Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pear Budget

I'm trying a new paradigm in budgeting this year. I'm using someone else's spreadsheet. (gasp)

I know. But I came across the Pear Budget on the Get Rich Slowly finance blog a couple months ago. You can enter data online for a fee or download the spreadsheet. I was reluctant to abandon my 12-worksheet monstrosity, but the Pear spreadsheet was so pretty, I knew it was the work of someone who loves spreadsheets as much as I.

When I began designing my own masterpiece, I was working in the finance department of the local newspaper and had no children. I had all kinds of time for detailed records, trending charts, and analysis reports. 6 years and 3 children later, I've been finding it ever harder to find time for updating.

When I'm feverishly entering receipts twice a month, it gets difficult to keep details like 'light bulbs, batteries, new sippy cup' in the Housewares budget. And despite telling myself that I would need these details for analysis, I have yet to go back and do a breakout comparison of restaurants vs. babysitters in my Entertainment budget. As a matter of fact, the only details I have gone back for are tax deductible expenses (donations, tax preparation software, business expenses). Everything else just comes down to a final 'over budget/under budget' number.

So it is with trepidation that I leave behind my comforting minutiae and test drive a new spreadsheet. I can always go back...


Jenni said...

I'll have to look at that...secretly, of course....lest I offend the sensibilities of the Excel geek who created ours - complete with pivot tables and a whole bunch of other stuff that means absolutely nothing to me.

Holly K said...

I'm hearing that line from All Dogs Go to Heaven: Touch that [spreadsheet] and you can never come back!

(Also: that movie is pretty creepier than I remember it being)

Queen Shannon said...

Jenni: Pivot tables! Yay! A man after my own heart. Sadly, Pear Budget contains no pivot tables or anything fancy. But the simplicity is what I'm going for this year.

Holly: It is a little creepy. The alligator and the dream demon? Yeah... But Charlie did get to go back, so I'm not too worried about the spreadsheet. ;)