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Regular readers of the Neyland Report know that we always encourage you to empower yourself by taking charge of your personal finances. We often introduce you to new products that may be of some value to you in your efforts to control your spending, saving and daily financial decisions. This month Microsoft introduced “Money” in Excel.

Microsoft’s goal with this product is to enable you to connect your bank, credit card, investment, and loan accounts to Excel and automatically import your transaction and account information into an Excel spreadsheet. If you are already familiar with excel, using this new addition to the program will likely be a seamless effort. But if you do not use Excel yet, this may be an ideal time to learn the program and integrate your personal financial information.

The first step to using Money in Excel is to connect your accounts to the program. Once you do that, the program continually imports all of your transactions into an easy to read and use spreadsheet for you. You can always update your spreadsheet just by clicking on the “update” feature.

As our readers know, we have always encouraged you to create a budget and keep track of your spending. There are a number of programs on the market that can assist you in creating your budget, but many of them do not offer some of the features offered in Money in Excel. For example, the program actually alerts you to increases in subscription fees, changes in bank and overdraft charges and other alterations that directly affect your spending activity. The program includes a feature called “Snapshot,” which offers you a real time view of your spending in all of the categories in your budget. It also enables you to track your spending month over month.

As for tracking your spending in specific categories, the program builds in such expense columns as rent, groceries, utilities, etc. But you are also able to customize the program by adding in specific categories of your own. The program provides a number of charts and tables are available to summarize your spending, but it also allows you to create your own visuals if you believe there is a more efficient way to graphically track your financial activity.

Speaking of finances, a new Gallup poll just revealed that although Americans are not as confident about their finances as they were in 2019, the majority is upbeat about their personal finances. Despite all of the doom and gloom reports, the poll found that 53 percent of U.S. adults described their personal finances as either “excellent” or “good,” compared with 49 percent in early April, when most of the country was under stay-at-home orders, and the effects of these on the economy were more uncertain.

Note: This article should not be considered a JCN endorsement of Money in Excel. The material provided herein is strictly informational.

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