When it comes to budgeting, few things are more of a mental and emotional hurdle than actually taking the time to write everything down. Even if you’re the kind of diligent person who doesn’t mind keeping track of the things they buy, it can still be a huge bummer to actually sit down and look at where your money is going each week.
But there is also a definite benefit in keeping track of it all manually — as opposed to with an automated app — if only because it forces you to really consider each purchase, as well as feel the joy of manually entering each bit of income (particularly when you have multiple gigs or side jobs, which vary month-to-month). Budgeting with Excel (or, in this case, Google Sheets) is a perfect exercise in getting your shit together and holding yourself accountable, while becoming generally more organized in the process.
In this week’s video, Lauren, master of all things spreadsheets, breaks down how she uses one to keep track of everything she spends and earns, and plan months (and even years) ahead for her various money goals. With her easy-to-follow instructions, even complete organizational hot messes like Chelsea can start getting over their fear of using Excel.