Evergreen Budget Flow Calendar


Evergreen Budget Flow Calendar
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The Evergreen Budget Flow Calendar is a Google spreadsheet created to help with budgeting. It uses a calendar analogy, displaying a balance on every day over a six month period. Similar to most budget spreadsheets Evergreen operates by taking your incomings & outgoings to give you an overview of your finances. It's power lies in it's ability to visualise these transactions so you can graphically & chronologically see how each days balance affects the next. The calendar can represent any six months you like. Most of the spreadsheet is automated and will update balances, graphics & dates dynamically to reflect any changes you make. Evergreen is also as operationally neutral as possible and does not use any currency signs such as \ufffd\ufffd or $, the dates will always be written in long form such as 15 February 2010 and you can choose to start the weeks on any day you like.  Obviously with any budget spreadsheet the act of entering a long list of transactions is quite daunting. I hope you will find the visual feeback of Evergreen an incentive, plus once you've created a list, it's a very simple process of copying and pasting that information on to the following months.


Outlined above are the main areas of the spreadsheet.   A   Date and Balances  This area shows the current month and year you are viewing. It also shows your starting balance for that month and, below this, the balance remaining at the end of the month.  B   The Transaction List  This area is where you enter all your incomings and outgoings.  C   The Calendar  This area displays all the transactions for the month, on the day they are due, with a balance for each day.  D   The Labels List  This area shows you a total of any transactions with a coloured label. It also is where you can set up a spending envelope.  E   The Search Box  This is where you can find items in your transaction list and see a total of their combined values.  F   The Overview. This is a simplified view of the larger calendar area.

Dates & Balances

On the first sheet named +Month1 you enter a date for the the calendar to begin from. This is only required on the first sheet.   A  In this area you should enter the name of a month between January and December or you can enter the first three letters of any month such as, Jan or Dec.  B   Here you should enter a year   C   In this area you should enter a day of the week between Monday and Sunday for all the following weeks of the calendar to begin on. You can either enter the first three letters, Mon or Sun, or the whole word, Monday or Sunday.  D   Here you should enter an opening balance.

When you have entered your start date and opening balance all the following calendar months will branch from this date and all daily balances will be calculated from your opening balance.
If you don't want your balance to fall below a set amount on any given day, you have the option to set a warning value.  E  This is represented by the orange number to the left of the month.

The Transaction List

Every month has it's own transaction list where you enter all your incomings & outgoings for that month. As you enter transactions they appear on the calendar area to the right. You create a transaction by entering a due date, the name of the transaction and the transactions value.  A  The Due Date column is where you enter the day of the month where a debit or credit will happen. It can be any day of the month represented by a  number between 1&31.  B  Relative Due Dates are dates like the second Tuesday or the first Friday. These are created by stating what day of which week you want the transaction to happen. For example to create a due date for the second Tuesday you would enter 2 tu or the first Friday would be 1 fr.  C  Repeating Due Dates are dates that repeat on a certain day of the week for the entire month. For example e mo will create due dates for every Monday.  D  The Item Name column is where you can name your transactions such as Electricity or Groceries E  The Item Value column is where you set the value of your transactions. All debits should be entered as negative numbers such as -100  F  The Actual Item Value column is optional and is used to enter the actual value for a transaction if it was different from the original value.  G  Colour Labels are optional and are used to tag transactions with a colour so you can easily distinquish them from other transactions in the calendar view. For example all utility bills could have a red label. Their are five colours which can be created by entering a value between 1&5.  5 .

The Labels List

The labels list shows running balances for items that have been given a coloured label. It can also be used to create a spending envelope for each of the five colours.  A  Coloured Label Totals  As you add coloured labels to items all items with the same colour are added together and a total is displayed in the labels list.
B  Spending Envelopes  A spending envelope is an amount you set aside for certain types of spending each month such as entertainment, clothing, utilities, shopping etc. You decide how much an envelope should contain by entering a value into one of five cells from N6-N10. As you add transactions and label them with a colour the labels list will update how much you have left in that colours envelope.  C  Remaining Balances The amount you have left to spend in an envelope will be displayed directly to the left in coloumn L. If your transactions total more than you have allocated to a spending envelope the cell will highlight in  orange .

The Calendar

The Calendar is where all the incomings and outgoings from the transaction list are displayed.  A  There is a panel for each day of the month and as you add items to the transaction list they are placed on the calendar on their due date. Each panel contains all the items, their values, colour labels and a  B  Balance.
C  If the balance on any day falls below the warning value you set it will be highlighted in  orange .  D  If the balance is overdrawn the highlight will be  red .  E  If you have searched for an item then any item matching your query on the calendar will be highlighted in  light blue    F  The current days panel will be headed in yellow and  G  any spending envelopes that have been created will display at the top of this panel.

The Search Box

  A  Each months items can be searched by entering a query into cell E13 directly to the right of the double arrows at the top of the transaction list.  B  The total value of all items matching your search are displayed to the right of the search box and  C  blue tabs highlight any entry down the transaction list matching your query.

To search globally over all months you can enter a query into cell D3 on the sheet named Search.

The Overview

Just below the closing balance is a small grid of squares. This is a miniature version of the month you are viewing. Each square represents a single day of that month. A square can have any one of six colours and these are updated dynamically giving you a simplified view of the financial state for that month and also any days of interest that may be outside your screens viewing resolution. Each colours meaning is below.

.means it is the current day
 Grey .means it is not a day of the current month.
 Green .
means the balance is good and above the set warning value.
 Orange .means the balance is less than the set warning value.
 Red .means the balance is overdrawn.
 Light Blue .means it is an item found after a search query.

Closing Notes

If you would like to continue the spreadsheet beyond 6 months you will need to create another spreadsheet from the template or duplicate your existing spreadsheet. Adjust the date on the first month of the new budget to create the following six months. Enter the closing balance from the last month of the old budget  into the opening balance of the new budget. Ready to go.

Evergreen is a complex spreadsheet relying heavily on formulas. The initial load can take up to 20 seconds so please be patient. If at times the spreadsheet seems to stall a reload of the page will usually fix this.