Rosa Delgado started tracking herself since 2009 - she tracks her financials, food, and goals. In this talk, Rosa talks about her success in taking control of her financial health by tracking it.
So since that started in 2009, both the method I’m tracking my financials and the data showed in the report understood much better. So I have to say that technology has also improved over time, so it’s much much more easy for me to do it now.
I started tracking my financials, because I used to have feelings such as I will never be able to do xyz because I’m not earning that much, or I’m spending a lot of money on let’s say for instance shoes or clothes, and that’s not possible. I even thought a couple of times that someone was stealing money from my bank account and I’m not joking, that serious.
After a few months tracking, a shocking reality no one was stealing money from my bank account. It was me and myself doing it, and I wasn’t spending that much money on shoes or clothes, but in something else I wasn’t aware of. So I started having a clear picture on where was my money being spent, and I started finding objectives and prioritizing the expenditure accordingly.
So how do I do it? I use an Excel template, I can’t show here, but I’ll be showing a few screenshots. So the first step I do is I set up my categories, and this is completely up to me. So you can either update, delete, or change whatever you need, and these are the categories that I have got set up so far. I only have to do it once because they don’t change very often.
So the second step is I set up an allowance expenditure for each category. I do that for each category and for the variable categories. For instance, the mortgage or the rent – this is a mockup by the way. This is London.
So the mortgage is a fixed expenditure, and I can’t do anything about it, but that still I put it as an allowance because my Excel is not that clever. And for instance clothes I allowed myself to spend £100 a month on clothes and so and so forth for every category and subcategory I set up and allow expenditure.
The third step to me is the most important one, and it is the one that keeps me pushing and pushing towards my goals. I set up a few objectives, and the first one is always savings and these I must have. So by the end of the financial year I have to have – this is a mockup again, £20,000 in my bank account. Then I define a few of those goals or resolutions or whatever you want to call them like holidays in the US or a sabbatical for a year and then I set up what is the target; how much money do I need for these goals.
Once I have got everything set up, what I do is I start tracking, easy-peasy. I connect to my bank account every two or three days, and to be honest I do it now using my mobile applications, so I pull out the data from my bank every two or three days and I write down physically in this spreadsheet.
I used to do it once a month downloading the spreadsheet from the Internet, but it turned out that I couldn’t remember the expenditure, so I didn’t remember where I was spending £30 in something called KLM or something. So what I am doing now is doing it every two or three days and doing it manually.
So then I categorize every expenditure with a category and subcategory, and twice or three times a month what do is I analyze the data and we can see a much better here.
This is one of the tables that I’m using, so the information is by category and subcategory and based by month as well. Then I can see the three graphs that I like the most, and I’m not using that one because it is not giving me any important information, but I can keep how well I’m doing with my savings from the beginning of the year; pretty good by the way.
And then I can keep track of my clothes, so this is something that keeps pushing me forward to achieving my goals.
And this is something I call the rule of the 33%. To me is important, and this is something for each individual, but to me it is important to have a balance between the fixed expenditure, the variable expenditure, and the savings. And why it’s important, it’s because at least I like to have the same fixed expenditure as I have of the savings. Because in case I lose my job I know every month I’m working I can save the same amount I required to get by in case I lose my job. So it’s a silly idea, but it works for me and it gives me balance.
So this is very easy, and very trackable. Well of course the golden rule where someone was asking me before how you do it and of course I never pay in cash whenever it’s possible, and I do have a cash category so I allow myself cash expenditure, let’s say £50 a week. So if I have to pay £1.50 for a Coke I paid from the cash and it’s under this cash category.
So never pay in cash when it’s possible, and believe me that sound silly, but I didn’t believe it in the beginning and that’s why I thought someone was stealing. Do these tracking irregularly, and this is very important, because if you do it every two months you can’t remember when what you did two months before. Set so objectives, or goals or resolutions that motivates you by importance.
I really like it, and someone was asking before does this tracking system help you to get goals to do something. It does, it helps me to get this US holiday, or to buy the car I always wanted so it helped me.
Check the progress monthly, and of course give yourself a treat if you are doing well. So this is it for me, and you’ve got here at my email in case you have got doubts or you want to see the template that I’m using, and there you can send me an email and we can stay in touch. Thank you very much.