” or something like that and save it on your computer and also on a flash drive for backup.
If you have never used excel before, then let me first tell you that the time you invest into learning some very basic excel skills will help you later because once you have a basic model set up, maintaining it takes very little time. I will not go over the rudimentary basics of excel in this article but will assume that you know how to work your way around an excel file and some basic commands.
The first step is to set up your output sheet. The first sheet on the bottom left of the screen should be renamed “output”. In this sheet, you will have a top-level view of your finances. For example, the first line should track your bank account. You can have separate lines for your checking and savings accounts. The next line should be about your investments.( Office Setup) The goal is to separate out your inflows from your outflows. So the first few lines should be your inflows. Then the next few lines should be all your outflows such as recurring monthly bills, credit card payments and your estimate of your monthly food bills, electric bills, etc. Feel free to color code your inflows and outflows. I like to use Green and Red.