How much money can I spend?

October 26 2010 at 16:10 2 comments

Being a working class hero not only gives you the benefit of a regular income, but also makes you spend more money than before – let’s say during university career. Your first flat, insurance, newspaper subscriptions et cetera suck off money from your bank account, you have grown up. Welcome to the real world (c)! Let’s make a financial plan 😉

Money in pocket

Money in your pocket (ilco/

How to make the ends meet yourself? First I tried to get an overview of my spendings using various programs of which  I found GNUCash and JGnash really useful – both available for various operating systems). Needless to say usually they were higher than expected, but somehow I made it out of the debts. But then I moved and had to pay more rent, incsurance, etc.

My insurance accountant told me that my approach of recording my speding was good for a start but not really suitable. She advised me to make a list of my fixed expenses to see what is left. Of course I also should think of saving some money as well, so I put up a spreadsheet like many others do. I also searched the net of what other people do, but having done that I found that their focus was quite different.

Objective: a spreadsheet that compares income, fixed expenses, your idea of savings, and eventually you can see what is left for food, going out, etc. If you fill in your average weekly spending on the nice stuff you will see what is left – or if there is nothing left you can easily see where to fine-tune your spending.

Solution: this quick hack  in Excel97 format: budget-template-xls. Please note, that due to a restriction from wordpress you have to rename the file from .doc to .xls after downloading.


  1. Fill in your income, if you have more than one income, just add other positions in the cells below
  2. Fill in your fixed expenses (on a monthly basis. If have more positions, just add them below. The formulas are designed to use the whole column, so your limit is only the number of columns Excel can handle)
  3. Fill in how and how much you want to save every months.
  4. If you have estimates on your weekly needs for food, treats, or other stuff fill them in here
  5. On the left hand side you can see how much money you can spend each week, and if anything remains based on your weekly expenses estimates.

Each sunday evening I draw the amount of money that results as “spendable weekly” from the ATM and pay all my expenses from food to cigarettes of that sum. What is leftover at the end of the week I put into the piggy bank 😉

I hope you find this spreadsheet somehow useful. Tell me what you think, how did you manage to make to make your living? Suggestions, welcome!


Entry filed under: life. Tags: , , , , , , .

Portable Django

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Irina Ross  |  October 28 2010 at 15:22

    I would suggest checking a new service called which is very relevant online financial planning offering.They offer free assessment of your financial situation (regardless your income level) and a full comprehensive financial plan for $99. The report I got was extremely valuable – worth every dollar invested.

    • 2. elwito  |  October 28 2010 at 19:20

      I let this comment pass although I am not convinced of this programme. I’d especially refrain from paying or giving away my email address to any service like this unless it is my own bank that I trust. It may however be useful to americans.


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