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7 Important Benefits of Preparing Your Personal/Home Budget Using a Spreadsheet

By: B. Hokin

Have you ever wished to make a start on setting up a home budget but were not sure how to start? Couldn't work out how to do the calculations and were not sure whether the answer would be correct? No more reason to stall. Use a pre-formatted spreadsheet that you only have to enter your financial income and expenses into. There are many of these available on the Internet. Ready to look at the benefits? Let’s go.

Benefit #1. A spreadsheet clearly shows your thinking and the calculations used to arrive at the answer. What's more, it allows you to add extra items quickly and see their impact on your financial position, or your free spending amount.

Benefit #2. A spreadsheet can be quickly and easily copied and the data changed to suit a friend or another member of the family. Maybe a teen's budget or a hobby budget could be started using the same initial template. You could also easily copy one month's budget and reproduce it 11 more times to last for a whole year.

Benefit #3. A spreadsheet can be printed and taken with you for further study, or passed on to members of the family for their input.

Benefit #4. A spreadsheet allows for "What If" questions to be asked of it. For instance, what if you were to reduce the spending on clothes and add some extra funds to credit card payments and/or holiday savings? The answer to this question could be instantly calculated by just changing 2 or 3 numbers.

Benefit #5. A spreadsheet can teach you a new, very marketable skill. You may find you pick up this skill really quickly and want to add more elements to the budget like graphs, personalized formatting and more calculations. A spreadsheet is really only a calculator, but with a lot more flexibility. Setting up a budget for yourself, is a good place to start, since this is an easy project. You could progress on to building a Savings Growth Calculator, a Retirement Goal Calculator or a hobby expense and income sheet, and the list goes on. Spreadsheets are used everywhere in the finance, marketing, teaching, manufacturing and sales functions in many businesses worldwide.

Benefit #6. A spreadsheet can improve your accuracy. If you have set up the spreadsheet correctly, you can be sure that the answers provided are correct, time after time. It's easy to see the formulae used and to check their correctness. Others can check these for you also, if you need some help in this area.

Benefit #7. A spreadsheet allows for easy changes to be made to your assumptions and data, as your circumstances change over time. Let's say you receive a substantial pay raise? No worries. Just adjust the income numbers and the new answer falls out. What if you wish to spend less on some item for a month and apply these savings to another expense item or save a little more? Not a problem. Just change the required data and the answer is immediately available.

If you want your budget preparation task to be as simple as possible don't waste your valuable time with scraps of paper and a calculator. Use the tool that will save you time and hassle, the spreadsheet.

Article Source: http://www.moneyarticlelibrary.com

Bruce Hokin has designed a simple budget tool called "5 Steps to Freedom Personal Budgets." It's based on his extensive background as a qualified, experienced accountant, manager, consultant and financial adviser. You can download this powerful budget assistant today and be on your way to financial freedom within the hour. It is available at his website www.freedom-personal-budgets.com.


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