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Spreadsheets? Yawn! Maybe it’s time to go Retro with Pen and Paper…

Sep 01

Well, well, well, here we go again…

Last week we started getting into the thrilling world of cash flow and spreadsheets. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Whoa there, slow down with the excitement!” But stick with me here.

Let’s say you’re not a spreadsheet enthusiast. You’re more of a creative doodler than a data analyst. Maybe those little cells and formulas give you the heebie-jeebies (I mean, come on, who even knows what =SUM((B2:B10>=A2:A10) * (B2:B10>0)) means? 🤯). Or perhaps you bought some fancy schmancy Google spreadsheet templates, but they don’t tickle your pickle. Don’t worry, I gotcha.

What if I told you that you can tackle cash flow without spreadsheets? Yeah, you heard me right. Shout it from the rooftops: NO MORE SPREADSHEETS!

Maybe you’re a creative soul who loves the feel of pen against paper, the freedom to doodle and sketch your financial dreams. Or perhaps you’re a spreadsheet savant, getting a kick out of crafting complex formulas so slick they’d make Bill Gates green with envy. Whichever way you swing, the aim of the game is to get the job done.

So, what’s it gonna be? Spreadsheet or Sketchpad? If you’re a rookie in this financial rodeo, give both a spin. You might surprise yourself!

And hey, don’t think spreadsheets can’t be creative. I’ve seen some that are so beautifully color-coded and formula-filled they could be considered works of art. But if aesthetics are your thing, check out this hand-drawn budgets that put the ‘fun’ in ‘funds’:

This beauty is from Crazy Laura’s website. (Thanks, Laura!)

Feeling inspired? Why not whip out your Moleskine notebook and create your own budgeting masterpiece? A quick Google search for “Bullet Journal Budgets” will blow your socks off with ideas.

Here’s the bottom line: do what works for you and makes you happy (yes, budgeting can be happy!). Whether you’re an analog artist or a spreadsheet superhero, as long as it gets the job done, you’re golden.

And remember, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you can’t mix and match. A bit of pen and paper here, a touch of spreadsheet there – whatever makes your numbers dance.

Are you still on the fence?

Let’s have a classic showdown: Pen & Paper vs. Spreadsheets.

Round 1: Pen and Paper Budgeting

Pros: Full creative control and the satisfaction of creating a budgeting masterpiece from scratch. It’s like being Picasso with a calculator. Plus, no software updates, no crashing, and no need for Wi-Fi. You’re free to budget in the wild.

Cons: There’s always the risk of losing everything if your dog decides your budget is a gourmet meal. Hand cramps from writing and potential misinterpretations due to poor handwriting. Plus, there’s no ‘undo’ button with a pen.

Round 2: Spreadsheet Budgeting

Pros: Easy organization, access to templates, and the ability to share with others. Some templates even do the math for you! Say goodbye to late-night arithmetic battles. And let’s not forget the ‘undo’ button – the unsung hero of budgeting blunders.

Cons: Can be as exciting as watching grass grow. Some templates come with a cost, and for the technologically challenged, it can feel like navigating a maze.

The winner? Well, that’s up to you. As long as you’re crunching those numbers and staying on top of your finances, you’re on the winning team.

What’s a Financial Coach (aka, me)?

A financial coach understands that you are more than just numbers. They know what drives you, what ignites your passion. They don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions but deeply understand your unique needs. The goal is to feel empowered and in control of your finances, whether you’re a scribbler or a spreadsheet-er. Remember, the best budgeting method is the one that works for YOU.


About The Author

Hi, I'm Avraham (pronounced Av-Rum.) I'm a reformed spender, financial coach, and the founder of Avraham Byers Financial (I'm better with money than coming up with company names.) In a funny and non-preachy way, I teach people how to take control of their finances without giving up their smoked butterscotch lattes.

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