Vertex42 Money Manager is a free Excel spreadsheet template configured as a personal financial tool. However, unlike most free Excel templates, it's more than a single page of preconfigured cells and formulas. In fact, it's a full-featured financial planning, recording, and reporting tool that can help you keep track of everything from gifts to retirement savings. To use it, you must have Microsoft Excel 2003 or better.
We unzipped Vertex42 Money Manager's download and clicked it. Excel opened in protected mode with the template displaying the first sheet, the Help page, which serves as both the introduction and setup instructions as well. We clicked Enable Editing to allow us to enter our own data in Money Manager's cells. The intro recommended frequent data backups and noted that Excel files can become corrupted. The setup process consisted of five steps: Customize Categories (Or Don't); Define Your List of Accounts; Define Your Yearly Budget; Record Transactions; and Track Your Progress. In addition to the Help sheet, worksheets labeled Transactions, Reports, and Categories covered a wide range of financial issues. For example, the Charity and Gifts Categories listed six choices: Tithing, Charitable Donations, Religious Donations, Gifts, Christmas, and Charity. In fact, Money Manager behaves like any preconfigured Excel template. We entered data in empty cells and left grayed-out cells alone, unless we were customizing the template. Tiny red triangles opened small but useful tip boxes that explained things quite well, such as Starting Balance and Projected End Balance fields in the Yearly Budget Planner.
Vertex42 Money Manager packs a lot of useful tools in one free package that will be familiar to frequent Excel users and easy for newcomers to pick up, thanks to extensive documentation and assistance. Since it's an Excel template, it's easy to customize and personalize, too.
The Vertex42 Money Manager is a simple money management spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel that helps you create and manage a budget. Organize your income and expenses into convenient categories. Add, edit, or delete categories as needed. The Transactions worksheet lets you record withdrawals, deposits, purchases, and transfers for multiple checking, savings, and credit card accounts. The Report worksheet lets you compare your budget to your actual spending on a monthly or year-to-date basis. This spreadsheet can be a useful alternative to other money management software, especially for people who are comfortable using Microsoft Excel. The file contains a detailed Help worksheet that provides step-by-step instructions. An OpenOffice.org version and a video tutorial are available via the author's web page: http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/money-management-template.html