To build wealth, we need to know where the money we currently have is going. Most people just take a guess as to where they are spending their money, but if you want to build serious wealth, this won’t be enough.
If you want some more in-depth information on building wealth after college, check out my post that happens to be on exactly that.
A traditional rule of thumb is the 50-30-20 rule. This rule states that:
- 50% of your income should go towards needs
- 30% of your income should go towards wants
- 20% of your income should go towards savings/investments
The idea is that these ratios will put you on a solid track to building wealth and achieving retirement. However, this is just a rule of thumb that doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone.
For example, if you are looking to achieve FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) you may need to save 40% of your income. In this case, your wants and needs will have to be reduced to adjust. Conversely, if you are not as concerned with additional savings as you have a nest egg to rely on, you could reduce savings to 10%, and increase your others as you see fit.
A great rule of thumb for expenses is the 3x rent rule. This would make rent a little more than 1/3 of your “needs” expenses. That leaves another ~17% of your income to dedicate to other needs.
The traditional way to do track this would be to list all of your expenses and manually tally how much is going where. This process can be time consuming and difficult to accurately picture how you are doing.
I developed this spreadsheet to make that exact process more simple.
You need Microsoft Excel installed on your computer to use this spreadsheet.
Once downloaded (enter email above) and opened, enter your desired percentages for each expense. By default, it is set up for the 50-30-20 rule. Feel free to alter them as you see fit.
Next, log all of your expenses in it’s corresponding category along with their cost. If you don’t want to log every single expense, feel free to combine them. See above how “food” and “dining out” are combined so not every single restaurant has to be logged.
The pie chart to the right will automatically adjust as you enter expenses.
That’s it! Just an easy-to-use spreadsheet to simplify the wealth-building process. If you have any questions or issues with the spreadsheet, please feel free to contact me.
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