I’ve talked earlier about different methods to do your own budget, clearly using a pencil and a sheet of paper and a calculator is the way to go if you are no too familiar with spreadsheets. Interestingly enough though, spreadsheets are not that new…

Digging the past

The first time ever you could use a spreadsheet to do your own budget was in 1981, more than 35 years ago, when the killer app of home computing just came to life in the form of Visicalc. Ok, not a very catchy name I agree. The screenshots were not much appealing either. But the idea was here, right from the start, ready to be used, with already enough computing power to support proper budgeting efforts on this planet.

So what did it look like ?

well, apparently it was all black and white, with very poor screen resolution, but according to experts, functions available where pretty close from the one we use today. You can see for yourself on this document it was ready to go, they even describe a proper application to do your own budget with expense categories, described with a very purposeful example, it is strikingly close to what I do for my own self today in terms of expense categories.

and what do we do now ?

it’s been around for 35 years and no clear benefits has never been seen using it, otherwise we would all do our budget using a computer and a spreadsheet software. It’s clear computing has never been really accessible either. It always had this “nerd thing” image, even though today coding and computing has become sort of a new cool, it certainly wasn’t for a long time. You could also blame the cost of these machines, and the fact it is time consuming before enjoying any benefits. I don’t remember myself being taught to use a computer at school to do my own budgeting.

so… why not start now ?

(and this will be my last rhetorical question for today)
In fact it’s never been a better time to start, all tutorials being widely accessible on Youtube, with the personal finance blogosphere as an echo chamber to all this, there is plenty of source of inspiration to start doing your own budget and very soon see some profit out of it.