Build a One-Sheet, Dashboard-Style View of Your Finances

Financial Organization: One-Step Challenge

Last week I took the one-step challenge to organize my finances. To meet the challenge, I decided to build a one-sheet, dashboard-style view of our finances. I determined it should have our personal income statement and balance sheet, as well as the account IDs and passwords associated with those accounts. It will also provide any details about any automatic transfers or payments that I have in place. Lastly, at the bottom of the page I’d place our main financial goals.

one-sheet-image

This “dashboard” will allow me to see a quick view of our net worth, budget, log-in credentials for each account, and goals we’re striving for. Not only will it help me manage my finances better, it will provide a cheat sheet for Mrs. PT in the event something were to happen to me. It’s a good idea to print out a copy and throw it in the safe.

My One Step is The First Step

Getting the big picture of your finances in front of you like this is the first step anyone should take in organizing their finances. Just like in my 10 Things series, where my first step is to “track your regular monthly expenses”. You don’t have to have your financial act together to complete this exercise. This could be your first step. Knowing where you stand is a good starting point for turning things around.

Build Your Own Financial Dashboard

While I’m not going to share my exact dashboard, I’ve built a template for you to use. It’s nothing fancy. Still, feel free to grab it, fill it with your own information, then stash it somewhere safe and secure. Share the template with your friends too. The login credential area is shaded grey so it’s a bit harder to read for someone standing over your shoulder.

one-sheet-image

Download Copy of Financial Dashboard (.xls)

Download Copy of Financial Dashboard (.ods)

Of course, life changes all the time, so your financial statements will only be accurate for a short time. Consider adding the dashboard to your jump/flash drive or your Google Documents account so you can periodically update them. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions on editing your dashboard.

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Last Edited: February 18, 2012 @ 1:29 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. This is a great spreadsheet PT! How long did it take for you to complete this?

  2. Thanks, Laura. I’m an accountant so I’m quick with spreadsheets. The hard part was going out and gathering all the login credentials. That took a while, if not a few days. Some accounts are still pending actually on my sheet (couldn’t remember the login). As for the account balances, I use BOA’s “My Portfolio” and was able to pull a lot of my data automatically using that.

    All that to say, I don’t know since I’ve piece-mealed this thing. If I were to sit down and do it from scratch I’d say 3hrs.

  3. Now that is a good idea. I’m going to have to do that.

  4. Looks good, but you should figure out some way to secure the spreadsheet. Let’s say someone stole your laptop, they could ended up with all your account information with passwords and everything.

  5. I love spreadsheets too. There was one thing that I found lacking in this – personal login information. Unless you really use “User ID 1″ for every bank account “pswrd 1″ I don’t know how you are going to remember them. And Pinyo is right on, my wife and I use code words on our central password document but I guess we could just password protect it or something.

  6. What a blessing for you to share this. Many companies charge a pretty penny for a spreadsheet like this. Now all I have to do is fill in the blanks. Thanks a million.

  7. Pinyo makes a good point. If you are going to keep it on your computer in Excel format, see this tutorial on password protection and encryption: http://www.oraxcel.com/projects/encoffice/help/protect_excel.html

    If you keep it on a jump/flash drive make sure you install the security software there as well.

    @Steward – What I’ve shared is a template for you to put YOUR login info. It is lacking of my real information…but that would be insane for me to share. Maybe I’m not getting you???

  8. AnnMarie Johnson says:

    Thank you for this! I think I’ll use it for my DH in case of trouble–I keep track of all of this in Quicken and my head. If I were to be out of commission, my DH would be a bit lost. He knows it’s in Quicken and could eventually figure it all out, but it would take a while. I particularly like the place to indicate if a payment is on auto or not.

  9. @ PT – I was just joking. It is pretty obvious why you didn’t put your real information there – but it would be an interesting experiment to see how long it would take for someone to actually log into an account you posted the credentials for on the internet. At least you would be able to tell if any of your readers are thieves or just insanely curious.

  10. It is really neat what you can see when you put it all out in front of you for sure – a good first step to REALIZING where your money goes is to actually input it; from there you’ll certainly see! Good job PT!

  11. @ Steward – I had a suspicion you were joking. Good one. :) Sorry, I hadn’t taken my chill pill yet.

  12. I am a Quicken guy myself. Call me lazy but updating all of my accounts with a single click is the way to go in my opinion.

  13. it’s great idea and one step to financial planning that most of us, absolutely me, bad in cashflow :D

  14. Thanks for the tips on how to secure Excel… I made a spreadsheet of my own and forgot how to set the password. Don’t worry though, I won’t forget the password! ;)

  15. Thanks for the post! I did something myself like this recently, but I am going to look over your spreadsheet and see if there is anything I missed. Thanks!!

  16. I’m really late in finding this spreadsheet so I hope you’re still taking comments. What does the “tic?” mean to you?

    Otherwise, I LOVE this. I’ve been resolving to do something for years, but this makes it simple. Thanks for sharing.

  17. @Mary – Widen the column and you’ll see that “tic?” becomes “Automatic?”. The column just needs to be widened. ;)

    Oh, and by automatic, I mean, is the bill being paid automatically each month without me doing anything.

  18. Hi, I just found your site. I just found a website that does this for you the other day called mint.com. It works like Microsoft Money or one of those types of programs in that it will show your balances in all your banking accounts, retirement accounts, etc. It ever helps you keep track of your net worth by adding in the value of things like your home and vehicles and taking away debts such as credit cards. As long as you feel comfortable using a third-party website to watch all your bank accounts (they use bank level encryption to keep your passwords and account numbers safe), it’s a great thing because it’s free! They’ll even give you month by month budget advice.
    Phew, sorry for that long first post. I’d never heard of mint.com before last week but it’s been easy to use so far, and no trouble with my accounts yet.