The Vertex42 Money Manager is an Excel spreadsheet that helps to manage personal financial planning. This free template provides pre-configured formulas to record, budget and plan your finances all in one organized format. The Money Manager encompasses all aspects of your spending, income, savings and more in an easy-to-use spreadsheet that can assist newcomers and frequent Excel users alike in tracking expenses and planning for the future.
The Money Manager helps you organize your financial situation using different worksheets within the file: Budget, Transactions, Categories and Report. This allows you to set a yearly budget and track your expenses by specific sub-categories, such as money going into a college fund, investments or charitable donations.
Unlike many other budgetary tools, the Money Manager allows you to set a budget for the entire year rather than just by month. With a yearly budget, you can project how much you will have (or would like to have) at the end of the year if you spend X amount of money each month. In the Budget worksheet, you can record variable expenses that occur month to month, but vary in amount, such as groceries and gas; when entering the amount spent in the groceries sub-category each month, for example, the worksheet will show you how much you spent total year-to-date as well as your monthly average, so you can budget accordingly for the future. You can also track irregular (non-monthly) expenses, such as vacations and birthday gifts. For instance, if you know you will spend about $600 on Christmas gifts, you can create a special savings sub-category and budget $50 each month in order to prepare for December. This is a great tool for all ages and all income levels. Whether you want to ensure you have enough money for retirement or for next year’s spring break trip, the yearly budget can keep you in check.
In the Transactions worksheet, you can record cash inflow and outflow for multiple accounts, including checking, savings and even the cash in your purse or wallet. The downside to this program versus other online budgetary tools is that you can’t link this spreadsheet to an online banking account, and therefore the transactions won’t upload automatically. Thus, it is important to keep up-to-date with manually tracking and inputting your expenses, and doing so efficiently.
The Report tab illustrates your expenditure and, most importantly, compares your actual spending versus your budgeted spending on a monthly and year-to-date basis. One of the highlights of the Report worksheet is that it provides an actual versus budgeted spending comparison within the categories as well. For example, if you have been going over budget month-to-month, you can view which specific categories you are overspending in. Perhaps decreasing your restaurant expenditure and marginally increasing your grocery budget may do the trick.
This comprehensive personal financial planning spreadsheet is complemented with a thorough Help tab, which details each feature as well as the steps to take in order to make full use of the spreadsheet. Vertex42 notes, however, that though this is a simple management tool, errors in calculations may occur. If formulas within the Money Manager are deleted or shifted, the calculations become error-prone. As long as you follow the directions while customizing categories (which causes the most problems, according to Vertex42) and are careful when adding and deleting rows, the Vertex42 Money Manager will be a great asset in your financial planning. With 2013 quickly approaching, this spreadsheet may be just the tool that will give a boost to your new year’s resolutions, and since it’s free, you won’t need to add it to your budget.
System Requirements: Windows XP/2003/Vista/7
Size: 78.11 K