This simple tool helps individuals to set personal budgets to meet their spending and income goals. Once you've set your budget in the yellow forecast cells on the Assumptions tab you can track your actual spending month to month in the orange cells (also on the Assumptions tab).
As time goes by the user will have collected data on their spending habits and the handy dashboard allows the user to gain deeper insight into their spending habits. The tool encourages users to increase their savings by tracking a savings ratio (the proportion of income that goes to savings). Furthermore the tool encourages the reduction of spending in particular areas of life.
The timeline setting on the Assumptions tab enable alternative uses of the forecast periods. You can use the timeline in one of two ways:
1) Set the forecast start date one month ahead of the current/actuals month and reset each time a month goes by. This will allow the user to build up a history of spending over time and to look forward to what they anticipate their spending to be in the next period; OR
2) Set the forecast start date exactly 12 months from model start date and use it as if it is a total forecast for the current year in order to compare 12 month actuals with 12 month forecast
To use the model is really easy: enter actual income and spending in orange cells and forecast or budget income and spending in yellow cells....that's it. The model will do all of the rest and you will note from the pictures that the tool is intuitive.
Very useful tool