For a number of years I’ve put together a monthly summary of my financial accounts, just to take a few minutes each month to see where things stand. Are things going in the right direction? If not, what is the reason? It is a big help to take a look at the big picture of where things stand financially.
After getting married my wife and I have continued to use a simple summary spreadsheet and sit down each month to take a look and discuss. It’s a great way to make sure we’re on the same page and aware of where our money is going. I wanted to share my spreadsheet in case it’s of use to others. It’s basically just a simple list of all the accounts we have – credit cards, investments, bank accounts, student loans, mortgage, etc. We add a column each month for the current balances and I added a couple of formulas to show the change for each account month-to-month and for the year in total.
It’s a simple tool, but simply having a good idea of all the accounts you have and how they change is something I find few people do. If you’re married or sharing accounts with another person, it’s also a really good opportunity to discuss goals and issues that otherwise might go unspoken. You can also use Mint for more detail on your transactions and for creating budgets or tracking trends. It’s really good and really easy to use. Mint is also a big help in putting together the monthly summary since it has your current account balance all together in one place.
If you’re interested in learning more about money and saving I highly recommend the Mr. Money Mustache website and reading the book Early Retirement Extreme. They are great and somewhat unconventional resources for having a full life and full wallet.
Download file here (Excel): Monthly Financial Summary – Template