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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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Excel is cross-platform, depending on your platforms.

You'll take my spreadsheets from my cold, dead hands!
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FIREchief
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by FIREchief »

abuss368 wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 9:50 am I am the opposite! I like to allocate time to golf, reading, movies.

Not spreadsheets! I work on those at work for 50 hours a week.
There's your "problem!" It's not the spreadsheets that need to go "Out of here!" It's that four letter word w$rk. :twisted:

Aren't you the guy who has access to proprietary financial planning software at "work?"
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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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

FIREchief wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:41 am
abuss368 wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 9:50 am I am the opposite! I like to allocate time to golf, reading, movies.

Not spreadsheets! I work on those at work for 50 hours a week.
There's your "problem!" It's not the spreadsheets that need to go "Out of here!" It's that four letter word w$rk. :twisted:

Aren't you the guy who has access to proprietary financial planning software at "work?"
That may be it!

Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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LilyFleur
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by LilyFleur »

I have three spreadsheets:
Portfolio/Savings: A spreadsheet that shows the funds/individual stocks/cash across my brokerage account and 401k and credit union. I can update it in about 15 minutes. It shows me the total in my portfolio, the amount of capital gains by fund/individual stock in my brokerage account, the amount of my Roth, the percentages in stocks/bonds/cash. It also shows me what percentage is pre-tax and post-tax. So, for example, when the time comes to help my children with a sizable amount for a downpayment, I can look at the spreadsheet and quickly see what the tax impact would be for pulling the money from various sources.

Estimated income/taxes for the year: I have multiple sources of income, and I list estimates for those (some are quite small but need to be considered) and also plan during the year if I will be itemizing or not, based on estimated deductible expenses. I don't have one row for calculating income taxes (my brain doesn't work that way), but I show how my income cascades through the brackets for both federal and state income taxes (multiple rows in the spreadsheet). I also show monthly and yearly estimates for the federal and state tax contributions pulled from my pension for the year, which can easily be adjusted online if I prefer to avoid paying for estimated taxes from other accounts.

Budget: This is a snapshot into my easy-to-estimate recurring expenses (HOAs, property taxes, Internet, gifts, health insurance, etc.) I don't track individual expenses at all. (I pretty much looked at the aggregate spending categories on my credit cards to come up with this budget, although there are just a few items I pay directly from my checking account, like HOAs and property taxes) but this helps me make decisions on bigger ticket items in view of my yearly spending.

I'm not great at math, but maintaining these easy spreadsheets has proven valuable for my financial strategies.
AlwaysaQ
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by AlwaysaQ »

Who writes checks?
I do - the doctor, the dentist, the guy who mows the lawn and removes the snow, for chores done around the house, the city for property taxes, the state for estimated income taxes, and to the parents of the little ones for Christmas and birthday gifts. Not everyone takes credit cards and some things are too expensive to put on my credit cards and I don't do financial things on my 8 year old phone.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by LilyFleur »

AlwaysaQ wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 1:48 pm Who writes checks?
I do - the doctor, the dentist, the guy who mows the lawn and removes the snow, for chores done around the house, the city for property taxes, the state for estimated income taxes, and to the parents of the little ones for Christmas and birthday gifts. Not everyone takes credit cards and some things are too expensive to put on my credit cards and I don't do financial things on my 8 year old phone.
My HOAs have to be paid by check. I set this up as a recurring expense in my credit union; they cut the check, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on the envelope, and mail it for me. It can be tracked through the credit union if there's ever a dispute. They keep images of the checks and also have the date the checks were cashed.

I pay taxes by direct transfer and I save the receipt as a PDF in my tax file on my computer.

My doctors and my dentist take credit cards. I track those expenses for tax purposes by always using the same credit card for medical expenses. The summary view on my credit card website shows quite clearly how much I spent for co-pays and prescriptions for the year. I also pay my health insurance premiums (about $21,000 a year) on that credit card. It's a big amount to spend on health care but at least I get the 2% cash rebate on it, and I like letting my credit card company settle any disputes.

Why wouldn't you use a credit card for a big expense?
AlwaysaQ
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by AlwaysaQ »

Lily

My doctor takes credit cards but charges a fee to do so. Therefore it is cheaper to pay by check. Same for the property tax though I may set it up to have property taxes automatically deducted. I did pay for my automobile registration by credit card and fee because I was late getting it in. As for the expensive items my credit line is not that large on either of my two credit cards and I haven't tried to get it raised. Therefore when I had my basement waterproofed I paid by check.
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

AlwaysaQ wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 2:20 pm Lily

My doctor takes credit cards but charges a fee to do so. Therefore it is cheaper to pay by check. Same for the property tax though I may set it up to have property taxes automatically deducted. I did pay for my automobile registration by credit card and fee because I was late getting it in. As for the expensive items my credit line is not that large on either of my two credit cards and I haven't tried to get it raised. Therefore when I had my basement waterproofed I paid by check.
We used to have the same. Now doctor is credit card with no fee. Two of our three tax bills can now be processed as an ACH form the checking account for 50 cents or so. We pay it. Less than the cost of mailing a check.

I expect that in the not to distant future checks may be a thing of the past.

Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:40 am Excel is cross-platform, depending on your platforms.

You'll take my spreadsheets from my cold, dead hands!
Priceless!

Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
Fat Tails
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Fat Tails »

FIREchief wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:01 am
abuss368 wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:50 pm The “obsession” is more of a focus on simplicity and helping others become better investors. Owning total market index funds does just that and eliminates the need for complexity and spreadsheets.
Again?! My RP is 100% US Total Market Index. My HSAs are 100% US TMI. Yet, strangely enough, I rely on a robust Excel spreadsheet to enable future tax planning, Roth conversion planning, RMD management, etc.

Is the only thing you've ever used a spreadsheet for was tracking asset allocation measures? That seems pretty short sighted. :?

full disclaimer: I actually enjoy maintaining and growing a complex Excel spreadsheet, it's good for my brain. 8-)
+1. I don’t do budgeting or spending tracking in a spreadsheet. I do have a large spreadsheet with projected income, IRA, Roth IRA and taxable balances, future Required Minimum Distributions, and taxes and tax brackets; also to do “what if” Roth conversions and future tax planning. I update it semiannually, although annually would be sufficient. There are some online tools to do this, but my spreadsheet is tailored to our exact situation and is easily updated. It has been a good tool to get some visibility 25 years into the future, understanding that things may change. It has really opened my eyes to the value of Roth conversions done early.

Cheers
Edited once to correct typos.
“Doing well with money has little to do with how smart you are and a lot to do with how you behave.” - Morgan Housel
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Bogleheads -

Taylor’s thread made me think it is time for an update to this thread!

Has anyone continued to simplify their finances and investing and life that spreadsheets and other complexities are no longer of value or needed?

Best.
Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
DSBH
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by DSBH »

Well I am going the “wrong”way. Since I have been rebalancing and resetting my target AA via Roth conversions, I have been relying more on Excel to make sure I am on the intended path :(
John C. Bogle: "Never confuse genius with luck and a bull market".
Silk McCue
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Silk McCue »

abuss368 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:55 pm Bogleheads -

Taylor’s thread made me think it is time for an update to this thread!

Has anyone continued to simplify their finances and investing and life that spreadsheets and other complexities are no longer of value or needed?

Best.
Tony
We are all wired differently so I expect that what is right for Taylor, you or me is likely to be very different at various stages in our lives.

Cheers
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