Money Saving Patience

 money-saving-patience

 

I have the smallest backyard ever!  At least, one of the smallest backyards in my neighborhood.  One of my biggest issues with my backyard is that I can’t turn the lawn mower around while mowing the lawn.

So, after three summers of using a freebie lawn mower that was on it’s last leg when I got it, I’ve decided that this is the last summer I will struggle with the large lawn mower.

My search began with browsing my standard internet sites, Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot.  I decided on the type of lawn mower that I wanted.  A small cordless, electric lawn mower.  The idea was brilliant.  Easy mobility, no having to pump and pull a cord endlessly, and it wouldn’t take up as much space.

Now for the downfall.  These smaller lawn mowers were upwards of $250.  The cheapest I found with what I was looking for was over $220 at Walmart.  Being a very frugal person, I knew this wasn’t the option for me.  I may just have to continue to struggle with the mower I have.

With that, I stopped looking and decided that on Labor Day weekend I would check the sale papers to see if there were any good deals.  Well, we haven’t made it there yet.  Labor day isn’t until next week.


BUT, as I was cruising Facebook Sunday afternoon, a post on the neighborhood Treasures page caught my eye.  Could it be exactly what I’ve been looking for?

Bingo!  A small, cordless, electric lawn mower, only one year old for $100!  I did second guess the price because the lawn mower was used and without asking, the seller came down to $80.

I’m usually not the most patient person, but this time being patient paid off big time!  Sometimes you find what you are looking for when you really aren’t looking for it at all.

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Reconciling your Savings

reconciling-your-savings
Last week, we discussed how to reconcile your checking account based on your projections.  This week, we will begin reconciling the savings account as well.

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In our projections example, the first month we transfer to the savings account is April.  To reconcile this transaction, begin by reconciling the checking account the same as previous months.

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When you get to the ‘Transfer’ line, C37 in our example, we will use an equation to get the total amount to transfer.  You could also grab the transfer amount from the Projections page but I prefer to use the equation because it acts as an extra check point.

Because we want to keep $1500 in the checking account at all times, we want to transfer everything over $1500 to the checking account.

To do this, subtract $1500 from the running total.  This is the amount that you want to transfer.  Make sure to put this amount in as a negative amount since we will be taking it out of the account.

Here’s the equation:

  • =-(D36-1500)

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Add a tab titled ‘Savings’ and create the same header as we did for the checking account.  Add the Transfer as the first transaction.  Continue adding on for following months.

 

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Reconciling Your Monthly Expenses

reconciling-your-monthly-expenses
Last week, we learned how to use our spreadsheet to build a savings account or rainy day fund.  This week, we will use our spreadsheet to reconcile our monthly balance of the new checking account.

Let’s begin by labeling our tabs.  I’ve labeled our current worksheet ‘Projections’ and then labeled a new worksheet ‘Checking’.

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Open the Checking account tab and begin by building the headers.  I started my labels in cell A1 and used the following labels:
A1: Date
B1: Transactions
C1: Amount
D1: Running Total

I also made my row 1 Bold because I find it easier to read the table if my headers are bold.

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From there, we will add the information from our ‘Projections’ tab into our checking account.  It is assumed that all transactions that occur throughout the month are done through the checking account.

The order of the transactions here doesn’t need to match the order of the transactions in the projection’s tab.  Use the transaction date to create the order for your transactions.

To enter the amounts, I use a function rather than entering them by hand to avoid errors in typing.  For income, I type the equals sign, click on the projections tab, then click the cell I want.

  • For Paycheck 1, the equation would look like this:  =Projections!B3

For expenses, I use the same process but add a negative before clicking projections so the amounts will be debited from the account

  • For January’s Rent, the equation would look like this: =-Projections!B8
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To fill in the running total (I made all of column D bold), we need to start by pulling our first transaction.  To do this, type the equals sign, then click on C2 in the same tab. You can also type the equation =C2.  This is the only cell you will use this equation.

In cell D3, type =D2+C3 or click on the cells to add the cell numbers to the equation.  This will take the previous balance in the checking account and the new transaction.  Fill down using the methods discussed earlier in the excel budgeting series to complete your running totals.

Make sure that your end balance for the month is the same as the end balance for the month in the Projections tab.  (This example’s end balance is $475.20).  If they are not the same, your account does not balance and the transactions need to be double checked for accuracy.
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Use the same process to add additional months, making sure to double check your totals. In the above example, I added February and March.  Next week, I will show how to include the transfer to the savings account that happens in April of our example.

Side Note:  I also like to use colors to separate my months so I can quickly glance and see the entire month.

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