I do all of my writing for Financial Methods in Google Docs. I do use Open Office (another free program not unlike Microsoft Office), but for quickness and ease of use, I still prefer Google. I have been using this free document and spreadsheet service for years, but just recently began to really experience how many tools are offered here at no charge.
In case you did not know (or have never played around at Google docs), in addition to their documents and spreadsheets, Google offers templates for thousands of uses. Among others, you can browse through templates for your business, student use, scrapbooks, photo albums, calculators, and even for personal finance. All of these templates are available for your use at no charge. And some of them could prove invaluable.
Personal Finance Templates:
As I mentioned, there are countless free templates available for you to use at your leisure. Here are some free personal finance templates that you can try out for yourself.
This is a simple, yet pretty comprehensive budget tool. It is designed to fit on a single page when printed, so if you prefer rockin’ the paper, try this one out.
Another budgeting template, based on percentages of income. This is more of a “pre-planning” tool than an ongoing budgeting assistant. But it may be eye-opening to see how much you are spending in certain areas.
This will be best used for a mortgage or another multi-year loan. Enter your loan amount, length, interest rate, and compounding information. You will get your payment schedule laid out very nicely for yourself.
Some people may not want to use software that “intrudes” upon their accounts and can cost you some cash. While this is very basic and you will have to do all of the work yourself, this tool can help you keep tabs on your account without letting the bank be the only one who is tracking it.
If you visit the doctor a lot, or your family as a whole has a lot of medical expenses to cover, track the expenses to see how much it is really costing you. It can be very simple to save your bills and enter them here, and a year’s worth of medical expenses may end up being a lot more than you would think.
This is by far one of my favorite templates on google docs. Do you want to be able to track and view your progress when paying off your credit cards? Use this template!
Yes, I realize that the credit card payoff calculator could easily be here, but I believe it is more fitting in the personal finance section than here.
Yes, even a Dave Ramsey budget/calculator is available for free in the templates.
Whether you have multiple savings accounts for different goals, or just one for all of them, you can use this calculator to keep it all separate.
Anyone who has been to college knows all too well that some professors have a complicated system in place to compile grades. This tool will help you easily figure out your grade by doing the confusing math for you! (If you like this tool, also check out the GPA tracker by the same author of the grade tracker).
This tool is amazing! Personally, I can easily figure out my MPG…what I can not do is put it together like this spreadsheet does. Try it for yourself.
Like the mortgage payment tool (above), a few simple inputs get you the perfect car loan repayment schedule. You can even tweak the numbers to see how fast an early payment can save you in interest.
These templates are just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally thousands of templates here for free to try out. Business, statistics, calendars…you name it and there is likely a template here for you to try out. All of these are especially great for those of us (like myself) who are not so good with spreadsheet creation. I hope you can use these and maybe you can create even better ones so I can write a post about all the new and great templates that have popped up lately!