3.1 Tracking Accounts
Lesson Objective: Learn how to track your account balances and use some analysis features of the tool
The "Account Balances" worksheet allows you to track your balances across various account types. You will be able to see total deposits and withdrawals and the final balance for the account. There are three main pieces of information you will need to enter. Information that you can enter is indicated with the grey ▼ symbol in the template.
This is the name of the account that you want to track the balance on.
This is the balance of the account on the start date and before any transactions that affect that account occur.
Master Start Date & Account Start Date
This is the date that you wish to start tracking the balance for an account. The master start date is located at the top of the worksheet and sets the start date for all accounts. There is also a start date for each individual account. Entering a date will override the master start date for that account only.
How it Works
As you enter transactions, the "Account Balances" worksheet adds or deducts the amount of the transaction from the withdrawal and/or deposit account that you specify. If you don’t specify an account or the transaction date does not occur on or between the account start date and today’s date, it will not be counted.
Account Types & Features
The cash account is used to track the money that is in your pocket. If you enter any transactions that have a cashback amount, that amount will be deposited here, automatically. There can only be one cash account.
Banking accounts are provided for checking and savings tracking. They allow you to specify whether the amount in the account is available for use or not. If you set availability to “No,” it will not be included in the “Available Cash” box at the top of the sheet.
Credit accounts have a few more options. Since credit is debt, any starting balance must be entered as a negative number. You can also track the utilization and credit mix. Utilization is the ratio of credit used versus the credit card limit. Credit mix is just the count of different types of credit. All you have to do is specify the credit limit and credit type (mortgage, revolving, installment, other). Additionally you can enter the interest rate. This will allow you to estimate the time needed to pay off the debt (see Lesson 3.3).
These slots are provided for accounts that don’t fall under the banking or credit account umbrella. This could include accounts like a 401k or HSA if you are ambitious enough to track those too. “Other accounts” have no special features.
The video below gives specific examples if you need them and addresses some issues you might encounter.