The more knowledge you have of your finances, the better decisions you can make.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of seven free money management worksheets that will help you gain insight into your past, present and future financial situation.
Summary: Created by Jeff Hughes, this spreadsheet attempts to duplicate the popular YNAB budgeting software. The idea is to give every dollar a job. When income arrives, you allocate that money accordingly. Then, you adjust when needed. If budgeting hasn’t worked for you in the past, give this method a try.
Bonus worksheet: A similar and just-as-powerful budgeting process is Dave Ramsey’s allocated spending plan.
Summary: Tracking your net worth gives you an accurate snapshot of your finances, and watching that number increase can be a powerful motivator. While I use Personal Capital’s free net worth tracker, I also use a spreadsheet to calculate my net worth every quarter — there’s just something about manually logging your account balances that gives you greater insight.
Related: Read my in-depth Personal Capital review.
Summary: Deciding on a health insurance plan can be a daunting task. This worksheet makes it a bit easier. Enter your estimated cost of healthcare expenses (subject to a deductible), then see the crossover point of where an HSA or HDHP makes sense. Why is this useful? If you know there’s a large expense in your future — such as having a baby or an operation — this spreadsheet can help you see which plan is best.
Summary: It’s easy to confuse big purchases with emergencies. If your car with 200,000 miles on it breaks down and you need to buy a new one, is that an emergency? Or, on the other hand, should that expense have been planned for years ago? The Planning Future Expenses worksheet is a handy checklist for going through potential large-scale expenditures that may be on your horizon.
Summary: Looking to get out of debt? The Debt Snowball Worksheet from Christian PF helps you prioritize the debts to attack first. Just list each of your debts by amount, interest rate and minimum payment. Then, you’ll see the debts you should pay first, the total interest you’ll pay, and the estimated time each will take to pay off.
Further reading: The debt snowball method explained.
Summary: At your current savings rate, how much longer until you can retire? To find out the estimated time until reaching financial independence — the day you have enough money from investments to cover your expenses for the remainder of your life — check out Personal Capital’s free retirement planner.
Summary: Putting off investing? This worksheet shows how much that’s actually costing you. Say your desired retirement age is 55, at which point you’d like to have saved $1 million. Assuming a 5% growth rate after inflation, this calculator lets you see how much you’ll need to save per month, pending your age, to reach your goal.
Related reading: A beginner’s guide to buying life insurance.