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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Box Diagram

Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 9, 2008

Alright. I will face the facts I’m a bit of money tracking geek. In my quest to reduce my bank fees a while back I developed a little tool which allowed to me keep the minimum number of accounts and keep my total transactions to a bare minimum. I call it the box diagram. All you need to use it is your accounts and one excel sheet.

You see I can infinitely divide up any account I own into smaller pieces if I want. For example, the saving account typically has at least four or five sub accounts to it that I track in a spreadsheet. For example, I may have the following sub accounts: insurance, Christmas, vacation, Tim’s slush fund, and parental leave savings.

Now typically moving money around for that many sub accounts could be a nightmare, but the box diagram can take all my monthly transactions for these areas into a single bank transaction.

This is what a generic box diagram looks like:

In ——->___BOX____——->Out

Now here is how I use it:

$150 Insurance–>

$125 Christmas–>

—->$100 Tim’s Slush Fund

$200 Leave Savings–>

Therefore net I need to move into savings $150+$125+$200-$100=$375.  I just enter the correct transaction amounts into my excel sheet for each move, but for the actual bank transfer I only move the money once.  So in this case four transactions become one.

Now this is just how I do it.  If you have a different method, please share.

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