Happy National Spreadsheet Day! Paaaaarrrrty!
I know, i know. Booooorrrring, right?
Spreadsheets are incredible!
I’ve been using spreadsheets for our monthly budget for six years now.
I’ve used spreadsheets to pay down debt, save more money, track spending, budget better and grow our net worth.
Our entire financial life runs on spreadsheets. And I’m not alone, millions of people use spreadsheets for all kinds of money and none-related money madness.
In this post i’ve collected a few outrageous facts about spreadsheets and some history too.
I’ve also collected links to over 100 free budget spreadsheets from my fellow money nerd blogger friends! Check them out towards the bottom of this post.
And last, before we get to the party… National Spreadsheet Day came just in time to announce my upcoming (free) budgeting series called How Do I Budget? Sign up here to get all the info. (More info below too!)
Lets get this party started.
National Spreadsheet Day – Some History
Oct 17th is national spreadsheet day.
Spreadsheet Day commemorates the date that VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program for personal computers, was released – October 17th, 1979. Source = https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/spreadsheet-day/
Hard to believe that the first spreadsheet developed for personal computers was created after we landed on The Moon! How did we get to The Moon without electronic spreadsheets?
Also, how am I as old as the first spreadsheet? I can imagine my grandkids asking me how rough life was way back in the 1900’s without spreadsheets.
It was rough.
But we made it.
Planet Money podcast episode 606: Spreadsheets!
Super interesting podcast episode about the history and development of spreadsheets. 25 minutes, Listen here.
Seriously, listen to it.
Note: This episode contains explicit language. Spreadsheets used to be actual sheets of paper. Sometimes, a bunch of sheets of paper taped together.Then, in the late ’70s, a bored student invented the electronic spreadsheet. It transformed industries. But its effects ran deeper than that. As one journalist wrote more than 30 years ago, “The spreadsheet is a tool, and it is also a world view — reality by the numbers.” Today’s show was inspired by A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge, a 1984 article by Steven Levy.
Spreadsheet infographic. (I know that phrase got you excited!)
The Evolution of The Spreadsheet | An infographic by the team at Smartsheet
Spreadsheets vs. budgeting apps. What’s better?
My buddy Peter over at Tiller sent me some info about a study on spreadsheet usage vs. budgeting app usage.
(Tiller is a service that pulls your financial transactions into a Google Sheet updated daily. It’s also the service I’m using for my personal budget AND for the course How Do I Budget?)
Here’s the info from Peter…
We used AYTM.com to survey 100 people who have tracked their finances for 3 months or more and who are currently using a spreadsheet despite having tried at least one personal finance app in the past. These aren’t Tiller users, they’re just spreadsheet users.
Here’s what we found:
96% are satisfied with using a spreadsheet compared with the apps they tried
92% are more aware of their spending habits now they’re using a spreadsheet
89% say spreadsheets give them more control over how they track their finances
83% think spreadsheets are easier and simpler to use than the apps they tried
81% say spreadsheets have better reporting options than they apps they tried
Woah! Those are some pretty amazing stats.
I was surprised at how high the percentages were. But then I thought about my own experience with apps vs. spreadsheets and it wasn’t all that shocking.
I’ve tried several budgeting programs and have never been satisfied. I always return to spreadsheets for my personal monthly budget.
That’s why I got so excited about Tiller when I found them. It’s the perfect blend between spreadsheet goodness and automatic updates.
Tiller pulls all your banking transactions automatically and plugs them into a Google Sheet (an online spreadsheet). Then you put each transaction into a spending category of your choosing.
For me Tiller + Google Sheets = The Perfect Budgeting Solution!
This isn’t to say you won’t be happy with a budgeting program like YNAB or Mint. Lots of people use those programs and love it.
A friend of mine just last week said the following.
We used a spreadsheet to budget for years and then started using Mint. It worked okay but we stopped looking at our budget because it did everything for us. After a few months of not looking at our budget we realized this wasn’t going to work so we switched back to using a spreadsheet.
I’ve been saying for years that using an app that “budgets for you” is like letting someone else study for a test that you are going to take.
The entire point of working a budget is to see, feel, taste, smell, and touch the numbers. The numbers in your budget have to sink in so deep they become real. Letting your budget run on auto pilot in the background won’t make a strong enough connection from the numbers to your life to make a difference.
Too much automation and you won’t be as connected to your money as you should be. Out of sight, out of mind is great for your mother-in-law but isn’t such a good thing for your budget.
What were we talking about?
Oh yeah, spreadsheets!
How Do I Budget? Free budgeting video series!!!
I’m releasing a budgeting video series using Tiller + Google Sheets as the framework.
In this video series you’ll learn how to…
- Create a killer budget
- Use the debt snowball method to pay off debt faster
- Save more money
- Calculate and track your net worth
It’s just about ready to go, sign up with the form below for all the juicy details.
This free course is great for beginner budgeters or if you just want to make some improvements to what you already have.
Spreadsheets on spreadsheets on spreadsheets.
100+ free budget spreadsheets!
I’m not the only spreadsheet game in town…
I put a call into my fellow money nerd bloggers and I was not disappointed.
Here’s a bunch (over 100!) of money spreadsheets you might like even better than mine. That’s the cool thing about spreadsheets is you can customize to meet your individual needs. If you don’t use mine, pick one from this list you like better!
- Net worth tracker via @WalletHacks
- How To Track Your Rental Property Income and Expenses using This FREE Spreadsheet via @CashFlowDiaries
- Included in this Google Sheets Workbook is three forms: Monthly Budgeting Spreadsheet, Sinking Funds (Breakdown of Savings), Overview of the 7 Step Plan. via @myfamonabudget
- FREE Family Budget Template to get started today! Comes with YouTube screen flow instructions. via @iHeartBudgets
- 80 (yeah, 80!) financial calculators. Everything from debt pay off to mortgage calculators via @Financialmentor
- Four spreadsheets that will help you budget better, pay off your debts faster, save more money and grow your net worth via me!!
- Several spreadsheets from @RetireManifesto
- Net Worth Statement: A template for your use in creating your personal net worth statement
- Spending Tracker: A template to track your spending and forecast retirement expenses.
- Retirement Cash Flow: A template to allow you to project your cash flow through retirement.
- The Bucket Strategy: A template to help you turn your investments into a retirement paycheck.
- Year-End Financial Checklist: A checklist based on steps I take every year-end for my family finances.
- Guide to Choosing Health Insurance (with Spreadsheet) via @carolinarains
- Customizable Amortization Schedule via @carolinarains
- Here’s a bunch of great spreadsheets from Budgets Are Sexy via @BudgetsAreSexy
- A complete budgeting package via @laurengreutman
- Mortgage Plan Calculator via @laurengreutman
- 3 Habits That Are Costing You Hundreds of Thousands via @nickdtrue
- Spreadsheet to help you split your joint bills equitably based on income! via @AdamHagerman
- Build A Budget Calculator (Online tool) Via @clearpoint
- Build A Budget printable PDF Via @clearpoint
- Family Budget Template via @PFLawyer
- Vacation Budget Form via @WellKeptWallet
- Wedding Budget Template via @femmefrugality
- Several great budgeting spreadsheets with great budgeting resources via @WhatMommyDoes
- Several from @PennyPinchinMom
- 10 Free Household Budget Spreadsheets via @andharvest
- FREE budget forms and a spreadsheet you can start using today for creating your own budget via @TheMoneyPeach
Don’t party too hard
Even if you use one of those fancy apps to do your budget just remember if it weren’t for the spreadsheet that stuff wouldn’t exist, so show some damn respect!
Don’t party too hard celebrating national spreadsheet day.
Me? I’ll be hung over for days. That’s how much I love spreadsheets!
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for How Do I Budget?
How Do I Budget?
Free budgeting video series!
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