How we live

I Will Teach You to Be Rich [Spreadsheet Template]

Personal finance is intimidating, especially since many Millennials graduated when the economy crashed and started off their adult lives in debt. Ramit Sethi will teach you to be rich. His book I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a step-by-step plan for setting and forgetting your finances. I got really into it with my brother and geeked out making a spreadsheet based on Ramit’s Framework.

Please keep in mind our spreadsheet is a compliment, not replacement, for Ramit’s book. The percentages and dates are samples and are different for my personal budget.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich [Spreadsheet Template]

  1. Read Chapters 1-4 of I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    This spreadsheet specifically refers to Chapter 4 (39% way into the book) but the first three chapters are important setup. This book is especially great on Kindle. Even if you’re usually a paperback person, having it on the computer like a reference document, using the Kindle Desktop App, was helpful.
  2. Make a copy of the spreadsheet
    File> Make a copy
  3. Only edit the cells in highlighted in blue 
  4. Input numbers from your paycheck (Cells B13-B17)
    The numbers on your payslip tell you how much money you earn, and thus how much money you can spend and save.
  5. Adjust your savings percentages (Cells C2-C9)
    These percentages help you decide how much money you can allocate to different categories of spending. In my spreadsheet I made a new row for each of my savings goals. This will then calculate how much to auto-transfer to a high yield savings account every month. Add or remove as many rows as you like as long as the percentage equals 100.
  6. List your fixed expenses (Cells B23-B27)
    Enumerate each expense you have every month. Now compare the Monthly calculated total (B23) with D2 (Monthly fixed cost). Adjust the numbers so they come close to matching. Ramit offers many specific tips to lower your monthly expense (and how to get a raise).

    Ramit recommends

    • 50-60% Fixed Costs (rent, utilities, loans, etc)
    • 10% Investments (401k, Roth IRA, other investment funds)
    • 5-10% Savings (gifts, house, down payment, unexpected expenses)
    • 20-35% Guilt Free Spending (dining out, music, burning man, etc)
  7. Bonus activity
    1. Money in savings (B23)
      If you want help re-allocating your existing money into higher yield accounts, list the amount of cash you currently have here.
    2. Target date (G4-G9)
      What is all this saving for? You may not know if you want to get married, have children or buy a house. However, if it’s something you’re considering, this can help you estimate how much saving you need to do now for possible big expenses in the future.
    3. % from savings (I2-I10)
      Looking at raw numbers can be overwhelming. Allocating savings by percentage makes it easier to parse and prioritize numbers. This column can help you re-allocate any cash you have that you want to redistribute into high-yield savings or investment accounts.
    4. Total (K2-12)
      This column shows you how much you will have saved by your target date (existing savings + future contributions). It does not account for interest.

Good luck, have fun, and stay positive. You may be pleased with how much money you have or disappointed by how expensive it is to live in today’s world. But rest tonight knowing you are ahead of the curve by having awareness and approach for your finances.

How we live

Frameworks for life

I love organized patterns, structures, and frameworks. They reduce stress, cognitive load, and decision making on topics where I lack expertise. That means I spend more time focusing on the parts of life I care about. Here are my favorites:


Ramit Sethi teaches you how to set your finances on auto-pilot. Make money when you’re sleeping and enjoy a nice pool of money called Guilt Free Spending. It took me about six months to get finances buttoned up but it was pretty painless, and to be honest, quite fun. He writes a language easy to understand with anecdotes that make a scary topic accessible.


Marie Kondo believes when our home is a happy place, we can bring our lives into a happy place. Her framework is famous for finding items that spark joy, but her system protects from rebounds or doing a little cleaning every day. Patterns like similar items together and make sure all items are visible in a drawer are small changes that have huge impact.


Julia Cameron’s self-directed 8-week course of writing every morning and taking yourself on artist dates is blissful, inspiring, and challenging. She helps you unblock creative insecurities, experiment with art, and do daily self-reflections. She and I both believe, everyone is creative and can be an artist.


The Whole 30 diet is a true challenge. It’s an elimination diet that only allows for fruit, vegetables, and meat. No sugar, dairy, grains, beans, booze, honey, soy, etc. The authors say

This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.

That’s some tough love. I am still working on finding a way to integrate my Whole 30 insights into a daily lifestyle. Stay tuned on that.