Organize Your Finances: 2 Resources and 2 Videos

It’s happened to all of us, and if it hasn’t, it will. That is, unless you read this blog post, of course. I’m talking about missing a credit card payment or being overdrawn on your checking account. These scenarios happen all too often and I believe it’s due to a lack of financial organization.

I bet if I asked you when payday was, you could tell me right away. But what if I asked you when your credit card payment was due? I’m guessing many of you would have no clue. It’s always more fun to think about money coming in rather money than going out.

In order to keep your finances from getting out of hand, you need to be aware of your various financial obligations including credit card, vehicle, and utility payments. This is accomplished by setting up a system of organization which will allow you to keep track of all these obligations.

Below I have listed two helpful resources which I have used quite successfully in the past to maintain control of my finances.

Resource #1 (Rainlendar):  Rainlendar is a free and incredibly easy-to-use calendar program you can download to your computer (Windows, Linus, or Mac) and use to stay up-to-date on your financial obligations. I use it similar to the way you might use a sticky note; to act as a constant reminder forRainlendar tasks that I need to accomplish.

Rainlendar can be set up to be visible at all times on your desktop. Every time you log into your computer, a list of upcoming events and tasks will be shown keeping you on your financial toes. To enter new tasks (money-related or not), simply right click on the date for which the task or event needs to take place and enter the details. It’s so simple!

If you use your computer frequently (at least once a day), this is definitely a must-have. However, if you rely more on  your mobile device to keep up-to-date, almost all devices these days are equipped with some form or calendar or scheduling application. I know my Blackberry has this feature, however I simply find it too cumbersome to enter information on the small screen. I also find that it is much easier to enter information incorrectly making those applications unreliable. Either way, you should be using some form of calendar oriented program to keep you up-to-date on all your financial responsibilities.

Resource #2 (Accounts):  This helpful resource is only applicable to iPhone or iPod Touch users (but if you don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch, check out my video tutorial below). Accounts is best described as a mobile checkbook register, but it does so much more than simply keep track of the balance in your checking account.

You can find the Accounts app in the App Store for $1.99. There is a free version of this app, but you are only allowed to enter 15 transactions which won’t be very helpful if you plan to use the app long-term.

Instead of rambling on about this awesome app in the post, just check out my video review of Accounts below.

If you don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch, check out my tutorial below which will show you how to create a transaction register using Microsoft Excel. You can also use this tutorial to create a register with the free office software available at  OpenOffice.org if you don’t have Excel. Click on the link below the video to download the Excel register template and follow along with the video.

Download the register template.


Podcast – #4- Organize Your Finances

(To download, right click and select “Save Link As…” (Firefox) or “Save Target As…” (Explorer))

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35 Responses to Organize Your Finances: 2 Resources and 2 Videos

  1. Pingback: Using Store Credit Cards to Save Money | CheapChucky.com

  2. Pingback: What Keeps Me Going | Ryan Hafey

  3. john Harris says:

    Hi Ryan.
    Is it possible to insert a new line between existing entries on the checkbook register, for example if I’d overlooked an entry and wanted to place it in date order ?

    Regards
    John Harris
    U.K.

    • Ryan Hafey says:

      Hi John. Yes, it is possible to insert a new line. The easiest way I can think of to do this is to right click on the row number under which you’d like the inserted row to go and select “Insert” from the window that pops up. In other words, if you’d like to the new row to appear between rows 4 and 5, right click on row 5.

      Next, enter the transaction details in the new row. Select the cell in the “Balance” column just above the empty balance cell with a left click. Move your mouse to the bottom right corner of that selected cell until the pointer turns into a plus sign (+). Then, while holding the left mouse button, drag your mouse down the “Balance” column to the bottom of your spreadsheet to copy the formula down. Voilà!

      If you still have troubles with this, email me at ryan.hafey@cheapchucky.com and I’d be happy to answer your question with some screenshots.

  4. Luanne Pendorf says:

    I was trying just a practice run, which worked fine, but then when I deleted the numbers I had put in, the formula in F deleted too. Am I right that I can’t practice? Does this also mean that if I make an error entering data that I can’t delete and re-enter? I want to love this excel checkbook, but, I just got a treasurer’s position in a large golf league, and I don’t want to be making mistakes when I start using this tool. Thanks!

    • Ryan Hafey says:

      As long as you don’t delete anything in column F (aka, the balance column) when you delete figures from the spreadsheet, everything should work fine. If you only delete numbers from the debit/credit columns, the results in the balance column will also disappear, but only because there are no numbers in the debit/credit columns. Once you re-enter data into the debit/credit columns, the balance should reappear. In other words, never delete anything from the balance column. Only delete data from the debit/credit columns. Does that help?

  5. Margo says:

    Thank you so much for the checkbook template. I was so happy to have found such an informational video and then the download. I am so glad to have found your website!! Thanks and have a great day! Margo

  6. Vicki says:

    I think I may be missing a step when it comes time to enter the formula in the F3 column. The formula stays in that column and as I scroll down the numbers show in the cell. Did I miss a step?

  7. Mike says:

    Thank you for the checkbook template. I am having a problem with crediting the sheet with .01. It will work crediting .02 but not .01. Can you help me? Thank you Mike

  8. Rachel says:

    Can you re-type the equation for this spreadsheet? I tried a few times, but it did not work. Thanks,
    Rachel

  9. Perry says:

    Thank You Ryan for the check book register. I had looked up and down the internet for an electronic check book register and all the ones I found were too complicated and wanted something in return. This simple excel template is exactly what I was looking for. I did add a column for category and reconcile, but that was just my personal preference. Thanks Again

  10. Terri says:

    I have been using the check book register and I deleted two rows and now my formula doesn”t work. How can I fix the problem?
    Terri

    • Ryan Hafey says:

      Hi Terri. All you need to do is click on the Balance cell in the row just above the two rows you deleted, move your mouse to the bottom right corner of that cell until you see the + sign, then click and hold the left mouse button while dragging the mouse down to the cells below. This will copy the formula to the cells below and should fix the problem. Let me know if you have any other issues.

  11. Lyle Farner says:

    What Excel Version are you using 2003,2007 or 2010
    or does it mater.
    I understand part of the Formula
    If I use F2-D3+E3 Place Formula in Cell F3
    & Drag it down to Cell F20
    I place a Value in Cell F2 it will Display that Value
    down to Cell 20
    If I use Your Formula the Value does Not Display a Value
    down to Cell 20
    If I Remove the “” it leaves a – down to Cell 20
    Could you Explain Your Formula
    =IF(D3>0.01,F2-D3+E3,IF(E3>0.01,F2-D3+E3,””))
    I think D3>0.01 cause no Value in the Balance
    Till you put a Entry in D3 or E3
    Thanks Lyle

  12. KH says:

    Thank you so much, for this! It has really helped me. I have an additional question. I would like to add to my excel spreadsheet to show WHERE my money is being spent. For example, is there a way to add a table or column that will total all of the money spent on food?

  13. Jessica Lundgren says:

    I’m using your formula correctly but it still says error. Any suggestions?

  14. Sara Wood says:

    Hi Ryan. I found your checkbook register on youtube and think it’s GREAT!!! I do have one question though. How do I account for voided checks? Since there is neither a debit nor credit amount to enter, it’s screwing up my formula. Is there a work around to allow for voided items? Thanks!

  15. Calixto Hernandez says:

    Hello Ryan, do you have any spreadsheet for inventory for a retail store?
    Column A – Product Description
    Column B – Present Qty
    Column C – in
    Column D – Out
    Column E – Cost
    when (in) Total to be updated
    when (out) total to be updated
    and then grand total of money spent
    if possible everything to be dated

    Something like it , Columns can be in a different order …

    do you have something like this?
    I will pay you through paypal , just let me know how much it is

    thanks.

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  17. Gary Kitchen says:

    Found your checkbook register template and have been playing with it, exactly what I’ve been wanting for a loooong time! It’s GREAT!
    I have a monthly budget template I created to enter my income and expenses into, categorized. What I’d like to figure out is a way to link my budget template to the checkbook register template (or combine the two some way. The idea is, when I make an entry in the checkbook register, I want add a column with a code that can be linked, such as RENT or PHONE etc. The budget sheet would respond by adding entries into the matching categories whenever an entry is made into the checkbook register, updating the budget sheet. Am I making any sense?
    I only know just enough about creating formulas and stuff to be dangerous!
    I can send you a sample of the budget sheet, see if this could be made to work without too much fuss? Thanks!

  18. How wonderful this will be when I can make it work. I have purchased both Qucken and iBank and have not been pleased. I pasted the formula after using the template your so generously gave, but when I put in a figure to be debited, the “balance” column says value error. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
    Thanks,
    BB

  19. Pingback: How to create an excel checkbook register | Computer Tutorials

  20. ROBERT D BOURE says:

    ANY TIPS ON MAKING THE COLUMNS LONGER WITHOUT LOSING THE MATH. tHIS IS THE GREATEST THING i VE SEEN. pLEAS HELP A BROTHER OUT.
    Sorry about the caps and misspelling, I have cognive issues and a severe traummatic barain injury

  21. ROBERT D BOURE says:

    ANY TIPS ON MAKING THE COLUMNS LONGER WITHOUT LOSING THE MATH. tHIS IS THE GREATEST THING i VE SEEN. pLEAS HELP A BROTHER OUT.
    Sorry about the caps and misspelling, I have cognive issues and a severe traummatic barain injury I cant remember what I said

  22. ROBERT D BOURE says:

    need guidence in making a year long callender for your template please

  23. ROBERT D BOURE says:

    I received your excel documents.Whwn I try to right click on the lower right corner to drag the math down its doesnt work. Suggestions

  24. Teri says:

    Hi Ryan, I found your checkbook reg. Every time I enter your formula I get that excel thinks I’m trying to right a formula and to try putting a ‘ at the beginning. when I do this I get a #REG! Why is this and how can I fix it?

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