Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’d know that hewhofishes and I are buying a house and are moving in 21 days (and counting).
This is all very exciting and wonderful and lovely to have a mortgage to call our own, but that comes with bills.
And the crippling fear of ‘have we made a terrible mistake, how can we possible afford a house and an investment property when I’m not even 30 and all gen Ys are terrible with money and can’t get into the housing market, which must be true because there’s a news article every week about how bad everything is for me, and we’re doomed and all it will take is for one of us to lose our job and we’ll start fighting, have to sell our kidneys and be alone out on the street begging, whilst sleeping in a pile of yarn that is all I have left because I couldn’t bear to part with the indigo dragonfly because it’s so pretty and it’s yarny punny goodness!!!”
Fortunately there are two steps to cure this particular brand of insanity.
Step 1 is burying your face in indigo dragonfly (or any pretty yarn will substitute). Let the yarn fumes calmly explain to you that you haven’t made a terrible mistake.
Step 2 is a spreadsheet.
Before we even went looking for houses I started making spreadsheets.
I have a whole collection of spreadsheets of ‘lets buy a house’ spreadsheets which made damn sure that we have most contingencies covered, including pay cuts / interest rate rises / illness etc so really this insanity was mostly unfounded.
So I reviseted those original spreadsheets and realised what caused this crippling fear was ALL OF THE BILLS!!
I am hopeless at remembering when bills are due and combined with a deep hatred of late fees I’ve been trying to find a solution for this for ages.
I’ve tried putting them on the fridge, putting reminders in my phone, writing down everything in a book, remembering that because I had my last car accident in August the insurance renewall will always be in August, but I still wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether or not my phone bill is coming out of the account on the 12th or the 15th.
I searched the web for an answer to my problems and couldn’t find what I was looking for so I made it myself.
If you also suffer from an inability to remember when your bills are due, then this spreadsheet may also help you.
I get paid fortnightly whereas Hewhofishes gets paid weekly.
Some bills are monthly, bi monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Some always fall on the same day, others are always the same date.
There are direct debits, paper bills, and electronic bills.
And I need to know when they all happen or else I get hasty and put all my money into savings only to transfer it back again two days later.
The calendar part is for the monthly bills. Bold indicates that they’re on the same day each month, normal means that it’s the same every date.
Then each month I create a new tab and transfer any yearly bills into the calendar that month.
I can then see from paycheck to paycheck, how much is needed in the account so that I can pay all the bills.
Google drive also has the added benefit of being available on my iphone. So when I (hypothetically) know that I’m buying tickets to The National on Monday morning, I’ve put that into the ‘extras’ column for Monday and I know that I need that money available.
As long as we each stick to our weekly living allowance I know we will always have money in the bank to pay all of the bills.
(And yes there was also a spreadsheet to figure out what our weekly living allowance needed to be)
If a spreadsheet says its possible, I am calm (er).