Organizing Using Excel

Excel used to scare me, that is until I learned how to use it. My hubby had purchased some Microsoft Office tutorial CD's a few years back and gave them to me so that I could learn to use Excel. Once I popped in the disc and was on my way I fell in love! There are so many things that Excel lets you do and I know that I don't take full advantage of it. I do however use it for three things in particular: Grocery List, School progress reports and Report cards, and household financial tracking. Like I said, I know that there is so much more you can do with it, and I probably haven't even tapped into the best parts, but I have discovered that it works great for my organization. The above picture shows how I keep track of our finances for tax purposes. Because my hubby is a pastor we file our taxes a bit differently. I must keep track of all receipts and categorize purchases. When we first began doing taxes this way I just put receipts into file folders that were labeled with each category on our tax sheet. Before tax time rolled around I would go through and add all the receipts up and fill in our form. That became very time consuming. I discovered through excel that I could create a spread sheet that would total things for me. WHOO HOO!! I set up my spread sheet with a category list, a column for each month and a totals column. I still put my receipts in the files, but before they go into the files, they go into a separate file for the current month. When that month is done and I have all my receipts (sometimes receipts are connected with a credit card bill, so I have to wait till that is paid), I enter all amounts into the month and by category...I can see a running total in my totals column. When tax time comes I simply copy what my Totals column says! This makes it so much easier! Because I homeschool I keep my records on Excel. At the beginning of each year I go through and create 4 progress reports dividing up all of their tests and quizzes accordingly. I can then punch in the numbers as they come in. I'm sure it's possible to have Excel add each section but I haven't tried that yet. After a quarter is complete, I transfer the final grade to a report card. The final thing I use it for is my grocery list. I have each aisle of my grocery store listed (or at least basic categories). I also list the different stores I go to and a spot for my menu and extra items. The things that I tend to purchase every two weeks remain on the list at all times. I simply add or delete items when making my final list. For awhile I was using the Shopper App on my iPhone, but I found that it was taking me a long time to stop and update the prices as I shopped (because often they fluctuate). Next week I'll share an idea for a Home Box that I learned years ago at a MOPS meeting. I'm tempted to use it again. I have been on a cleaning/purging/organizing kick lately and it feels so good. Not that it was terrible in the first place, but just needed to get back into it. I still need to organize my recipes and my photos on the computer. This weekend we head North for the first two games of the Washington State Challenge Cup for Kat's soccer team. It will be busy these next few months if they do well. I'm thankful we have great friends who are willing to house sit for us. With Joy UNquenchable,


  1. Nicely done! I love excel too and we use it for our budget as well.

    Just curious, why do you do report cards and written grades when our state does not require that?? Seems like a lot of work!

  2. Hey Janelle! I keep track of grades just for the sake of if I ever need them or if laws change, or if colleges have any issues.

  3. Can you email me your grocery template?

    1. Mike, I will have to see if I can find it. I haven't used it for awhile so will check to see if it's still on file somewhere.


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