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Excel to record expenses

Find commercial money management tools complicated? Here is a simple solution.

I tried various tools to keep track of my expenses. Tried free and non-free software tools out there. Found most of them to be very rigid and too much time consuming. For more than a year, I’ve been using an Excel sheet I developed to track expenses. I found it pretty handy.

Main features are listed below:

If you are interested, you can download the zip file (108KB) that has the Excel file. It has couple of macros - that is only for sorting data. Excel will still work without the macros - you just have to do sorting once in a while. Extract the zip file. Open the Excel file and look at Instructions sheet. The Excel has some sample data that you can use as a starter.

Setting up accounts
Setting up accounts
Entering transactions

Little background about me - neither am I a finance guru nor am I even familiar with basics! I can’t really spend time on double entry accounting or balancing out stuff. My criteria in choosing a tool for this purpose were:

  1. Should take less than 5 minutes every day to update
  2. Should work with existing software I’ve got
  3. I should be able to process data the way I want to; and my needs keep changing
  4. I don’t need fancy charts or reports; but if I need to, I should be able to make it easily
  5. I work on multiple computers, so I should be able to carry the data around in a USB stick
  6. Backup and restore should be easy
  7. Should have great support for copy-paste;-)