June of 1998 will mark the birth of Bottom Line Budgets; well at least the birth of the spreadsheets. At that time, the Family Home Budget was only in black and white and 2 dimensional. The only interesting aspect to the spreadsheet (other than its ledger book approach) was its handling of the general fund. There were two underling driving forces at work in its creation. One was to be able to see at a glance, all income and expenses for the month. The second was to know at a glance just how low the general fund would go in the entire year. There was no need to generate a report to tell me what I already knew; I only earned so much money and that everyone wanted it!! Also, built into the spreadsheet was the ability to separate & save different types of money for the purpose of future events. Events like Christmas, vacations, or just for the sake of saving.
Then, as time went on, the 13 tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet was increased to 16 tabs. These included the expenses, lay-a-way, and spending lists for Christmas. The goal was to help in organizing an already busy time of year.
Finally, in 2004, an 17th tab was added to the Family Home Budget. This tab was designed to allow the user to manage one credit card. They could record all transactions and billing through out the year. It also showed projected payment and total interest paid for the year.
In 2005, we added a new member to Bottom Line Budgets; the Basic Home Budget. Some of our customers either did not ascribe to Christmas, or used an external account for the purpose of saving up for Christmas. For those readers who have never used the Family Home Budget; all savings including Christmas comes from one account. The general fund I talk about earlier reflects that part of your total financial picture that isn't set-a-side for any future event. Yet the Basic Home Budget does give the user the ability to save money. We built into the spreadsheet three sections that allow for savings.
From 2008 well into 2009 we added more expense lines, make the spreadsheets more pleasing to the eye, and added charts.
Starting in 2011 we will be promoting www.OpenOffice.org website to reach families that can not afford to buy the Microsoft Office software. Yes, OpenOffice Calc software is free!
We are very proud of our spreadsheets and stand behind them. I have been using them from their conception in 1998 to present. My children even use them! The way that I figure it is that either you will control your financial picture or it will control you!