Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

Daily Budget

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

When creating a budget in excel whether it is for your personal finances, your business, or both the basic layout and structure is the same. Your columns describe your time line and your rows describe your categories or sources of income and expenses. If you are using something to track your income and expenses like QuickBooks or Excel then you will want to set up your categories in a manner consistent with what you have in that program.

The key to setting up a budget that works is really not just setting up a budget, but setting up something that is fun and easy to use as well as something that makes you check back with it regularly so that your attention is repeatedly placed on it. Otherwise you can overspend and then go back and say oops! Oh well, better luck next month! That won’t really help your situation though.

MS Excel makes it very easy to set up and customize your budget in exactly the manner that best fits your situation. It’s the flexibility of excel that makes it so great, and you can easily expand upon things to increase the level of detail.

Your budget will start to get real exciting when you begin to see the results. It’s sort of like working out at the gym. At first it is a chore, until people start noticing. Then it gets exciting. Well the budget gets exciting when you tie it up at the end of the month and see that you can transfer $1,000 to your savings account where you were never able to do that before.

In addition to learning how to set up a budget, this video tutorial teaches you a number of skills in excel – some simple, and some pretty advanced:

Simple formulas – addition, subtraction, and division

Weekday formula


Getting the date to light up when it matches today’s date

Conditional Formatting with a conditional formula embedded.

How to calculate and analyze your variances

Formatting to make it easy to read.

Please enjoy the video tutorial – MS Excel – Setting up a daily budget by clicking on the image:


How to track your sales in MS Excel

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Click here to watch the web cast:

How to track your sales in MS Excel

Some of us have small businesses and cannot yet afford to go to the expense of purchasing and learning a program like QuickBooks. Especially if our background is in something non-financial (like the products or services we offer). In these cases we can use a spreadsheet to track our business’. As with everything in life we have to consider what information we need and in general we want to keep these things as simple as possi/ble. So in this week’s web cast we are going to look at tracking sales. In the next few weeks we will be building on this theme in short 10 minute web casts (so they can fit on youtube J. for all of our tutorials on both QuickBooks and Excel.

The simple answer on sales is setting up a template that provides a foundation that fosters consistency and simplicity. All too often we get caught up in the details and wind up creating something too complicated to maintain. The phrase keep it simple REALLY applies here. Then you can expand on it as you go – that’s the beauty of doing things in excel – you are the developer so you create the things you need as you need them and you don’t need to wait for the next release!

Figure 1 – Simple column layout

Notice in the example above I kept it simple. Sales tax is calculated separately. You will see in the web cast I was about to make it more complicated by combining the Sales Tax calc with the total. Then I realized I had actually laid it out better than that. It might seem more efficient to do it the other way, but how will I be able to see my total sales tax for a given period? I will have to write complicated formulas to back it out of my total. Then if I have multiple sales tax rates that computation will start to get really complicated. The way it is laid out here, later on I will be able to create a simple pivot table that shows me Sales Taxes by rate for a specified time period. Simple – then I can write my check to the State Board of Equalization based on a pivot table which can be created once and updated when I need to. For non-taxable “Labor” I simply set the sales tax rate as ‘0.00%”.

Sometimes we like to make things more complicated to impress people and then it costs us. That’s right our vanity based on the desire to impress people with our excel skills will cost us dearly in the end. Much more impressive is to show people something that was so well thought out that it was kept simple enough for anyone to use!

In this web cast I go over how to set up a simple template to track sales for your business. Next week we will look at how to track the expenses.

This question came in from my new friend Julio Rios. He has a great product and plans to put more out there. Visit his website at (make sure pop-ups are enabled).

Visit the Ask us Page here and post your questions and we will try and get your answer up quickly and/or record a web cast for you. Got a QuickBooks question? Visit our QuickBooks blog at

Finally!… Click here to watch the web cast:

How to track your sales in MS Excel

The 10 Minute Household Budget

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

You want to keep your household budget simple and make sure it includes everything. Ms Excel of course is the tool we use for any kind of budget. You want to lay your budget out in a month by month format – even if you are already well into the year you want to start from January. This makes it all uniform in terms of having a series of 12 columns making up one year. Otherwise you have a partial year in the first year and it won’t match up. This makes it easy to copy and paste, then do a search and replace to expand the months and add another year as you will see demonstrated in this video tutorial.

The first step is to lay out the income – set up a unique line for each source of income (ie Payroll, 1099, other..).

Then you will lay out the expenses. I’ve seen people lay out some pretty complex and hard to follow budgets in terms of the expenses. You will see that in this budget we keep it very simple. If you want to look at credit card debt and look at the interest rates and monthly payments, that should be done in a separate schedule. Then you can tie the payment total into the main schedule. This keeps it simple. You can see a tutorial on how to use our Credit Cards Template here: This can easily be brought in to a template like the budget we are creating in this budget tutorial.

The trick is to keep the budget simple. What happens all too often is that we complicate things and then we don’t want to spend time on this sort of thing because it is complicated and painful!

Watch the 10 minute household budget video tutorial here: