Map your path to financial independence by tracking monthly cashflow and net worth.
The secret to improving your finances is awareness. By taking 15 minutes a month to update this simple spreadsheet and 'check-in' with yourself, you will know exactly where you stand. Your system doesn't need to be complicated.
Building wealth is simple: spend less than you earn.
This spreadsheet will track all your income, expenses, and provide your monthly cashflow. Cash flow tells the story of your decisions over the previous 30 days. If you slip up and have a weak cash flow one month, you can use that awareness to course correct.
Another tab is used to update your net worth each month. Your net worth is calculated by subtracting all your liabilities (debts) from your assets to provide a numerical value of monetary wealth.
I promise this will be a game changer if you remain committed. The longer you build data, the more value you will see in this simple spreadsheet.
Net Worth Tab
Input all your Assets in the left column.
'Fixed Assets' consist of property or vehicles. Include the entire value of your home. I keep it conservative and leave my home value as the purchase price. I prefer not to inflate my net worth with real estate market gains. Personally, I don't include my vehicles at all, as they depreciate quickly. However, if you owe money on the vehicle, you may want to include a value in the asset column to offset the debt and not skew your net worth numbers.
The 'Liquid Assets' cell adds up all your assets than be drawn down in retirement. When calculating your financial independence number you can't really factor in your fixed assets as they don't provide cash flow. This 'liquid assets' value will be used later to calculate your monthly income based on the 4% rule.
Input all your Liabilities in the right column.
Feel free to change and add labels that apply to you. Some people will have a large debt list while others will have nothing. Include everything you can on this net worth spreadsheet to attain an accurate picture. Even if it's ugly, it is important to establish a tool for measuring progress. Trust me, you WILL make progress.
Once you have your totals, you will transfer the values of 'Liquid Assets' and 'Net Worth' to the Monthly Cash Flow Tab.
Monthly Cash Flow Tab
Each month you will take 10-15 mins to review your numbers. Head to your online banking and select the prior months transactions. Starting in the 'Inflow' column by recording the money that has entered your account from ALL sources. The only items I omit are one-off transactions like money I have transferred in from other accounts or my brokerage. You want this column to be recording NEW money that has come into your possession the previous month.
Next, you will record all money that flowed out of your possession. The only transactions I omit here are funds sent off to my brokerage account or extra debt/mortgage payments that reduce principle. This money is not leaving your possession, it is money that directly contributes to your net worth.
Here you can see an overview of all your data. Cash flow numbers are color coded to show your positive or negative results.
*** Scroll the Squirrel image above to view the Money Marathon Spreadsheet ***