Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Dottie57 wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:13 am Spreadsheets are fine. But I have only very basic skills. My accounts are in two places, so not hard to total up. The brokerage site gives me percentages on accounts and globally over all accounts. Pretty happy without big spreadsheets.
It makes life easier and more rewarding to focus on other more important areas in life.

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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by GeoffD »

The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.

From a portfolio and net worth point of view, the number I have always cared about is the "GeoffD never works again" number as a worst case contingency plan. I want to know how much I can spend and not run out of money.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by SmileyFace »

I've still got my spreadsheet - use it to track investment allocations across three institution (can't pick where my company goes to for 401K). I also have a few different bank accounts (which have been used for various bonuses) over time. Also use the spreadsheet to track 529 account balance to assure I will empty it with school graduations. Lastly - I have made money taking advantage of many bank account bonus programs so I end up with many accounts and money in various places - spreadsheet helps with this (and the thousands made offset the small amount of time spent).

I understand your sense of freedom though as I did simplify several years ago many aspects of what I was tracking such as:
1) Used to track every dime spent in Quicken - did this for 2 decades. The day I stopped doing this felt very free-ing.
2) I used to balance my checkbook/statement monthly - after decades of never finding a bank error - and only finding minor errors I made - I wondered why I was doing this and stopped doing so.
3) I used to track monthly cash flow. I soon realized our spending was in control and didn't see any need.

Perhaps when I retire and have the ability to consolidate down all my accounts - I too - will dump the spreadsheet.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by SmileyFace »

GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.
In my case I know about how much my monthly bills are so simply have enough in the account to cover. No pencil and paper nor tracking in a spreadsheet - just know approximately what will need to go out so assure I have enough in to cover in the account. I include a $2K cushion which will cover anything I missed (The interest on the $2K cushion is certainly less than the time I used to spend managing a daily balance in Quicken and then spreadsheets). I take a peek at the account about once a week and assure all is well. Also - even with everything on autopay - I do get email notifications of each bill which I look at. If some bill is crazily high in a month (spouse spent more on Christmas than expected, etc.) I will notice and pump a few extra dollars into the account before it it paid. Easy-peasy - no tracking.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Dottie57 »

GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.

From a portfolio and net worth point of view, the number I have always cared about is the "GeoffD never works again" number as a worst case contingency plan. I want to know how much I can spend and not run out of money.
How do I know about my expenses? I have them pretty much locked down. I have known fixed cost bills (HOA, HEALTH INS), utilities (2), 2credit card bills. Daily expenses are charged on CC. I check 2 times a week on CCs and checking account to make sure all looks right. All purchases hit checking eventually so I know how much I spend a month.

Life is less complicated with fewer bills because I have a condo with HOA fees. So garbage, water/sewer, heating and cable are thru HOA.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

DaftInvestor wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:55 am I understand your sense of freedom though as I did simplify several years ago many aspects of what I was tracking such as:
1) Used to track every dime spent in Quicken - did this for 2 decades. The day I stopped doing this felt very free-ing.
2) I used to balance my checkbook/statement monthly - after decades of never finding a bank error - and only finding minor errors I made - I wondered why I was doing this and stopped doing so.
3) I used to track monthly cash flow. I soon realized our spending was in control and didn't see any need.

Perhaps when I retire and have the ability to consolidate down all my accounts - I too - will dump the spreadsheet.
This is important and has a large impact on things. We essentially followed the same path.
* Used Quicken for a decade and stopped cold over 12 years ago. Never had a need and did not miss it.

* We always balanced the checkbook and never found one error from the bank (perhaps our math) and the paper check register. I recently started to question repeating (by entering/writing) the transactions posted to the bank account online to the checkbook. Now we simply write a couple checks a month and enter only that in paper checkbook. Also worked with all vendors to change bill due dates to only two individual days a month (this was huge and I did not appreciate as much at first). Result is the cash balance online is essentially real time. I know all invoices are drafted on two dates. I simply minus any (only a couple) of outstanding checks from checkbook and that is the cash balance. Takes seconds.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

DaftInvestor wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:58 am
GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.
In my case I know about how much my monthly bills are so simply have enough in the account to cover. No pencil and paper nor tracking in a spreadsheet - just know approximately what will need to go out so assure I have enough in to cover in the account. I include a $2K cushion which will cover anything I missed (The interest on the $2K cushion is certainly less than the time I used to spend managing a daily balance in Quicken and then spreadsheets). I take a peek at the account about once a week and assure all is well. Also - even with everything on autopay - I do get email notifications of each bill which I look at. If some bill is crazily high in a month (spouse spent more on Christmas than expected, etc.) I will notice and pump a few extra dollars into the account before it it paid. Easy-peasy - no tracking.
That is our strategy.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Dottie57 wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:11 am
GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.

From a portfolio and net worth point of view, the number I have always cared about is the "GeoffD never works again" number as a worst case contingency plan. I want to know how much I can spend and not run out of money.
How do I know about my expenses? I have them pretty much locked down. I have known fixed cost bills (HOA, HEALTH INS), utilities (2), 2credit card bills. Daily expenses are charged on CC. I check 2 times a week on CCs and checking account to make sure all looks right. All purchases hit checking eventually so I know how much I spend a month.

Life is less complicated with fewer bills because I have a condo with HOA fees. So garbage, water/sewer, heating and cable are thru HOA.
Nice and simple. Works!
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by JBTX »

3504PIR wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:07 am
JBTX wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:37 am
3504PIR wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:30 am
JBTX wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:31 pm
3504PIR wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:33 pm

Personal finance = spreadsheets? If you endlessly count your money then I am sorry, but you are the one who came into the non-spreadsheet thread and took the pot shot. I simply posted my supporting comment of non-use of spreadsheets, got accused of being too rich to need them and then got accused by you of taking pot shots. Have you looked in the mirror lately?
This wasn't a particularly constructive comment.
3504PIR wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:17 pm But then how will anyone count up all their pennies, which seems to be a popular activity for so many here? :?
Why do you feel the need to keep belittling posters who spend more time on this stuff than you?
How is your comment constructive in a thread about dumping spreadsheets? And which posters did I belittle? I didn’t post in the thread about the value of spreadsheets which was running concurrently . I posted in the thread about not needing them. YOU posted in a thread about not needing spreadsheets saying I am belittling those that need them. My opinion is that they have little value, in a thread about not needing them. You may disagree with me, but that is something you should spell out with your insights on why I am wrong about how spreadsheets add value to tracking related to what the OP was discussing. Not about why you seem to need a spreadsheet to tell you how many pennies you do or don’t have. I am having a hard time understanding why you decided to enter a thread you hadn’t commented on before other than to take a shot at me? “Hmm?”
Your opinion is they are of little value, but you see no value in budgeting or tracking net worth, and don't even know how to track net worth. So how would you even know whether they are of value?

As for me I've used spreadsheets for decades at work. For personal finance I use quicken. While I ultimately could create reasonably automated spreadsheets, I would have to log into dozens of accounts and manually download the transactions. With a reasonably modest amount of work with quicken , I can keep all my information integrated. I may occasionally use spreadsheets for personal finance but typically for ad hoc analysis.

You speak of the "counting pennies" as either a burden or some hedonistic activity, but some people may actually enjoy it. People engage in all kinds are seemingly frivolous activities as entertainment, and that's all OK, but spending time with personal finance (and or spreadsheets) is apparently character flaw or a moral shortcoming. Fact is sometimes I find grinding through something on a spreadsheet satisfying. It is a tool for problem solving. And it is also a way to be creative. So if you can do something that is creative, maintains mental acuity, and has a payoff - whether pennies, dollars or thousands of dollars, then what is wrong with that?

For those that don't like it and don't need to use them, then by all means, don't.
And thanks to the resurrection of this post and reading your reply, we still don’t use them as originally stated in a thread about not needing them, and again wonder why you feel the need to troll a post about not needing them and berate posters who don’t? All the while stating I alone in a thread about not needing spreadsheets am bashing those who use them. I am sure your spreadsheets have changed the world from your cubicle or office. Good for you! You were true to your original post in not grasping the fact that this is a thread about not having the need for them, while at the exact same time a few weeks ago, there was a parallel post on the greatness of them which you should’ve posted extensively. You should next go post in a thread about favorite places in Europe with your favorite places in Asia, that would be useful. Read the thread title and post accordingly, from your cubicle.

Just checked, and as an early retiree, I’m still not using spreadsheets, lol.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by ubermax »

Stinky wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:06 am
I can't imagine my life without spreadsheets.

I've used them since the very first days of Visicalc on a tiny Apple II computer. And I expect to use them until I die.
+1 that's me , except I only go back to Lotus and still remember the print subroutine called "always" , which doesn't sound correct or very techy , but that's what's stuck in my memory - now it's Excel and I create sheets to help understand or address situations that come up in everyday life - we had never leased a car and were thinking of doing that instead of buying , I built a sheet to replicate dealership lease methodology , another sheet I built a few years ago and still modify as tax laws change to replicate Turbo Tax , use it for estimated tax payments and gross up factors to account for and cover the tax liability when we exceed our RMD amounts - nothing fancy , no macros , etc. but it's fun - I do like the "goal seek" subroutine though .
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by GeoffD »

Dottie57 wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:11 am
GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.

From a portfolio and net worth point of view, the number I have always cared about is the "GeoffD never works again" number as a worst case contingency plan. I want to know how much I can spend and not run out of money.
How do I know about my expenses? I have them pretty much locked down. I have known fixed cost bills (HOA, HEALTH INS), utilities (2), 2credit card bills. Daily expenses are charged on CC. I check 2 times a week on CCs and checking account to make sure all looks right. All purchases hit checking eventually so I know how much I spend a month.

Life is less complicated with fewer bills because I have a condo with HOA fees. So garbage, water/sewer, heating and cable are thru HOA.
I have more “stuff” that generates large intermittent expenses. I keep a list of them on a spreadsheet page so I can plan my cash flow. Boat yard bills. A big homeowners insurance bill for the house once per year. Condo property taxes are 3x per year. Condo fees are quarterly. I sit down for a few minutes once per month to make sure I have cash in my checking account to pay everything and to remind myself when things are due. If I don’t keep a list, I’m either going to forget to pay things or I’m going to start bouncing things. It would be nice if I had $x,000 per month in usual expenses where I could just go on autopilot but that’s not how my life is organized.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by The Outsider »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
Blasphemer! :shock:

If you can do it without excel or powerpoint can it even exist?
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by decapod10 »

Man, I love spreadsheets. I like looking and analyzing data, even if I don't need to act on it. It tells a story about your life in a way, where you've been, where you are now, where you are going. Not just financial data, but also other things too, like when I used to play online games more I liked to track results and look and graphs and charts.

I recently found the Boglehead Investment Return spreadsheet, so I've been working on that. I transferred my Roth IRA a couple years back, so I don't have accurate data prior to that unfortunately, which I'm a bit sad about, lol. I'm trying to piece estimates together from other sources.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Dottie57 »

GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:29 pm
Dottie57 wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:11 am
GeoffD wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is straight out of Charles Dickens. I use LibreOffice so I'm not feeding Bill Gates money and so Google doesn't get to see yet more information about me.

From a portfolio and net worth point of view, the number I have always cared about is the "GeoffD never works again" number as a worst case contingency plan. I want to know how much I can spend and not run out of money.
How do I know about my expenses? I have them pretty much locked down. I have known fixed cost bills (HOA, HEALTH INS), utilities (2), 2credit card bills. Daily expenses are charged on CC. I check 2 times a week on CCs and checking account to make sure all looks right. All purchases hit checking eventually so I know how much I spend a month.

Life is less complicated with fewer bills because I have a condo with HOA fees. So garbage, water/sewer, heating and cable are thru HOA.
I have more “stuff” that generates large intermittent expenses. I keep a list of them on a spreadsheet page so I can plan my cash flow. Boat yard bills. A big homeowners insurance bill for the house once per year. Condo property taxes are 3x per year. Condo fees are quarterly. I sit down for a few minutes once per month to make sure I have cash in my checking account to pay everything and to remind myself when things are due. If I don’t keep a list, I’m either going to forget to pay things or I’m going to start bouncing things. It would be nice if I had $x,000 per month in usual expenses where I could just go on autopilot but that’s not how my life is organized.
Understand. I have a simpler life than you. It suits me. But a boat would be nice. :happy

I have been doing my mom’s bills for several months. I may do a monthly doc so I can tick off her bills and see if anything is missing.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Northster »

I guess everyone's needs are different, but with IRAs for both my wife and me, plus a Roth for each of us, an inherited IRA, a taxable account, and some $$$ outside Vanguard, I don't see how I could manage without a spreadsheet to handle the several funds spread across all these accounts. I have nothing fancy and don't need to spend much time on my spreadsheet, but find it essential.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Northster wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:18 pm I guess everyone's needs are different, but with IRAs for both my wife and me, plus a Roth for each of us, an inherited IRA, a taxable account, and some $$$ outside Vanguard, I don't see how I could manage without a spreadsheet to handle the several funds spread across all these accounts. I have nothing fancy and don't need to spend much time on my spreadsheet, but find it essential.
We moved everything to Vanguard and then consolidated accounts over the years - IRAs.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by orangecounty »

Your post sounds great. But your linked thread does not sound as great, because you mention your disappointing results with an international allocation.

Large cap US stocks can do no wrong, as they have conquered the world in the last decade.

Are you really just simplifying? Or are you also 'repudiating' and 'throwing in the towel on' your previous allocation philosophy, based on recent results?

Respectfully submitted,
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Stinky »

ubermax wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:30 pm
Stinky wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:06 am
I can't imagine my life without spreadsheets.

I've used them since the very first days of Visicalc on a tiny Apple II computer. And I expect to use them until I die.
+1 that's me , except I only go back to Lotus and still remember the print subroutine called "always" , which doesn't sound correct or very techy , but that's what's stuck in my memory - now it's Excel and I create sheets to help understand or address situations that come up in everyday life - we had never leased a car and were thinking of doing that instead of buying , I built a sheet to replicate dealership lease methodology , another sheet I built a few years ago and still modify as tax laws change to replicate Turbo Tax , use it for estimated tax payments and gross up factors to account for and cover the tax liability when we exceed our RMD amounts - nothing fancy , no macros , etc. but it's fun - I do like the "goal seek" subroutine though .
Yes, I forgot the Lotus 123 era in which I was a full participant.

From Visicalc through Lotus 123 to Excel, I'm approaching 30 years of spreadsheet use. And (I hope) 30 or more years yet to come.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

orangecounty wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:09 pm Your post sounds great. But your linked thread does not sound as great, because you mention your disappointing results with an international allocation.

Large cap US stocks can do no wrong, as they have conquered the world in the last decade.

Are you really just simplifying? Or are you also 'repudiating' and 'throwing in the towel on' your previous allocation philosophy, based on recent results?

Respectfully submitted,
No one knows or I would bet everything if our crystal ball worked.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Jablean »

Stinky wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:20 pm
Yes, I forgot the Lotus 123 era in which I was a full participant.

From Visicalc through Lotus 123 to Excel, I'm approaching 30 years of spreadsheet use. And (I hope) 30 or more years yet to come.
It's got to be closer to 40 years or at least 35. PC jrs were out in 86 and I was taking Lotus and Wordstar classes in college in 84ish?
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Stinky »

Jablean wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:14 am
Stinky wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:20 pm
Yes, I forgot the Lotus 123 era in which I was a full participant.

From Visicalc through Lotus 123 to Excel, I'm approaching 30 years of spreadsheet use. And (I hope) 30 or more years yet to come.
It's got to be closer to 40 years or at least 35. PC jrs were out in 86 and I was taking Lotus and Wordstar classes in college in 84ish?
Yes, I can’t subtract. I began using VisiCalc in the early 1980s. So almost 40 years is correct.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by GeoffD »

Stinky wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:59 am
Jablean wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:14 am
Stinky wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:20 pm
Yes, I forgot the Lotus 123 era in which I was a full participant.

From Visicalc through Lotus 123 to Excel, I'm approaching 30 years of spreadsheet use. And (I hope) 30 or more years yet to come.
It's got to be closer to 40 years or at least 35. PC jrs were out in 86 and I was taking Lotus and Wordstar classes in college in 84ish?
Yes, I can’t subtract. I began using VisiCalc in the early 1980s. So almost 40 years is correct.
I first ran Excel on a Mac in 1986. I had minicomputers at work before that. I missed the whole DOS thing, fortunately.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by fishnhunt »

I still use two spreadsheets regularly. I have a bi-weekly budget for DW's and I paychecks. We do a zero-base budget so by the end of the pay period after everything has gone through I have almost nothing left in the checking account (just a small amount for rounding errors). Couldn't live without this spreadsheet. I love knowing where every dollar we make goes. I recently put it on Google Docs and wish I would have done it years ago. Automatically saves, I can share it with DW so she can see it whenever she wants, plus I can see it at work or wherever without having to email it myself.

The other spreadsheet I update once a year at the beginning of January. I update all of my investment account values. I have a rollover IRA, roth IRA, 457 pre-tax, 457 roth and a WI state pension. All besides the pension are invested in total market funds or s&p 500. I could get rid of this one if I want to but I like seeing my yearly contributions, earnings, and total year end assets all in one place.

I use to buy and sell mutual funds and had many spreadsheets going to track their performance and CAGR. I did outperform the s&p 500 for the first few years I did this before I discovered bogleheads. I then realized I was just essentially gambling on good horses and switched over to a one fund portfolio and it has been great. No more constantly checking accounts or trading funds every few months.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Jablean »

Stinky wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:59 am
Jablean wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:14 am
Stinky wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:20 pm
Yes, I forgot the Lotus 123 era in which I was a full participant.

From Visicalc through Lotus 123 to Excel, I'm approaching 30 years of spreadsheet use. And (I hope) 30 or more years yet to come.
It's got to be closer to 40 years or at least 35. PC jrs were out in 86 and I was taking Lotus and Wordstar classes in college in 84ish?
Yes, I can’t subtract. I began using VisiCalc in the early 1980s. So almost 40 years is correct.
I'm on my high school reunion committee. Makes it so I don't have to subtract as I always know approximately what decade I'm in and we just had our 40th. I took my first class in BASIC somewhere in 80-81. Rural college had one link-up to the main frame on the coast. Now with cloud computing we are almost back to consoles and servers.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

This has been a good thread!
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Count of Notre Dame
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Count of Notre Dame »

I maintain just one spreadsheet. It is a google sheet I fill out by hand once per month and it lists all of my assets and liabilities to track my net worth progress.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

In my opinion Vanguard provides a lot of information with the statement and the website when signing in.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Count of Notre Dame wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:30 am I maintain just one spreadsheet. It is a google sheet I fill out by hand once per month and it lists all of my assets and liabilities to track my net worth progress.
By hand? Does that take a lot of time?
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Count of Notre Dame »

abuss368 wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:09 pm
Count of Notre Dame wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:30 am I maintain just one spreadsheet. It is a google sheet I fill out by hand once per month and it lists all of my assets and liabilities to track my net worth progress.
By hand? Does that take a lot of time?
Takes about 5 minutes and it has an added bonus of forcing me to stay current on my login passwords.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Count of Notre Dame wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:40 am
abuss368 wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:09 pm
Count of Notre Dame wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:30 am I maintain just one spreadsheet. It is a google sheet I fill out by hand once per month and it lists all of my assets and liabilities to track my net worth progress.
By hand? Does that take a lot of time?
Takes about 5 minutes and it has an added bonus of forcing me to stay current on my login passwords.
That is a good point: if one does not login frequent enough passwords may go inactive.
Last edited by abuss368 on Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by R0verandout »

Count of Notre Dame wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:40 am
abuss368 wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:09 pm
Count of Notre Dame wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:30 am I maintain just one spreadsheet. It is a google sheet I fill out by hand once per month and it lists all of my assets and liabilities to track my net worth progress.
By hand? Does that take a lot of time?
Takes about 5 minutes and it has an added bonus of forcing me to stay current on my login passwords.
Is it bad that I’ve really enjoyed all the discussions about spreadsheets? Typical engineer...

I’m in the same boat, manually updating each account monthly / quarterly to keep track of multiple accounts, with the added complication of 3 currencies (accounts in USA, UK and Canada). I then abuse VLOOKUP substantially to scrape all the data into a summary to track net worth and asset allocation over time.

It’s definitely helped encourage me towards simplifying as much as possible, and since I only started to get my act together on long term finance in the last few years it helps to prove that all is progressing.

Recently added a column for each account of quarterly inflow so I can try and track how much we are actually saving and start to project future values based on rolling saving average. I did have massive issues setting that up, with predictions of a $100m portfolio, which I couldn’t figure until I realized that there are not 60 months in a year... :oops:

Next exciting change will be adding a property tab to track our property equity when we close in the next week or 2 and move from renting to owning!
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Bogleheads -

I am curious if anyone tracks debt and liabilities on a spreadsheet.

Taylor once said to me that he thought it was completely useless to track debt as his creditors reminded him how much he owed (i.e. monthly statements).

I found that to be really sound advice and simple.

Interested in thoughts.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by acegolfer »

abuss368 wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:34 pm Bogleheads -

I am curious if anyone tracks debt and liabilities on a spreadsheet.

Taylor once said to me that he thought it was completely useless to track debt as his creditors reminded him how much he owed (i.e. monthly statements).

I found that to be really sound advice and simple.

Interested in thoughts.
My spreadsheet tracks all my debts (car/home loans, credit cards). It's essential for calculating NWT.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

acegolfer wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:58 pm
abuss368 wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:34 pm Bogleheads -

I am curious if anyone tracks debt and liabilities on a spreadsheet.

Taylor once said to me that he thought it was completely useless to track debt as his creditors reminded him how much he owed (i.e. monthly statements).

I found that to be really sound advice and simple.

Interested in thoughts.
My spreadsheet tracks all my debts (car/home loans, credit cards). It's essential for calculating NWT.
We have most of our debt with our bank. Fortunately when login into the website it summarizes everything. I only have to mentally add another couple of loans.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Excellent thoughts and perspectives Bogleheads! Please continue to add to the thread.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Any additional updates Bogleheads?
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by 000 »

My spreadsheet is working just fine and aids in rebalancing.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by FIREchief »

abuss368 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:44 pm Any additional updates Bogleheads?
Since you asked.... It continues to baffle me why you seem to be advocating discarding a tool that is essential for long term financial planning because of what were (apparently) some negative experiences that you had with spreadsheets in your past. :confused
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Removing complexity and simplifying our financial and non-financial life was the best decision we have made. It works.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

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abuss368 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:09 am Removing complexity and simplifying our financial and non-financial life was the best decision we have made. It works.
Two fund portfolio, equal location, now no spreadsheet - congrats, you got it made!

Among other things I use my spreadsheet to keep track of all my logins and passwords for several airlines / travel companies / cruises / car dealerships / banks / brokerages (checking, savings, RSUs, investments etc.) / tech companies (Apple, MS etc.) / schools / security / forums / government / utilities and many more entities :? - not to mention the password and the hint for this spreadsheet and its backup :oops:

Anyone with good idea on how to manage logins/passwords that works for you please share ...
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

DSBH wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:03 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:09 am Removing complexity and simplifying our financial and non-financial life was the best decision we have made. It works.
Two fund portfolio, equal location, now no spreadsheet - congrats, you got it made!

Among other things I use my spreadsheet to keep track of all my logins and passwords for several airlines / travel companies / cruises / car dealerships / banks / brokerages (checking, savings, RSUs, investments etc.) / tech companies (Apple, MS etc.) / schools / security / forums / government / utilities and many more entities :? - not to mention the password and the hint for this spreadsheet and its backup :oops:

Anyone with good idea on how to manage logins/passwords that works for you please share ...
You may want to look at options. I know someone who did exactly that: passwords stored on a spreadsheet on computer. Computer was hacked and everything compromised.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

I used to have this big debt spreadsheet that would years of balance changes and also an amortization table!

I began to question why and the need.

It was Taylor who said and taught me well. Taylor said his creditors did a very good job of reminding him every month how much he owed.

That resonated and hit home!

I eliminated the debt spreadsheet.

Thank you Taylor!
Last edited by abuss368 on Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

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abuss368 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:07 pm You may want to look at options. I know someone who did exactly that: passwords stored on a spreadsheet on computer. Computer was hacked and everything compromised.
Thanks, they are on 2 USB drives. For few frequently used ones I kept separately.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

DSBH wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:13 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:07 pm You may want to look at options. I know someone who did exactly that: passwords stored on a spreadsheet on computer. Computer was hacked and everything compromised.
Thanks, they are on 2 USB drives. For few frequently used ones I kept separately.
Good. While I am not an expert that is probably safer.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by diy60 »

abuss368 wrote: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:10 pm
PopMegaphone wrote: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:52 pm I use a spreadsheet because I have many accounts due to 401k's, company stock, taxable, etc. I've consolidated as much as I can, but some of it as to stay separate.

Another problem I have is my 401k's only offer SP500 and extended market indexes funds (no total market), so I have the additional task of getting an 80/20 balance for large vs mid/small cap. Additionally, I have a Vanguard target retirement fund that I need to pull the frequently updated fund weightings (equity vs bonds, domestic vs intl) to ensure I'm achieving my desired ratios. My portfolio basically simulates a 3 fund portfolio but it doesn't happen naturally.

Also, I think tracking my net worth helps with FIRE planning.
Someday when retired if everything is consolidated you may no longer need a spreadsheet.
Spouse and I are retired and we have a total of 11 accounts between us. Serious question, how many accounts do you have? I built a spreadsheet that I can update all of my accounts quicker than I took typing this reply. I'm doing 4 or 5 Roth Conversions throughout the year so I need to have a handle on my overall portfolio AA. Perhaps when we fully convert the Trad IRAs and spend down the HSAs the spreadsheet will be less beneficial, but ditching the spreadsheet now would actually complicate my life.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

diy60 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:40 pm
Spouse and I are retired and we have a total of 11 accounts between us. Serious question, how many accounts do you have? I built a spreadsheet that I can update all of my accounts quicker than I took typing this reply. I'm doing 4 or 5 Roth Conversions throughout the year so I need to have a handle on my overall portfolio AA. Perhaps when we fully convert the Trad IRAs and spend down the HSAs the spreadsheet will be less beneficial, but ditching the spreadsheet now would actually complicate my life.
5 accounts all with Vanguard. Will be 4 accounts when Traditional IRA is done being converted to Roth IRA.

Another 2 College 529 accounts that are in Target funds.

Very easy and simple portfolio to manage.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by 000 »

DSBH wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:03 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:09 am Removing complexity and simplifying our financial and non-financial life was the best decision we have made. It works.
Two fund portfolio, equal location, now no spreadsheet - congrats, you got it made!

Among other things I use my spreadsheet to keep track of all my logins and passwords for several airlines / travel companies / cruises / car dealerships / banks / brokerages (checking, savings, RSUs, investments etc.) / tech companies (Apple, MS etc.) / schools / security / forums / government / utilities and many more entities :? - not to mention the password and the hint for this spreadsheet and its backup :oops:

Anyone with good idea on how to manage logins/passwords that works for you please share ...
Local-only password manager with a password store unlocked by a master password you don't store on the computer. I assume most web browsers have such a feature.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by DSBH »

000 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:49 pm Local-only password manager with a password store unlocked by a master password you don't store on the computer. I assume most web browsers have such a feature.
Will look into it, thanks!
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by chw »

I’ve used an Excel spreadsheet for years to track asset allocation across all institutions in our financial lives. It’s updated at least annually when rebalancing, or when investment purchases are made (such as when we sold a home, contributed to an IRA, etc). I actually add a new sheet(copied and updated from the previous sheet) each time changes are made which are labeled with the date. Doing so gives some perspective to net worth progression over time, all on one spreadsheet. This spreadsheet has been customized for my use, and can be updated with my accounts in a few minutes. I follow a 7 fund (TM, SCV, Total Intl equities- ST bonds/Cash, Interm Bonds, Hi Yld bonds, IBonds for bonds) allocation which is very easy to track with the spreadsheet.

I also use a spreadsheet to track expenses (not debt- which is only an interest free loan currently) which I find helpful to compare year to year spending in various expense categories, and to affirm spending is on track with expectations (we are early retirees). The expense spreadsheet is updated quarterly, and was started about 3 years before retirement to confirm what we were spending and where. Knowing our annual expenses (fixed and variable) was critical to our ability to retire early, and spreading them on a spreadsheet was easiest and most secure (I don’t like giving passwords up to software programs/apps for expense tracking) for us. I simply download the expense info as a CSV file from our CC and Bank stmts, and then sort them.
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