Since leaving my full time job almost a year and a half ago, I've had detailed records of all the cash I've earned and spent. I've just upgraded my reporting tools, making them nice and fast and efficient.
All transactions from all my bank accounts get logged in an Excel spreadsheet. I like the flexibility Excel offers.
Doing detailed reporting though is better done in a database. So I built an MS Access Database which with one click, connects to the spreadsheet and imports all transactions from all accounts into one table. I wrote the VBA code to do this.
With all transactions in one table I can run queries to show:
- How much cash I had when I left my day job
- How much cash I have now
- The change - so the net I've earned/spent in my time being self-employed
- Total earned and total spent
Most interestingly I've broken this down by month, so I show:
- How much I spend each month
- How much I earn each month
- The net
I've put this into a nice Access report with conditional formatting showing red negatives and green positives.
It's very insightful to see these numbers and clearly see how well or badly I do each month. It's also motivating - to aim to earn something and ideally cover my expenses each month!
I've also broken down all my earnings into types - for example contracting work, web design, subscriptions - so I can see what kind of work earns me the most money and which areas earn me the least - again very insightful and useful.