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Old 11-22-2017, 08:01 PM   #21
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I download expenses from the bank every month and assign a category. Just takes a few minutes, then I put in a pivot table so I can get each months expenses. Then end of year I do a pie chart. Its a total waste of time as our expenses have been stable for years. But the info is fun to look at each month - it's our State of the Union report!
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:54 PM   #22
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I download expenses from the bank every month and assign a category. Just takes a few minutes, then I put in a pivot table so I can get each months expenses. Then end of year I do a pie chart. Its a total waste of time as our expenses have been stable for years. But the info is fun to look at each month - it's our State of the Union report!


Oh, yeah- I started that 3 years ago. Very enlightening. I've done a great job cutting back by eliminating cable and going with Netflix and MagicJack, changing thermostat settings, etc. Then I spend all the savings on travel!
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:59 PM   #23
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OP here. Thank you all so much for your comments.

Have been studying Google Spreadsheets the last two days. And it's been a lot of fun. And an eye-opener to say the least.

I think though, I'm going to head over to Personal Capital and check it out.

I created two spreadsheets--an Investment and a Monthly Expense. The investment sheet was relatively simple, and the expense sheet much more complicated.

Looking over my expense spreadsheet, I marvelled at how little I spend. Wife and I are pretty much glued to home--DW is with her mom everyday visiting her in assisted living, and dear MIL's dog is now with us, so we just don't spend much money.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:14 AM   #24
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I have many spreadsheets (love spending time tweaking them too). The main ones are:

Net worth
Asset allocation tracking
Checkbook register
Sinking fund management
Portfolio management and passive income tracking
Budget

I don't track our expenses anymore - our checking account balance tells me all I need to know about our spending.
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:08 AM   #25
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I love spreadsheets and have dozens for such things as:

Main cash flow budgets, current year plus next 2 years
Check register
Workouts, including heart rates, body weight, activity, duration, etc
Detailed expense tracking for our house in Arizona
Cost basis for all my individual investments. Some go back 20 years
Net worth but haven’t updated in years as I can do it in my head.
IRR calculations although my brockeage system now gives me this
Various one off efforts to analyse various financial issues

I would be lost without them.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:27 AM   #26
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I use a few spreadsheets one projected future income, includes SS RMD. My real goto has income shared with my 1040 and Qualified dividend and capital gains worksheet. Of course now that my tax worksheet is perfect the tax return form will change.

Working on a Quicken look-a-like but I track so many categories.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:19 AM   #27
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Started using in Excel in 1985/1986, on a Mac. I'm not an accounting person, but I can say that having spreadsheet skills which have developed over the past 30 years, knowing how to solve problems with a spreadsheet is something I really admire in others.

Can't foresee a day when I don't use a spreadsheet. VBA macros/programming is an incredible time-saver. Having charts and organized historical data is a boon. In each line of work I've been in, there is always a way to use the spreadsheet creatively.

It's probably a set of skills you lose once walking away. By the time you pick a program up again, it has gone through major revisions, tools are relocated, etc.
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:10 AM   #28
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Nice to see I'm not the only one.

Mine are:
Spending Summary (transferred totals monthly from cell phone app).
Net Worth
RMD calculator - splitting out 401Ks vs all other IRAs
IRA to ROTH tracking based on type of income tax values - trying to optimize this conversion thing.

All span multiple years, and frankly all are subject to improvement.
I did add some graphs for pretty pictures.
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:22 AM   #29
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.. and enter login credentials for the financial institutions you want to include.
Deal-breaker, right there. You are trusting them to keep your very sensitive secrets.

If they get hacked, then the hackers now have all of your financial institution passwords.

We know that no matter how hard they try, there are zero web entities that are truly 100% confident that they can repel the bad guys. If personal capital gets hacked, they can shrug, walk away, and start another company under another name that does the same thing. Inconvenient. Whereas if the institution themselves get hacked, they have a much bigger problem, since the "brand" that took so long to build will be damaged, and it's not a "add water, makes it's own sauce" like a upstart web site.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:00 AM   #30
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I have been using Excel spreadsheets for 30 years. They require very little tweaking and 15 minutes monthly to enter the data. No problems here!
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:05 AM   #31
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I have been using Excel spreadsheets for 30 years. They require very little tweaking and 15 minutes monthly to enter the data. No problems here!
Ya, but I enjoy tweaking my spreadsheets. I actually think itís fun. Just spent 30 minutes on my IRR sheet. Get a real sense of satisfaction knowing I got all the cash flows up to date.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:45 PM   #32
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Deal-breaker, right there. You are trusting them to keep your very sensitive secrets.

If they get hacked, then the hackers now have all of your financial institution passwords.

.
+1. I never trusted these guys, Quicken, or anyone else to have my login info. I will stick with a spreadsheet.

For those of you who use these services I am curious about the impact on two factor authentication. I assume the Financial services must permit data only queries without two factor?
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:47 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by PatrickA5 View Post
I've got quite a few spreadsheets that I use for various financial functions. But, I'm no long a sophisticated spreadsheet user like I used to be in my old work days (Accounting). I can barely use the @sum function to tell you how far I've regressed. It's amazing how fast you can lose a skill if you aren't forced to use it. Nor, do I really feel like learning much either. Must be getting old.
Yea I feel the same way. I had been a spreadsheet user for 30 years when I retired, but as time went by and the stash of cash grew, I felt little need to be on top of the numbers like when I retired 15 years ago.

Now I believe in close enough. When people ask what are your YTD returns, I say Who cares? Measure with a micrometer and cut with a chainsaw!
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:01 PM   #34
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I have made many spreadsheets for different purposes over the years, but the two that I have found most useful for RE are my Net Worth and Expenses ones.

I started my Net Worth spreadsheet about 20 years ago and it has evolved over time. I enter data once yearly or occasionally more often if there are life changes. This spreadsheet also calculates my asset allocation, leverage ratios and projections.

My Expenses spreadsheet was built on one of the Excel templates, which I customized. It calculates monthly and YTD costs for all categories including cash, mortgages, loans and petty cash. For the first three plus years of ER, I entered data monthly. After that, I decided I had a good sense of my spending, so I just do a macro analysis once a year now. If things get tight I can always resume monthly data entry.

There is NO WAY I would entrust my financial passwords to an external vendor.
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:38 PM   #35
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I have a few spreadsheets on Google Sheets for Investments, Monthly Cash Flow, and CD Maturities and Income. Nice tool and it's free.
As far as Personal Capital is concerned. No way. I take every precaution with my accounts and certainly wouldn't turn over access to some third party internet site.
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:47 PM   #36
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I'm still using a sheet I started in 1986. I migrated it from Lotus 123. Basically gave me a self calculated return over any time span, but it was an IRR formula (not XIRR), and fed only from quarterly statements. So, although not granular for short time spans, it showed my actual return for each, and for the sum of positions.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:28 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by pn3069 View Post
www.personalcapital.com

It is free.

You sign up.. and enter login credentials for the financial institutions you want to include.

I would also suggest looking through youtube for personal capital tutorials.

You need to be comfortable providing your login credentials. That is the key.

Security is in the eye of the beholder... but I am satisfied with it.
Cool. Thank you. I'll check it out.... Sharing the brokerage userid/password is exactly what I fear to share.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:36 PM   #38
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I like spreadsheets and use at least some of them every day for spending, to do lists, event planning, the long term retirement plan, project backlog, asset values + net worth, etc.

We've had to change our weekend plans due to rain so just now I went to the spreadsheets to pick a good rainy day replacement activity.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:30 PM   #39
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I like spreadsheets and use at least some of them every day for spending, to do lists, event planning, the long term retirement plan, project backlog, asset values + net worth, etc.

We've had to change our weekend plans due to rain so just now I went to the spreadsheets to pick a good rainy day replacement activity.
+1.

Spreadsheets are great for simple things like lists. Something about those rows and columns.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:31 PM   #40
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I've used spreadsheets since Visicalc days. (1982-ish?)

Nowadays, I like to learn new more advanced functions (Googlesheets).

I view it as a great mental exercise to figure out how to make these things run. Sort of like building a small machine in a way. I may not really need the function but it's good mental work for me that helps keep me sharp; or at least sharper than I'd be otherwise.
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