Post Update: Please refer to this updated post with more specific information: How to Create Your Own Family Balance Sheet.
My husband and I try to talk once a month about our finances, both personal and for our business. We usually discuss and review our cashflow, budget and any outstanding issues. Because I manage our money for both, I usually run the meeting. A few years ago I created an excel spreadsheet to make reviewing our finances much easier. I titled this spreadsheet, Family Balance Sheet, thus the name of my blog.
Even though I use Quicken and have for over 13 years, I find my spreadsheet much easier for us to review at a glance. On the left side I have 3 categories: #1 - our personal shortterm accounts, such as checking, savings, emergency savings, and health savings accounts. #2 - our retirements accounts and #3 - our business accounts. On the right is a list of liabilities or debts, such as our mortgage, dh's student loan, car loan and any credit card loans. Beside each loan is the monthly payment, total amount of the loan, final payment date, and interest rate. I try to update the balances at the end of every month, but if I can't I definitely update it quarterly.
At the bottom of the page is a list of our 2009 financial goals as a reminder for us and to keep things in prospective. It feels empowering when we can cross items off of our list as being done.
The spreadsheet is quite simple and as soon as I figure out how to post it I will do so. Lately it has been hard to look at some of our balances, especially in our retirement accounts, but on the other hand it is encouraging to see our debts dwindle down. Our balance sheet definitely keeps us focused on our goals.
Do youself and your finances a favor and consider creating your own balance sheet