Simple accounting of finances for those who have left

Issues

Like many IT people, in the spring of 2022, I relocated from Russia to another country. And then I faced the fact that I stopped understanding how much money I spend on living, what purchases I can afford and what not. The situation was further complicated by the following factors:

  • Unusual currency and prices;

  • Different cost structure;

  • Both income and expenses in multiple currencies;

  • Constantly changing exchange rates.

To begin with, I tried to go the usual way and started keeping my expenses in one of the popular home finance accounting programs. However, I quickly realized that this is somewhat not what is required. The fact is that such programs are designed primarily to understand WHERE the money goes, and I had the task of understanding HOW MUCH it goes. Moreover, understand this not at the end of the accounting month, but as soon as possible.

As a result of the experiments, my own accounting tool based on Google Sheets was born, which solved my problem, and with minimal time costs. The tool turned out to be very successful, and, perhaps, it will be useful to someone else.

Idea

In order to understand how much money we spend, it is not at all necessary to scrupulously enter all our expenses – it is enough just to enter balances on our accounts and our cash receipts from time to time. As a result, we get the total cost.

If we subtract regular expenses from this amount, such as renting a house, as well as large one-time expenses (such as buying furniture or a new laptop), then we will find out how much we spend on daily needs (for life): buying food, clothes, going to restaurants And so on.

Knowing your income and mandatory spending, you can easily calculate how much you can afford to spend on living in a month. And dividing this number by 31 days – find out how much we can spend on life per day. This is a very convenient indicator, since its actual value can be obtained literally in a couple of days of accounting, without waiting for the end of the month.

The main approach of the accounting system is to control the average daily expenses for daily needs.

If the average daily expenses correspond to the calculated ones, everything is in order, and if not, then you either need to visit restaurants less or start earning more)

Implementation and use

As a means of implementation, Google Sheets and an addon were chosen Currency Converterwhich provides automatic conversion of many currencies, including cryptocurrencies:

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AED – UAE dirham, AUD – Australian dollar, AZN – Azerbaijani manat, BGN – Bulgarian lev, BRL – Brazilian real, BYN – Belarusian ruble, CAD – Canadian dollar, CHF – Swiss franc, CLP – Chilean peso, CNY – Chinese yuan, CZK – Czech Koruna, DKK – Danish Krone, EGP – Egyptian Pound, EUR – Euro, GBP – Pound Sterling, HKD – Hong Kong Dollar, HRK – Croatian Kuna, HUF – Hungarian Forint, IDR – Indonesian Rupiah, ILS – Israeli Shekel, INR – Indian Rupee, ISK – Icelandic Krone, JPY – Japanese Yen, KRW – South Korean Won, Tenge – Kazakhstani Tenge, MDL – Moldovan Leu, MXN – Mexican Peso, MYR – Malaysian Ringgit, NOK – Norwegian Krone, NZD – New Zealand Dollar, PHP – Philippine Peso, PLN – Polish Zloty, RON – Romanian Leu, RUB – Russian Ruble, SAR – Saudi Riyal, SEK – Swedish Krona, SGD – Singapore Dollar, THB – Thai Baht, TRY – Turkish Lira, TWD – New Taiwan Dollar, UAH – Ukrainian hryvnia, USD – US dollar, ZA R – South African rand.

Supported cryptocurrencies: ATOM – Space, BCH – Bitcoin Cash, BTC – Bitcoin, DASH – Dash, EOS – EOS, ETC – Ethereum Classic, ETH – Ethereum, LINK – Chainlink, LTC – Litecoin, XLM – Stellar, XRP – XRP, XTZ – Tezos, ADA – Cardano, DOGE – Dogecoin, DOT – Polkadot, SOL – Solana.

Before starting use, we indicate in which currencies we will keep records:

Next, go to the menu “Extension | Currency Converter” and select “Install” – this must be done once to initialize this extension for your account

Then we indicate the date and enter the account balances. They will be recalculated and summed up in the main currency at the exchange rate on the specified date:

Further, on any day when you have time and mood, enter new values ​​of current balances, as well as previous incomes and large one-time and regular expenses. When you select the operation “Balance” from the drop-down list and enter the date, the line is automatically highlighted:

Immediately after that, the average daily cost of living will be calculated, and you will be able to conclude whether it is worth tightening your belts or, conversely, you can relax. The next time you deposit the balance, you will see how much your average daily spending has changed:

IMPORTANT: expenses are entered with a minus sign!

And, just in case: all costs and receipts shown in the screenshots are fictitious and do not reflect the real price level.

Reports

On the “Spending by category” sheet, you can see a summary report of your expenses and receipts by month:

The report is collected using a pivot table, you can easily modify it or add a few more.

Settings

On the settings sheet, you can edit the categories of income and expenses, it is on them that the report is built. The first value in the list is reserved for making leftovers, however, you can rename it however you like.

In addition, you can set the adjustment of the exchange rates of your bank in comparison with the exchange rate. In my case, the difference was about 3% for the worse:

Conclusion

If you have been successfully using one of the popular financial accounting programs for a long time, then most likely this tool will not be useful to you.

However, if you are just thinking about where to start, this tool may turn out to be a good option: it requires minimal time, you do not need to enter absolutely all transactions, account balances can also be paid at any frequency convenient for you.

You can download the template from the link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hMVWdLwGB4ah2seKS_amU4FGYgrgiWA1RmV8hvEXVa8/edit?usp=sharing

To get editing permissions, use the menu “File | Make a copy.”

PS. I want to say special thanks to the author of the meme Februaryistsused as the cover.

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