Tuesday, 1 July 2014

How to save for a holiday

As you may or may not know I have recently booked a trip to Australia. On a low wage and living in London this has taken a fair while to save up for. Luckily I have a very clever boyfriend who taught me how to save. This involves a spreadsheet. I know, I know, I hate spreadsheets too but if it means you get to go on holiday... at least give it a try! Quick disclaimer: I realise that for many people this method of saving may not suit you at all, it is for those who have relatively stable incomes and relatively stable monthly outgoings. 

I have used an average salary of £1,300 a month in the template below. This works out at a salary of approx. £19,000 per annum. None of the figures below reflect my monthly salary or monthly outgoings.

Ok, so let's get started on the tutorial of how to make a money saving spreadsheet!

Step 1: Open Excel. 
2. If you are using an Apple computer then you will need to change how you view the spreadsheet to 'Normal'.

3. Set the page setup to Landscape.

4. Click 'View' and zoom to 125% or whatever suits you.
5. This next part looks complicated but it's not, promise! You will need to add in all your costs like the template below. Try to cover everything you spend on a regular basis every month – for example if you buy contact lenses once a month – add this in too. In order to get your 'final balance' in each column you need to add the formula =[CURRENT BALANCE - TOTAL BILLS - DISPOSABLE - AUSTRALIA - ANY EXTRAS] then press enter. This will give you your final balance. 
6. Make sure you save your document with an inspiring title! You can see below I have saved this template as 'Australia Budget'. Once you have done this format the line where you have your 'current balance' and use =[COLUMN+ROW NUMBER of final balance , e.g. B22]+your monthly salary. This will then mean your 'current balance' stays up to date, it adds or subtracts any overspend or underspend from the month before.

7. If you want to continue your saving for many months simply copy and paste the last month on your spreadsheet. Like so:

8. Make sure to change the names of the months.

9. You will see the formulas automatically transfer over too. So the figure at the end should be correct.

10. You can always add a fun graphic at the end to jazz it up a bit and make the spreadsheet more fun!
I hope this all made sense and is useful to you! Please comment below or tweet me if you want anything explained further!


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