Before you can achieve success in growing your wealth, you need to cover the basics of investing, budgeting, and accounting. What you do not track, you cannot optimize. So, here are my templates and how I use them for personal finance.
The easiest and cheapest way to get started is with a spreadsheet. I’m going to share with you what I use and how you can too. I bet you didn’t think this was going to an hour-long video on my investing, budgeting, and passive income tracking templates which you can download for free below, but it is. These are the tools you can use to better your personal finances. While you can download applications for these things, this is the free, basic way on a good old spreadsheet. All I am providing is some guidance, how I use these templates, and the templates themselves to get you started.
For TFSA contributions, it varies year to year so keep that in mind: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account/contributions.html. I'm sure it's something similar in the US as well.
I’m on track to retire in 9 years or less on my 10-year retirement journey. I’ve been using these templates for about a year now and wanted to dive in and share them with you and how you can use them to your benefit.
There are a plethora of applications out there for tracking your investments, but again, the easiest and most flexible way to track your investing is with a simple spreadsheet. If you want to learn how I use this template to track my stocks and contributions, follow along with the video instructions and guidelines below.
This one is a little complex however the complexities just lie in adjusting various values like converting all the values to the right currency if you are trading in multiple markets with varying currencies and adjusting data to ensure you are covering everything correctly.
Essentially, I’ve set up this template where you can just have to plug in the stock and click the “Stocks” data type in Excel. From there, you can pull stock-specific data which I have done for everything you will likely need. All you have to do is input the stock, add how much you purchased, update the average price (which would be the same with $0 fees) to include the bookkeeping fees taken by your exchange or bank, and the dividend yield.
Spreadsheet Template Link: http://www.filedropper.com/stockinvestingtemplate
This is an extra mostly meant to help motivate you from seeing your passive income growth and projected growth. I used Joseph Carlson’s original template and made a few changes but you can get his original template here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OJNaygQsWVmttIEePSyphwS45d12cQazY4DO-Vbw4JQ/edit?usp=sharing
If my video doesn’t explain this well enough you can also just watch his: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnJVKHxUkRU
When you get paid dividends, you should then update your Monthly Dividend Amount and Actual Income in the table of the spreadsheet. The only thing you really need to worry about is adjusting the chart data once you get a year or so in and want to see all the data graphed. Otherwise, it should be as simple as adding in the dividends and seeing the visualization of how your wealth is growing via the graph.
Spreadsheet Template Link: http://www.filedropper.com/dividendincometrackertemplate
There are many budget applications out there that you can take advantage of - https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/best-budgeting-apps/
However, if you want to track everything on a simple spreadsheet or at the very least follow along with how I budget to get a sense of direction, follow along with the video instructions and guidelines below.
Budgeting is such a crucial skill and starts with a diligence to want to save money or more importantly, the desire to have more wealth. Then it’s about tracking expenses and where your money is going. At first, it’s not so important that you’re looking to cut expenses, but simply to get a holistic look at what you spend money on and to gain more awareness of your day to day decisions for personal finance.
Over time, simply from tracking, you will begin to see places where you can cut back and if you want to have more money for investing, I recommend you do.
The way my template is set u is I have my monthly and yearly expenses listed and then I track the exact spend and the estimated expense cost for the year. This allows me to set a reasonable budget limit for that expense and allocate funds I need to be able to cover that. Once I’ve plotted everything out, I can see exactly how much money I will need for the entire year. If you can stick to your budget, you will be much more financially successful. Even if you don’t, you will be able to see where you’re making mistakes and at least be aware of them, but hopefully, you will choose to optimize your finances too.
Spreadsheet Template Link: http://www.filedropper.com/budgetingtemplate
With these three templates, you now have all the tools you need for success with your personal finance. There are many investing, budgeting, and accounting strategies and you can get as in-depth as you’d like, but this is meant to give you a thoroughly explained starting point.
How do you save and invest? Do you budget? How important to you is personal finance? Was this helpful and or insightful for you? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe as well!