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Saving money is always a top priority, but it is easier said than done for most people. Saving money for short- and long-term goals remains challenging for most working Americans.
1 in 5 (21%) does not save any of their earnings. This is a concern because the lack of financial savings can result in significant financial struggles in the future.
One efficient way to save money is by using a tool like Excel. First, it is affordable, and everyone has access to it, and second, it is a very flexible software that can be used in various ways to help you reach your savings goals.
Here are a few ways Microsoft Excel can help you save money.
1. Creating a Budget
The first step to saving more money is preparing a budget. When you have a budget, you can plan how much you spend on certain expenses every pay period. This lets you know how quickly you are depleting your funds and how much remaining money.
It also allows you to reallocate funds where you spend too much and not enough on other expenses such as savings or debt payments.
An advanced feature like macro workbooks in Excel can automate most of your budgeting duties. This saves you considerable time and costs you would have spent doing these repetitive tasks manually, such as buying paper or ink.
2. Tracking Spending
One thing you want to ensure you do when trying to reach your savings goals is track how much you are spending. Instead of cluttering your desk with ledgers, receipts, and expense sheets, Excel can help you automate this task.
Advanced functions like VLOOKUP and SUMIF allow you to quickly take various expenses and automatically track how much you spend in each expense category.
And if you want to take your financial analysis to the next level, taking Advanced Excel courses can teach you even more tips and tricks to make this process easier.
With Excel, you can track where you spend your money and be sure you’re not overspending.
3. Projecting Future Income
PivotTable lets you easily convert raw data into charts and tables that can give you a comprehensive picture of your spending and savings habits. It allows you to compare your current spending to your income quickly.
PivotTable can also project your future income. And having that sense of direction can motivate you to stay prudent with your spending so you can reach your savings goals faster.
If you find the more advanced features tricky, or just need help learning to use it more efficiently, you can even take microsoft excel training in person, to gain confidence and improve your skills even further.
4. Tracking Progress Toward Goals
One of the best things about using a tool like Excel to save more money is the flexibility it offers. You can visualize your progress and make necessary changes to reach your savings goals faster.
PivotGraph in Excel allows you to visualize your progress by making charts of your expenses, income, and savings. You can even analyze these factors over time and see which categories of spending are causing you to go over budget.
You can also compare your income with expenses to see if your costs are high compared to how much you earn or notice specific categories of expenses that are incurring a lot of your costs.
Why You Need to Cultivate a Habit of Saving
The temptation is always there when it comes to buying that beautiful blouse or keeping that subscription even though you don’t need it.
But most people forget that a bit of saving goes a long way. When you don’t save enough money, it can affect almost every aspect of your life: your financial security, friendship, health, and more.
When your savings are low, it could lead to excessive borrowing, high-cost loans, and late bill payments. This could take a toll on your finances long-term and cause significant setbacks in future goals. This is why it’s best to cultivate a habit of saving as much as possible.
Excel is an excellent tool for your savings goal. With Excel, you can plan a budget, track spending, future project income, and track progress.
Excel can help you reach your savings goals faster, which enables you to prepare for emergencies and invest for the future.
The best parts are that it is affordable, and if you are willing, some courses can teach you how to use Excel effectively to make reaching your financial goals much more effortless.