One of the most important things to do for your personal finances is to track your income and expenses over time. Have you heard of the saying “What gets measured gets managed”?
By tracking your income and expenses over time, you can determine your savings each month, identify areas of weakness, and start building financial wealth for the long term. Financial freedom is what we all want – let’s get started!
What gets measured gets managed.
The Mastermind Within Personal Finance Income Statement
For motivated individuals who want to take control of their finance situation, The Mastermind Within Personal Finance Income Statement is here to help. Track your income, expenses, and savings with our customizable tool.
The Mastermind Within Personal Finance Income Statement is a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet which takes your monthly transactions and calculates your total monthly income, expense, and savings.
How do I use the Personal Finance Income Statement Tool?
First, gather up all of your transactions from the month. This includes any income, tax payments, investment contributions, expenses on food, recreation, shopping, and debt payments. I use Mint to export my transactions into Excel. Taking my bank statements and manually inputting the information would be just as effective.
After gathering your transactions, input them into a month tab. Shown below is an example of someone’s January 2017 transactions.
There are 6 columns to fill out – 2 are required. The 2 columns that are required are Amount and Category. Like I mentioned above, I pull my info from Mint and this is how they format their export sheet.
To input a transaction, type in the amount in column E and then fill out column G with the appropriate line item name. In the example below, we got a haircut on 1/3/2017 for $10. The line item name is “Hair”. You can see on the right side of the figure that the tool pulls the information correctly.
One thing to note, if you don’t spell the line item name correctly in column G, then the transaction will not register. In column H, I have a indicator to show if a category is not in the list.
Your Personalized Income Statement
After inputting all of your transactions, you can see your personalized income statement. On the Income Statement tab, you can analyze and identify exactly where and how much you are spending on various categories.
After filling out your monthly transactions, the income statement and summary tab populate to show you your pre-tax and post-tax savings rates. I define a person’s pre-tax savings rate as (earnings + investments + equity build) divided by income. I define a person’s post-tax savings rate as (earnings + investments + equity build) divided by (income – taxes).
Savings rate is the most important personal finance metric. If you are able to increase your savings rate, you will be saving more and getting closer to financial freedom.
There are a few questions that I had when I was building this income statement tool for my own personal finance needs. Let me try to address them here.
Can I change the name of the various lines?
Of course. There are no restrictions on what you can do with this income statement. Most companies have extremely granular financial statements, while I prefer to keep it a little higher level. It’s your choice!
How do I add a line item?
If you want to add a line item, care must be taken. Since it’s a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet, deleting or adding a line may throw off various calculations.
First, determine if the line item is income or expense. Next, insert a line into all the monthly tabs in the appropriate spot. Then, you will have to update the Income Statement tab to reflect the change from the monthly tabs.
Let me know if you have any questions on this.
How can I log my income if I’m a freelancer or contractor?
If you are a freelancer or contractor, and your income is not regular, than the way income is calculated on the income statement sheet will need to be adjusted. Copy line 6 into line 5 and lines 55-62. This will allow the monthly income from a given month to be registered as the total income for that month, rather than subtracting out all previous month’s incomes.
Where should I put investment contributions (IRA, Taxable Account, Private Equity)?
You can call it whatever you want, but I put it into the line item “Other Expenses” -> “Investment Contributions”.
How can I subtract from a line item?
You can put a negative in column E if you want to subtract from a particular line item. I do this if I want to split out a certain transaction.
Let’s say I go to the store and spend $100. If $50 of the $100 is food, and the other $50 is clothes, then I would make 2 transactions in the monthly log. Another solution, is keep the original $100 for food, then add 2 transactions: -$50 for food and $50 for clothes.
It’s customizable – once you get used to it, you’ll be on your way to financial success!
Do cash transfers count as expenses?
No. If I transfer $1,000 from my checking account to my savings account, I still have $1,000 in my bank account. This is not an expense and would be registered on your personal balance sheet.
Do I have to use Mint to copy my transactions in?
No. I use Mint because it has all of my accounts and transactions in one place. It would be just as effective if you pulled all of your transactions from your bank statements or online banking account.
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“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
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