No one would like to hear anything unfortunate about him/her. This is simple human tendency but if you go by the figures, they are no less than scary.

At least 13 people die every hour in road accidents in our country, the report of the National Crime Records Bureau reveals. In 2007, 1.14 lakh people in India lost their lives in road mishaps. This is number of deaths, don’t ask me about how many people got hurt, lose organs or get paralyzed  in accidents.

Until such unfortunate incident happens with us or with our near-dear one, we tends to believe that such things can’t happen with us. I drive safe, walk safe, talk safe, don’t drink, don’t dig, don’t pee.. and blah blah. We don’t want to think about others.. who might have all these qualities and can roam over us! After all, what’s the guarantee that our name won’t be there in the list when these lakhs of casualties happens again? You would be sure only if you have some secret contract with God.

Real Story

In my distant relation, two brothers are managing their small but growing and profitable business.  They were happy, healthy and wealthy until one fine day when luck got out of hand. Elder brother with 2 of his friends went Delhi to participate in Anna Hazare rally against corruption. After rally, they caught Metro train for Gurgaon and then started walking in street to reach to another friend’s house for night stay. Suddenly from nowhere, they saw one speeding car coming towards them and it was an easy guess that either driver was drunk or lost control. They tried saving themselves by trying to stick with the wall but car just roamed in them. My relative got severe injuries while other’s two get away with scratches. There were multiple fractures in his both of legs. Till they realize what happened in seconds, the car driver somehow dragged the car out of their sight. After rushing to hospital in severe pain, docs told him that it will take multiple operations, insertion of iron rod etc. for the possibility of walking again. Their business is getting impacted. All savings are going towards treatment and even after 3 operations, he is not able to walk alone. While I am not saying LIC policies he has are bad but what’s the use here? He needs money NOW to support his life!
Any lesson? The guy never had drink, smoke, rush driving but still looks like he will spend most of his life in bed. There’s plenty of such examples where critical illness, accidents etc. made life hell for entire family. While its not in our hands to change the future but its certainly in our hands to take a cover. An independent accidental policy comes with cheap cover such as around Rs. 3000 per annum for a cover of 20 lakhs.  Accidental policy/ critical illness policy is a must buy for all, don’t wait until life takes the exam and you will learn the lesson later and then regret for forever!

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Let me start this post by wishing you a very happy new year. I wish you will flourish with good health and wealth in the new year. While keeping good health is entirely in your hands by taking balanced diet, regular exercise and keeping healthy lifestyle, to keep good wealth you might need some tips/suggestions/guidelines/tools. I am here presenting one such tool which will help you keep a track on your personal finance, expenses etc. which is undoubtedly should be the first step towards building wealth.

First of all, download this per-formatted spreadsheet from here. Due to its large size, I have compressed it with zip and you need to unzip it first before start using.

This pre-formatted spreadsheet which you can open and use in Microsoft Excel and in other software which can read .xls file such as OpenOffice is very easy to use and can be updated/managed by non-technical person with little training. This is actually the whole idea here because most of expenses in majority of households are carried out by members (wife, mother, father etc.) who may not be that tech savvy to use complex software/apps/sites etc.

I am using this spreadsheet since 3 years now and very satisfied. I have now complete control over my expenses and exactly knows from where my money comes in and where it goes.

The basic idea while using this sheet is the use of labels. For example, you will first put your estimated budget for each of category/label and then make daily entries as and when expenses occurs in ‘daily entry’ section mentioning the label associated with that category. So if you paid your house rent and for this the label is ‘h’ then put ‘h’ in label cell while making an entry. This way the sheet will keep track of all expenses for which entry has been made and do necessary calculations automatically.

If you are an existing user of this spreadsheet, you can see that I have done some major improvements, added some functionality and 2 new sheets. But if you are new user, you may want to go through earlier article as well where I have put basic information in more elaborate way  here.  For existing and new users, let me put some information about additional functionality I have added in this latest spreadsheet:

* Track credit card payments/bills : While making an entry, if you paid the amount by credit card, put a ‘cc’ in small cell between amount and comments cells. This is to keep track of payments made by credit cards. Check the example below:

Here, let’s say we paid house rent with cash but for movie tickets and broadband bill we used our credit card, hence, we have to put cc (denotes payment using credit card) in cell before comments cell. This is necessary to keep track on all such payments. After such entries you can see total amount paid using credit cards in credit card payments/expenses section in the sheet, like below:

Now you can see that Rs. 2500 in this month has been paid by credit card. Let’s assume this is for Jan. 2012 and we are just started using this sheet so there’s no previous bill displayed in CC Bill Due and Budget with CC due. In case you remember your credit card usage of Dec. 2011 then you can manually put the figure in cell which is next to ‘CC Bill Due’ and total budget will be displayed with credit card dues. For this month, Jan. 2012, we have paid Rs. 2500 through our card for which we will receive the bill (of credit card) in next month. Obviously, this is the liability which we have to pay next month (in this case Feb. 2012). So if you go to Feb. sheet, you can see that Jan. 2012′s payments are displayed in it, like below:

Here in Feb. sheet you can see that Rs. 2500 is payable this month as credit card due for which transactions happened previous month.

* Additional Sheets : Apart from individual sheets for all months of 2012 and one sheet for annual view, I have created 2 new additional sheets to put extra information pertaining to your personal finance in them. one sheet is ‘investments’ where you can keep track of investments like insurnace, MF, Stocks etc. and another sheet is ‘passiveIncome’ which will help you to keep track of ‘extra’ incomes like rentals, interests (FD/RD), dividends etc.

* Updates in Income/Savings section: In these sections, I have introduced separate two character labels which you should use to put an entry. For example, check these entries:

On 3rd Jan. you got salary of Rs. 23000 and also got interest of Rs. 400 from your FD in Bank. These are incomes, so you put ‘in’ (denotes INcome) for salary and ‘fr’ (income from FD/RD) for interest entry. These labels are there in Income section to keep tracking of all incoming money. Also on same day, you paid Rs. 2000 towards your monthly SIP in mutual fund, this is saving and you put ‘mf’ (saving in Mutual Fund) label for it which is there in Savings section. Therefore, when any such thing happens like your receive money or put your money for investment/savings etc. don’t forget to make an entry to keep a track.

You can see amounts below in Income/Savings section after making entries as displayed in earlier image:

Here you can see, Total income for this month up to now is Rs. 23400 (income from salary Rs. 23000, income from FD interest Rs. 400). Below this, in savings section you can see your total savings as of now is Rs. 2000 which you paid towards mutual fund SIP. You can see that if you subtract total expenses occurred (as you can see in daily entries, your expenses are at Rs. 11000 due to payment of house rent, movie tickets, bill payment)  from total income (Rs. 23400 from salary and interest), you will get Rs. 14900 which is being displayed in ‘Saving a/c’ cell (A25). Your saving target is 50% (A40 cell) of your income, that means Rs. 11500 (A42 cell) from which you have done saving of Rs. 2000 already which means 17.39% (A44 cell) of your target.

I hope you most of the information, you will become comfortable once you start using it. So start using it and also share it with friends. Anyhow in case there’s any confusion/query/suggestion, don’t hesitate to put a comment below or mail me at hello AT jagbir DOT com.

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pre-formatted spreadsheet to track personal/household expenses

May 8, 2011

For many people, managing money is more difficult than earning. While we are sure from where its coming, many a times we have no clues where its going. The solution is to track your income and expenses, but implementing it practically is not so easy. It is sometimes complex, many a times a burden and […]

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Banks are not safe and good as you think for your money

February 11, 2011
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Managing money is more difficult than earning it. Majority of the Indians park their money in Banks for investment purposes. Only 3% invest in stock market which is one of best compounders of money. Though I know few friends who tried investing without knowing what they were doing in stocks and burnt their fingers, they […]

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