This course is designed to help anyone get a better grasp on their personal finances by building a budget and a personal balance sheet, or net worth statement.
As an engineer, I'm constantly trying to build systems to automate repetitive tasks, and always trying to make things easier, more efficient and more effective.
I've tried several methods for budgeting, from manually tracking all my spending and filling out worksheets each month, to complicated software that never quite works the way I want it to, and I always quit after a short time out of frustration - so I built my own.
I think I have a system that's very simple and intuitive, with a lot of useful effort-free features, and most importantly, it's easy to stick to.
We'll go step by step through the system, which is basically a couple of simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and I'll show you how to customize it for yourself. Along the way, we'll talk about all of the important financial principals behind it like fixed vs. variable expenses, liquid and illiquid assets, and how to set up an emergency fund with your savings.
Once you're set up (some short videos and just a little bit of homework), here's what you should have:
A complete picture of your personal finances, including:
- How much you spend each week and each month, broken down into the categories you care about most.
- A budget based on your real spending, where you can see the current picture and set goals for the future.
- A net worth statement, showing everything you own vs. what you owe.
You will be able to easily:
- View automatically updated graphs of your spending over the last year.
- Fine tune goals for your budget, track your progress and watch your success translate into a higher net worth.
- Perform what-if scenarios that help you to make better financial decisions. For example:
- Should you buy or lease that car (and how much should you pay)?
- Should you rent an apartment or buy a house?
- Can you afford an extra vacation if you cut back on going to the movies?
You'll see instant improvements in your financial well being:
- Reduce your "waste" spending
- Less worrying each month about forgetting bills, or not being able to pay them
- Be prepared for making investments, applying for loans and credit without digging through years worth of receipts
Hopefully this course will be like giving yourself a raise. You'll be able to take more vacations and use your money the way you want to, without it disappearing under your nose... And your stress level will go way down: you'll have the piece of mind in knowing where you stand at all times!