3 min read

Announcing Exclusive Member Content

Man making pasta from scratch
We're making our own stuff here at Pasta Dollar.

Hi members! I'm happy to announce two personal finance tools exclusive to Pasta Dollar members. The first is a 5-minute budget, and the second is an account tracking tool. Read below for more on each. Then, let me know in the comments what you think of these; I'd like to keep adding more exclusive member content in the future.

5-Minute Budget

Make your free copy of the simple budget template by following this link.

Google spreadsheet screenshot of 5-minute budget template, exclusive Pasta Dollar member content
Click to open the 5-minute budget template in Google Sheets

This simple budget template is a great starting point for anyone who needs to be more financially organized. You can be as simple or detailed as you wish, but I designed it to take 5 minutes to fill out at most. If you have loan payments for your car, house, or school, you'll want to add those as positive numbers under the gray line. Remember to add all your subscriptions, like your gym fees, Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, and your phone bill if you want to be detailed.

How I still use this today

I started using this simple budget template tool in 2011, copying and pasting it to make a new one whenever I move. I've moved a lot. When I move, I also update the city name and year in the upper section. It's interesting to see how much money is remaining (or not remaining) over time. For example, when I left my day job to return to full-time school, the 5 -minute budget tool helped prepare me for how 'in the negative' I would be each month. Many monthly expenses are related to housing, so immediately before (or after) moving is a great time to update this budget.

Account Tracking Tool

Make your free copy of the account tracking template by following this link.

Google spreadsheet screenshot of account tracking tool, exclusive Pasta Dollar member content
Click to open the account tracking template in Google Sheets

When you first start using this tool, you'll gain financial clarity by knowing how much money you have in each account. And in the long term, having snapshots of your account balances over time can be incredibly useful, especially during tax season. For example, making a note or comment when you contribute to a tax-deductible IRA will help you to remember to deduct it from your taxes! Similarly, when the global stock markets dropped during the Covid-19 outbreak, I made a little note in that row to explain why so many balances fell.

You probably know you should pay off your monthly credit card balance. But if you don't, or if you have other loan accounts, include them as a new column with a negative number to show whatever remains to pay off.

How I still use this today

The account tracking template was my first handy spreadsheet that "started it all" on my financial prowess journey. In 2011, I started a corporate job in financial technology, and there were too many new accounts to manage in my head. It was a good problem to have, but I needed a better way to manage them. A spreadsheet was the perfect fix. Every month to this day, I add a new row and update all of my account balances. This short exercise gives you an accurate view of where your money is and a pretty accurate view of your net worth.

Permanent Home for the Latest Member Content

I'm planning to add more members' content over time. So let me know in the comments below for anything you'd like added!

The permanent home for member content lives on this page:  

Member Content
All Pasta Dollar member-exclusive content lives here. Join Pasta Dollar for exclusive content and free tools to organize money like a pro!