Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Finances and Stress

November 6th, 2018

Difficult financial situations are often a cause of stress. Especially for those who have others relying on them financially. In some cases the burden of difficult financial situations can be avoided.

I’ve always tried to live a spontaneous fun-loving life. I’ve always felt like that type of life was the most enjoyable and memorable. A life where sometimes a person may spend money they don’t have. I’ve done that plenty of times. Sometimes I’ve paid for it later, though the memory was usually worth the financial irresponsibility (within reason). I know that’s not always the best-case scenario for everyone. Especially, if a person has others relying on them financially.

Honestly, with financial responsibility, a person(s) may be able to enjoy more spontaneous fun-loving moments than without. Keeping a close eye on finances usually improves the quality of a persons’ life. Being financially secure provides security and a piece of mind.

Though, working with finances does take time and dedication. It also takes thought and decision making.

Finances can be complicated. Debits, credits, capital, gross income, net income, expenses, revenue, food costs, rent, bills, bills, bills, bills …. the list goes on and on and on and on.

If simplified, a persons finances don’t necessarily have to be as complicated. Breaking down purchases to the cost per day might provide a simpler perspective. Finances may become easier to understand, remember and adjust. Things that might seem like nominal expenses, when combined with the cost of all the items for an entire day, might not seem as nominal. The smallest adjustments made on a daily basis might turn into larger savings by the end of the month.

Additionally, purchase prices can be compared to the amount earned on a daily basis. A simplified approach to finances might provide the best data to allow informed financial decisions.

The below spreadsheet is designed to simplify expenses and income. It’s designed to give the user a look at the amounts being spent and earned each day. It’s intended to make examining finances a bit easier.

This spreadsheet is a variation of a spreadsheet I designed for my own personal finances. Though, I’ve changed the numbers and items. Plus, I’ve only entered data for part of a month. As a result, the prices and dates might not make sense. It’s designed to be modified by the end-user. The spreadsheet can be downloaded either via clicking on the image or via the link at the end of this post.

Simplified Expenses and Income Spreadsheet

Simplified Expenses and Income Spreadsheet

The above spreadsheet is fairly self explanatory. Though, there are some things that might not be recognizable just by looking at the sheet.

Starting from the top left:
Fixed Expenses: These are items a person pays the same amount for every month. That amount is taken and divided by the number of days in the month. The result is the cost of the expense per day.

Assets / Misc Purchases: The assets and misc. purchases are located under the fixed expenses. These are additional items purchased each month that are not fixed expenses or food items. If I purchased a book or batteries, I’ll add them to this section. If a larger purchase is made, the cost could be broken down over multiple months. If the money used for the purchase came from a savings account or money specifically saved for the item, it probably wouldn’t hurt to leave it off the list. That depends on the individual and how they want to view their finances.

Food / Misc.: At the top of the Food / Misc section I listed the food items a person uses everyday. Things like coffee, water, vitamins, paper towels, tp, shampoo, soap, ect. During past months, I figured out the average cost of the items. Sometimes the cost may go up or down depending on usage. Adjustments can be made if necessary.

Below the everyday items, I list the items purchased at the store. I enter the item name, the date purchased and the cost. I get that information from the receipt.

This part is important. When an item is finished, I go back to the spreadsheet and enter the number of days the item was used in the following field (Column E). Then, in the next field (column F) divide the cost by that number. The result gives the user the cost of the item per day.

Lastly, I enter the actual day(s) (column G) the item was used. For instance if I purchased a can of soup and ate it on the 8th, I’d enter the 8th in this column (we’re going to come back to the day(s) the items was use in the next section).

Top Right
Cost / Income Per Day: This is the section that shows how much a person is spending per day compared to how much they earn per day. I entered a sample fixed income amount (detailed below). The income should be adjusted based on the individuals monthly income.

On the sample spreadsheet the data in the last field (column N) shows a spending deficit for December 2nd and 3rd. The deficit is lowered during the next couple days. Going forward the goal should be to acquire a surplus until the spending is in line with the income.

The below information details how to acquire the amount shown in the “Difference” field.

This section of the spreadsheet is where it gets slightly complicated. The formulas accumulate the data from the previously mentioned sections. I’ve added a short video to the bottom of this post showing how the numbers are compiled.

At the end of each day, before I go to bed, I simply type the date in the first field (under Cost Per Day / Income, column I) where it says date. Then I’ll highlight the second field (under food, column J). Once that field is highlighted, I’ll go to the formulas tab and click on Autosum.

Next, I’ll scroll down to the Food / Misc. section (the lightly greyed out area) and highlight the field for the first item under the cost per day field (F-27). In this case it’s the amount spent on coffee ($0.42). Once it’s highlighted, I press the comma key and go to the next item under cost per day (Creamer – 0.81), then press the comma.

I’ll go down the list and click on the cost for each item I used that day. Sometimes I might have to go back towards the end of the month and add additional items for a specific day. For instance, if I purchased chips and wasn’t able to calculate the cost per day because they weren’t finished. When I finished the bag, I enter the days they were used and add that field to the calculation of the cost per day / income section of the sheet.

Remember not to click on fields that were already accounted for in the light grey section. On this spreadsheet I highlighted them in dark grey. After highlighting the last amount, press the return key.

Then, I go back up to the Cost Per Day / Income and click on the “Fixed” field for that specific day. I’d do the same thing as detailed above for the amounts listed in the “Fixed Expenses”.

Finally, I go back to the Cost Per Day / Income and do the same thing for “Assets / Misc.” section.

In the next field under Cost Per Day / Income (the income field – Column M). I simply divide the amount earned each month by the number of days in the month. The result shows how much is earned per day.

Now for the most important field on the sheet (The “Difference” field – Column N): The formula in the difference field simply subtracts the expenses per day from the income per day. This section will show how much is either over spent or saved per day compared to the amount made per day. The result provides the information needed to improve a persons financial situation.

The spreadsheet can be downloaded by clicking here. In addition, at the bottom of this post I included a short video detailing how the spreadsheet was created.

Breaking down expenses and income to the amount(s) spent and earned for a specific day is still complicated and time consuming. Especially, if the amounts are being calculated for a number of different people.

However, the spreadsheet has additional advantages. The Food / Misc. section shows how much specific items cost per day. Purchase adjustments could be made on these items to find similar products that might last longer, while still being a quality item.

The spreadsheet could also be used to prevent extra trips to the store. It will show how long a product lasts. Adjustments can be made to either purchase additional quantities or less to maintain a cohesiveness.

The next five paragraphs are possibly the most important paragraphs in this entire post: Even with the most carefully planned spreadsheet, there is always the chance to make an error.

It’s easy to forget to add an expense or enter a number incorrectly, leading to over spending. I’ve made my share of errors in the past. Businesses often have checks and balances, where different people check and double check financial spreadsheets. Individuals, usually only have themselves. We’re all human and makes mistakes.

When a person overspends, runs out of money and has to miss payments on different bills, its not a joke. These situations can negatively effect a persons quality of life.

The goal of this spreadsheet is to provide a better perspective for a persons finances. If it gets someone a little extra money at the end of each month, that’s great. However, the last thing it is intended to do is lead to overspending. And that’s why I included this section.

The more time, effort and thought put into the sheet, the better the outcome. However, it should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s probably best to use common sense, and not use the spreadsheet as the ultimate factor for spending.

Below are a few additional tips I’ve learned, that have improved my finances:

* Making a shopping list and sticking to the list when the budget is tight, usually leads to savings.

I don’t see anything wrong with spending, owning nice things, eating healthy food, if affordable. These things are not always affordable. The days a person spends the most are the days they take a trip to the store. If money is tight, those are the days to be extra cautious and to remember to only purchase the items on the list.

* Take pictures of receipts. Then, either save them on your phone or e-mail them to your computer. This way you’ll always have a record of the items purchased. Sometimes the ink on receipts wears off. A digital copy of the receipt will ensure it is always available.

* Try sites like eBates / Fatwallet. Many shopping centers allow customers to order items online and then pick them up at a specific time and date at the store. If the items are ordered via eBates, a person might obtain additional savings. (I haven’t tried this yet. Though, I do plan on giving one of these sites a try).

Download The Spreadsheet

Far From Perfect – By George Farina

July 8th, 2018

Far From Perfect - Author: George Farina

Via: https://georgefarina.net/blog/index.php/2018/07/08/far-from-prerfect/

I spent most of 2017 writing a book called “Far From Perfect” (described via the below press release). Before I started writing, I decided to put together a timeline of different events I went through during the span of my life. This was done on a spreadsheet. I went back as far as I could remember. I’d enter the date of the event. In the next field I’d write a description. I ended up with about four hundred lines. From there, I decided to start writing.

Once I started writing, I wrote six days a week and spent almost the entire day typing away. I’d go to bed thinking about what I wanted to write the next day. If I thought of something I felt couldn’t wait, I’d often get up in the middle of the night. I’d fire up the computer and jot my thoughts down.

The book took about nine months to finish. Then, I spent about a year making adjustments, while trying to figure out the best way to move forward with publishing. During that year I was often traveling. The adjustments and research were done sparingly, as time permitted. After researching the many different avenues for publication, I decided to take the self publishing route.

Currently, the entire book is being printed and bound by the author. Each book takes about a half hour to put together. Then, the binding is glued and set to dry overnight. The next night the cover is glued to the binding and set to dry overnight. From start to finish it takes two days to create each book. Because of this process, each book is a little different. This is a self published book in every sense of the word. Each book purchased is truly a one of a kind.

The book was written, typed, edited, and proofread in its entirety by the author. Please be understanding in regard to potential errors. There are over 70 thousand words and 285 pages. Even though the author used diligence, he is only human and as such prone to making mistakes. Far From Perfect takes place in East Hampton, Connecticut, Cromwell, Connecticut and Miami, Florida.

Without further ado, I would like to announce the publication of “Far From Perfect” via the below Press Release :

Far From Perfect Press Release:
(Date: 7-8-2018) This press release is to announce the publication of my first book: Far From Perfect – By George Farina. I’m not a New York Times Best Selling Author. I’ve read books on their best seller list. The words flow effortlessly. They are rhythmic. They thrust a person’s imagination into a new and exciting world. Parts of what I’ve written might come close. I guess that’s up to the reader to decide.

In this book I tell a story. It’s a true story. It’s a story that was written with a lot of thought. It’s a story being told as accurately and detailed as possible. It’s a story detailing part of a persons life. It is also an informative story. I try to pass on as many of the things I’ve learnt as possible.

This is a book about a life. It’s about the experiences encountered during that life. The things witnessed. Throughout that life many different events occurred. People entered and left. These were people I met in school. They were neighbors. They were people I met at an abandon 18-wheeler truck trailer, during a time when I didn’t have any other place to stay. They were people I met at events, at work, and even in the middle of the street. I met people through chatrooms, Myspace and Plenty of Fish.

Many of these people took parts of a “far from perfect” life to enjoyable. Their personalities; their character; their charisma made parts of my life exhilarating. They gave me many amazing memories. I relived them vicariously while writing. These are memories I accumulated over the course of forty years.

With that said, as the title states, my life was far from perfect. I’ve been through plenty of struggles. Some of the struggles I didn’t include, simply because I don’t like thinking about them. I know I’m not the only person on this planet who has struggled throughout their life. I didn’t set out to write a book. Circumstances led me to writing. Now that the book is finished, I think people might like hearing a few of the stories I’ve detailed. Others who’ve been through struggles might relate.

When I started writing, I wasn’t in a good place. My head was filled with all that went wrong. It was filled with all the terrible. As I continued writing, I started thinking about the people I’d known, and all the crazy things we’d been through. I thought about their personalities and their sayings. I often laughed to myself as I wrote about them. They drowned out much of the terrible.

Even with many of the terrible times excluded, I wrote about enough struggles to justify keeping the title. I hope the people who decide to read Far From Perfect find it enjoyable.

Far From Perfect can be purchased at: https://www.georgefarina.net/farfromperfect