Personal Finance Autopilot - Budgeting Made Easy!
What you'll learn
- Learn all the most important fundamentals of managing your finances
- Build a budget based on your real spending
- Build a personal balance sheet (net worth tracker)
- Improve your spending habits (start saving)
- Willingness to spend some time setting up your budget
- Microsoft Excel (I used 2010, but 2007 and up should work fine - if not, I'll make compatible versions of the worksheets)
- There's still lots of useful info here if you don't have Excel. You'll still learn all about how to build a great budget and net worth statement, and all the principals behind good personal money management. There are other tools that you can use to keep track... I just like mine better!
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!
Who this course is for:
- Anyone who's never built a budget or personal balance sheet (net worth statement), but wants better control of their financial life
- Anyone who's tried budgeting but quit because of annoying, cumbersome software, or tedious manual tools
- Anyone who wants to keep their finances private (offline), and needs a good system
I'm an engineer / material scientist by training with an M.S. in Material Science. I've spent the last 10 years working in manufacturing, helping to take businesses from research & development to mass production in the energy storage industry. I've also founded / helped start multiple companies myself, and have gotten a lot of experience on the business / financial side along the way.
My real passion, and what I'm best at, is numbers & data analysis. I like to make things better, by automating them and making them more efficient - not just in the engineering world, but in everyday life too.
Personal finance is a perfect example, and a problem I think a lot of people struggle to solve, so I'm hoping to share my work so that other people can benefit from my efforts!
Aside from work, I love the outdoors, music and airplanes!