Manage Your Money and Investments with Microsoft Excel

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Sure you want to save money. We all do. But saving money is sometimes easier said than done. Did you know that there is a program probably already installed on your computer that can help you manage your money better? It's Microsoft Excel, part of the Microsoft Office suite. Manage Your Money and Investments with Excel can help you take ...

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Overview

Sure you want to save money. We all do. But saving money is sometimes easier said than done. Did you know that there is a program probably already installed on your computer that can help you manage your money better? It's Microsoft Excel, part of the Microsoft Office suite. Manage Your Money and Investments with Excel can help you take control of your finances with Excel. Learn how to:

  • Perform basic financial calculations.
  • Track and analyze investments.
  • Compare mutual fund options.
  • Manage mortgages, loans, and escrow accounts.
  • Balance checking accounts and manage credit card debt.
  • Track your net worth.
Discover new ways to make money-saving decisions and manage your finances with Manage Your Money and Investments with Excel.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789734280
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 7/8/2005
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Aitken was writing about computers and software before the first version of Excel was released. Since then he has written more than 40 books and innumerable magazine and Web articles on topics ranging from office applications and personal finance to application development and digital photography. Peter is also the proprietor of PGA Consulting, providing application development and technical writing services to clients since 1996. You can learn more about Peter's books at http://www.pgacon.com/books.htm.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

Benjamin Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." It's true, too—although we are not too concerned with pennies these days, each dollar, or ten dollars, or fifty dollars that you save is just like having that much more in your paycheck. I'm not talking about the kind of saving that results from denying yourself the pleasures or even some necessities of life. No, what this book is about is the savings you can realize by taking charge of your finances.

People start working with personal finance at an early age. You might start with just an allowance and then maybe in high school move onto a part-time job and a small savings account. Eventually you find yourself on your own with a job, a checking account, and maybe a family to help support. Car loans, credit cards, and a mortgage come soon enough for many of us. All these aspects of personal finance seem to be an unavoidable part of modern life.

How you approach your personal finances can have a big impact on your life. Some people seem to just muddle through from week to week while others make an effort to learn the ins and outs of personal finance so they can take charge of their own situation. Is it worth the effort? You bet it is! Let me explain.

First of all, when you don't master your own finances, you are almost sure to be paying out a lot in unnecessary fees and interest. I am always amazed to hear how much profit banks and credit card companies make from overdraft and late fees, interest, and other avoidable charges to the consumer. This money is coming out of your pocket! When you take charge of your finances, you can eliminate or at least greatlyreduce these unnecessary payments. That means more money in your pocket to spend or save as you see fit.

Second, many of life's major goals require some financial planning. Buying your first house, saving for Junior's college education, affording that fishing boat you have always wanted, looking forward to a secure retirement—these are some of the more important examples. Without planning, such goals might remain forever beyond your grasp.

My goal in writing this book is to provide you with the information and tools you need to take charge of your finances. It's not always the easiest thing to do—after all, bad financial habits can die hard—but it is very worthwhile.Why Excel?

Why did I focus this book on using the Excel spreadsheet program? Aren't there some specialized personal finance programs available? Please let me explain.

There are several sophisticated personal finance programs on the market, the best known being Quicken and Microsoft Money. They are excellent programs, but—and this is a big but—they try to provide every possible feature any user could conceivably want. As a result, these programs are unavoidably complex. And—unavoidably as well—you must buy them.

Excel, in contrast, is a general purpose data manipulation program that includes many tools for working with finances. Most importantly, it is already installed on millions of computers. Chances are that when you bought your computer, it had Excel already installed as a free extra. Or you might have installed Excel yourself for your personal or business use. Either way, there are millions of people around the world who can use the Excel templates provided with this book without any additional expense.Who This Book Is For

The people who want to take charge of their finances come from all walks of life, and not all of them are computer experts. That's why I wrote this book to be understandable and usable by almost anyone. As long as you know the basics of using your computer and Excel, you will do just fine.

The only requirement is that you have Excel installed on your computer. The templates that come with this book work with any of the recent versions of Excel, including Excel 2000, Excel XP, and Excel 2003.

Each workbook is provided in two versions. The one with Example in the name (for example, Check Register Example.xls) contains sample data that you can use to experiment with and see how the workbook functions. The one without Example in the name (for example, Check Register.xls) is empty and ready for you to start entering your own data.More Information and Updates

The publisher maintains a website for this book at http://www.quepublishing.com/title/0789734281. You can visit this site for more information about the book, to place orders, and to find links to Que's other publications. I maintain my own site for this book at http://www.pgacon.com/Books/ManageMoneyExcel.htm. Visit my site if you want to send me a comment and to check for corrections in the text and templates. Please note that even though I love to hear from readers, I can respond only to matters that are directly related to the book.

Peter Aitken Chapel Hill, North Carolina April 2005

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction.

Why Excel?

Who This Book Is For

More Information and Updates

I. UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF FINANCIAL CALCULATIONS.

1. Taking Control of Your Finances.

Facing the Problem

Setting Goals

What Excel Can Do for You

Why Excel and Not Quicken or Money?

Excel Versions

Using the Worksheet Templates

Template Conventions

About Percentages

2. Using Excel to Work with Money.

Excel Basics

Getting Around

Selecting Cells

Entering and Editing Data

Formatting the Worksheet

Formulas in Excel

Excel Functions

Excel and Money

Cash Flow

Formatting Money and Percentage Values

Charting Your Course

3. Working with Basic Financial Calculations.

Calculating Loan Payments

Calculating Principal Payments

Working with Future Value

Using the Present Value Function

Calculating Interest Rate

4. Tracking Your Net Worth.

What Is Net Worth?

Assets to Include

Liabilities to Include

The Net Worth Calculator

Interpreting Your Net Worth

Keeping Track over Time

II. TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR BANK AND CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS.

5. Managing Your Money with a Budget.

What Is a Budget?

Budget Fundamentals

The Home Budget Calculator

The Overview

Transactions

Paychecks

Entering Transactions

Getting Started with Your Budget

Living with a Budget

Analyze Your Spending

Live Within Your Means

Balancing Your Budget

Watch Impulse Buying

Look for Sales

Learn to Cook

6. Being Smart with Your Checking Accounts.

How Checking Accounts Work

Types of Checking Accounts

Other Checking Account Fees

Understanding Debit Cards

Be Smart with ATM Cards

Cheap Checks

Other Account Services

How to Get a Free Checking Account

The Checkbook Register Application

How the Checkbook Register Workbook Works

Getting Started with the Register

Entering Transactions

Sorting Transactions

Editing Transactions

Keeping Headings in View

Reconciling Your Register

7. Getting the Most From Your Credit Cards.

How Credit Cards Work

Credit Card Interest Rates

Credit Card Fees

Credit Card Advantages

What About Debit Cards?

Hooray for the Grace Period

Reward Cards

Using Your Credit Cards Wisely

Never Charge Anything You Cannot Pay Off

Use the Grace Period

Get a Rewards Card

Be Careful to Make Payments on Time

Mind Your Credit Limit

How Much Will It Really Cost?

The Real Cost Calculator

Why Carrying a Balance Is to Be Avoided

Paying Off Your Balance

The Payoff Calculator

Using a Credit Card for Cash Advances

Understanding Cash Advances

The Cash Advance Cost Calculator

III. FINANCING YOUR HOME AND CAR.

8. Understanding Mortgages-And Getting the One That's Best for You.

The Many Benefits of Home Ownership

Types of Mortgages

Traditional Fixed Rate Mortgages

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Balloon Mortgages

Hybrid Mortgages

Your Mortgage Payment

Other Mortgage Costs

Origination Fee

Points

Private Mortgage Insurance

The Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

Understanding Mortgage Amortization

How Much Can I Borrow?

The Maximum Mortgage Calculator

The Mortgage Detail Calculator

9. Considering Home Equity Loans.

What Is a Home Equity Loan?

How They Work

How Much Can I Borrow?

Home Equity Loan Cautions

Home Equity Calculations

10. Refinancing Your Mortgage.

Why Refinance?

Costs of Refinancing

Making a Decision

The Mortgage Refinance Breakeven Calculator

How to Use the Calculator

11. Understanding Escrow Accounts.

Escrow Is for Taxes and Insurance

Canceling Your Escrow Account

The Escrow Cancellation Calculator

12. Renting Versus Buying Your Home-Making the Right Choice.

Why Buy a Home?

Financial Factors of Home Ownership

The Down Payment

Closing Costs

Ownership Costs

The Rent Versus Buy Calculator

13. Your New Car- Lease or Buy?

Do You Really Need a New Car?

Understanding Auto Leases

Advantages and Disadvantages of Leasing

Types of Leases

Lease Conditions

Lease Payment Calculator

The Lease or Buy Calculator

IV. MANAGING YOUR INVESTMENTS.

14. Learning the Fundamentals of Investing.

Investment Vehicles

Stocks

Bonds

Mutual Funds

Exchange Traded Funds

Treasury Bills

Savings Accounts

Certificates of Deposit

Money Market Accounts

Risk Versus Return

Your Investment Timeframe

Choosing a Brokerage Account

Dividend Reinvestment Plans

15. Tracking Your Investments.

Why Track Investments?

The Investment Portfolio Workbook

The Holdings Worksheet

The Query Worksheet

Using the Investment Portfolio Template

16. Comparing Mutual Funds.

Choosing Mutual Funds

The Mutual Fund Comparator

17. Planning for College or Retirement.

Long-term Planning

Accounting for Inflation

The Inflation Effects Calculator

Predicting Your Needs

Not Over-Saving

Saving for College

The College Cost Calculator

The College Savings Calculator

Saving for Retirement

What About Social Security?

How Much Retirement Income Will You Need?

How Much Do You Need to Save?

Annuities

The Retirement Planner Workbook

APPENDICES.

A. Workbook Reference.

Chapter 4: Net Worth Calculator

Chapter 5: Budget Workbook

The Budget Menu

The Transactions Worksheet

The Transaction Entry Form

Entering Paychecks

The Overview Worksheet

Chapter 6: Checkbook Register Workbook

The Register Menu

Entering Transactions

Sorting the Transactions

Calculating the Totals

Chapter 7: Real Cost Calculator

Chapter 7: Payoff Calculator

Chapter 7: Cash Advance Cost Calculator

Chapter 8: Mortgage Payment Calculator

Chapter 8: Mortgage Points Comparator

Chapter 8: Mortgage Tax Savings Calculator

Chapter 8: Maximum Mortgage Calculator

Chapter 8: Mortgage Detail Calculator

Chapter 9: Home Equity Line of Credit Calculator

Chapter 10: Mortgage Refinance Breakeven Calculator

Chapter 11: Escrow Cancellation Calculator

Chapter 12: Rent Versus Buy Calculator

The Input Worksheet

The Output Worksheet

The Chart Worksheet

Chapter 13: Lease Payment Calculator

Chapter 13: Lease or Buy Calculator

Chapter 15: Investment Portfolio Workbook

Chapter 16: Mutual Fund Comparator

Chapter 17: Inflation Effects Calculator

Chapter 17: College Cost Calculator

Chapter 17: College Savings Calculator

Chapter 17: Retirement Planner Workbook

B. Glossary of Financial Terms.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

Introduction

Benjamin Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." It's true, too—although we are not too concerned with pennies these days, each dollar, or ten dollars, or fifty dollars that you save is just like having that much more in your paycheck. I'm not talking about the kind of saving that results from denying yourself the pleasures or even some necessities of life. No, what this book is about is the savings you can realize by taking charge of your finances.

People start working with personal finance at an early age. You might start with just an allowance and then maybe in high school move onto a part-time job and a small savings account. Eventually you find yourself on your own with a job, a checking account, and maybe a family to help support. Car loans, credit cards, and a mortgage come soon enough for many of us. All these aspects of personal finance seem to be an unavoidable part of modern life.

How you approach your personal finances can have a big impact on your life. Some people seem to just muddle through from week to week while others make an effort to learn the ins and outs of personal finance so they can take charge of their own situation. Is it worth the effort? You bet it is! Let me explain.

First of all, when you don't master your own finances, you are almost sure to be paying out a lot in unnecessary fees and interest. I am always amazed to hear how much profit banks and credit card companies make from overdraft and late fees, interest, and other avoidable charges to the consumer. This money is coming out of your pocket! When you take charge of your finances, you can eliminate or at least greatly reduce these unnecessary payments. That means more money in your pocket to spend or save as you see fit.

Second, many of life's major goals require some financial planning. Buying your first house, saving for Junior's college education, affording that fishing boat you have always wanted, looking forward to a secure retirement—these are some of the more important examples. Without planning, such goals might remain forever beyond your grasp.

My goal in writing this book is to provide you with the information and tools you need to take charge of your finances. It's not always the easiest thing to do—after all, bad financial habits can die hard—but it is very worthwhile.

Why Excel?

Why did I focus this book on using the Excel spreadsheet program? Aren't there some specialized personal finance programs available? Please let me explain.

There are several sophisticated personal finance programs on the market, the best known being Quicken and Microsoft Money. They are excellent programs, but—and this is a big but—they try to provide every possible feature any user could conceivably want. As a result, these programs are unavoidably complex. And—unavoidably as well—you must buy them.

Excel, in contrast, is a general purpose data manipulation program that includes many tools for working with finances. Most importantly, it is already installed on millions of computers. Chances are that when you bought your computer, it had Excel already installed as a free extra. Or you might have installed Excel yourself for your personal or business use. Either way, there are millions of people around the world who can use the Excel templates provided with this book without any additional expense.

Who This Book Is For

The people who want to take charge of their finances come from all walks of life, and not all of them are computer experts. That's why I wrote this book to be understandable and usable by almost anyone. As long as you know the basics of using your computer and Excel, you will do just fine.

The only requirement is that you have Excel installed on your computer. The templates that come with this book work with any of the recent versions of Excel, including Excel 2000, Excel XP, and Excel 2003.

Each workbook is provided in two versions. The one with Example in the name (for example, Check Register Example.xls) contains sample data that you can use to experiment with and see how the workbook functions. The one without Example in the name (for example, Check Register.xls) is empty and ready for you to start entering your own data.

More Information and Updates

The publisher maintains a website for this book at http://www.quepublishing.com/title/0789734281. You can visit this site for more information about the book, to place orders, and to find links to Que's other publications. I maintain my own site for this book at http://www.pgacon.com/Books/ManageMoneyExcel.htm. Visit my site if you want to send me a comment and to check for corrections in the text and templates. Please note that even though I love to hear from readers, I can respond only to matters that are directly related to the book.

Peter Aitken Chapel Hill, North Carolina April 2005

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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