So I hope you have been really busy sorting out what all your sources of income are – for those of you fluttering about “but I never know when I am going to get paid” ………….. Yeah!! me too – or at least for some of my income …. the joys of a “patchwork career” I suppose.
The secret with these sheets is to make your best guess in the beginning and then refine them as you work through – you may find there is a pattern to your payments that you have never noticed before. If like me you get money in daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and 60 days in arrears this is the tool that will help you get a clear overview of what is happening in your finances rather than just a “snapshot balance” of your account.
These are the sheets that I use to maintain my sanity – they are not gorgeous, they are not clever ……….. they are functional and smart. They are the sheets I use on a daily basis – if a random payment comes in, it gets entered on the sheet – if I make a random purchase – that too gets logged on the sheet…………. it was the only way I could look forward with any clarity and see if I was going to run out of available cash at any point and tweak my outgoings to balance the upcoming problem.
Now – here is the confession ………………. these sheets are excel spreadsheets (older version). If you have problems downloading I’m not sure I can help cos I am not a “techie whizz” …………. so go find yourself an eight year old, they will know what to do LOL. But they do work and they are what I use everyday ……………. but feel free to adapt them to your family’s specific circumstances.
So first things first ………………… download and save the Cashflow Spreadheet …………. in fact that should be plural as I have set this up today so that you have a spreadsheet for every month this year.
Now – each monthly spreadsheet has a column for each day. I know budgets are usually done monthly – but this is in response to Mo’s query about making sure the money was in the right place at the right time. This is about balancing the budget – our Baby Step Number One.
The child benefit comes into my account every Monday – so every Monday in 2014 I have entered the sum of £33.70 …. I know it may change later in the year ……….. but remember what I said about “best guesses” and then you can refine it later.
So tonight’s mission (should you choose to accept it LOL) is to whizz through the spreadsheets entering your “best guesses”. I realise that this won’t take into account overtime, bonuses, commission …………… but if can at least get your basics done then you are off to flying start. You can always amend the numbers when the actual payment comes through.
If you need to add extra titles for your income sources – either over-type one that you do not need or insert a new line between two of the original titles …………. that way all the whizzy stuff still works.
You will see that in the blue stripe it will total up all your income for that day automatically …………. YEEHAA!! I love that – saves me getting out the calculator and it never makes a mistake.
So there you go – your first few steps in taming the money monster ………….. those business bods who are familiar with cashflow forecasts can probably take the template and complete the rest ………….. but don’t worry, tomorrow is all about looking at your expenditure ……………… so if you want to get a jump ahead I suggest you pull out your bank statements ready to fill in those numbers tomorrow.
Don’t worry though – baby steps remember ………….. just focus on slotting all your income sources in for right now…. its a massive step forward.
Leave a comment below if you are playing along – I’d love to hear what you think about me creating some more of these kind of practical tools to help us all out his year.
ETA: One of our ladies just messaged me to say “you should be charging for this” – but i feel a bit “icky” doing that when it is a tool to help people get out of a muddle – needless to say if you do feel like chipping in a few pence you know where the donate button is and every penny is gratefully appreciated.
Click here when you are ready to move on to the Expenditures portion of the free cash flow spreadsheets.