Do you keep a home budget? Maybe you’ve tried doing it manually in Excel and got tired of having to enter in transactions to keep up with everything. Or you may have tried to do it by accessing multiple budgeting tools on your different accounts but found it too confusing.
If either of those sounds familiar, then you’ll be interested to hear about a brand new tool that was just rolled out for Microsoft 365 subscribers called Money in Excel.
About 32% of Americans maintain a monthly budget. It can often be time consuming to pull everything into one cohesive place. And once you do, how do you “read the tea leaves” other than see your income and expense totals?
Money in Excel may be just what you’ve been looking for. What the Excel add-on does is add a form of “smart home automation” to your Excel budgeting capabilities.
In a nutshell, with the Money in Excel add-on, you can:
- Connect all your accounts (bank account, credit card, loans, etc.)
- The app will pull in the transactions from all those sources
- You’ll receive alerts and insights about your data.
- You can see your data in different ways with free templates
- You don’t have to leave Excel or learn any other program
Steps for Getting Set up with Money in Excel for Your Home Budgeting
Money in Excel can be confusing to wrap your head around at first. Some people wonder if it’s a different application or program they have to use. You’re actually just adding a new, AI-powered feature to Excel, so the interface you work with is going to be very familiar.
We’ll take you through the steps to use the add-on below.
You Need a Microsoft 365 Subscription
To use Money in Excel, you need to have a US personal or family subscription to Microsoft 365.
Download the Money in Excel Add-On & Install
You’ll need to visit Microsoft’s site to download the Money in Excel add-on and install it onto your computer’s excel application.
There is also an option to use it in Excel online, in which case you can use the add-on in a browser.
How do I know if it’s installed correctly?
You’ll know you’ve installed Money in Excel correctly when you see a welcome page in Excel and the Money in Excel icon has appeared in the top right-hand side of the Home menu.
You do not have to reboot your computer during this process.
Connect Your Financial Accounts
Next, you’ll see a “Get Started” button at the bottom on the right-side panel. Click this to begin going through a wizard to get set up with Money in Excel.
You’ll be adding all your financial accounts, which will require logging into things like online banking and approving the Money in Excel app to pull in your transactions.
Accounts types that you can connect:
- Bank accounts
- Credit card accounts
- Investment accounts
- Loan accounts
Microsoft uses a service called Plaid to do the connections between your accounts and Money in Excel. Here’s what Microsoft states about the security of using this service, “Plaid will not have access to your Microsoft 365 subscription login information and will not share financial institution login credentials with Microsoft.”
Name Your Spending Categories
Money in Excel allows you to name and customize your spending categories. For example, some people might just want to dump all entertainment expenses into “Entertainment,” while others might want separate categories for “Movies” and “Dining Out.”
Review Your Main Dashboard
Once you go through the account setup, your account transactions will populate, and you’ll see a main dashboard that includes things like:
- Your monthly spending by category
- Comparison to last month’s spending
- Alerts for things like large purchases
- Alerts for things like changes in monthly subscription pricing
You’ll also see different sheet tabs at the bottom of this Money in Excel workbook, which allow you to page through different views, like a listing of all account transactions.
NOTE: You need to have your Money in Excel workbook open to use the add-on. If you try to use Money in Excel on another Excel document, you’ll get a message that you have to open the Money in Excel file.
See Your Finances in Different Ways with Templates
Besides the helpful alerts about account expenses, you can also download additional templates that let you to see your data in different ways. For example, do you want to know your net worth? Need to keep a handle on those cloud app subscriptions?
You can choose from templates such as:
- Recurring expenses
- Net worth
- Monthly college budget
- Home construction budget
- Business trip expense budget
The templates use the data coming from the accounts you’ve attached and the spending categories you’ve set up to give you more insights into spending, budgeting, and saving for a specific goal.
Get Help with Home Technology That Makes Your Life Easier!
Money in Excel is just one of the technology tools that can make your life easier. There are many more! Talk to Quantum PC Services about smart home automation, cloud apps, and more.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.