Forum Discussion
Please help! Savings for 2025
It sounds like you're trying to manage your savings goals dynamically by adjusting your monthly contributions as previous goals are met, reallocating funds towards other goals. To accomplish this, we’ll create a structured Excel spreadsheet that dynamically calculates the savings needed for each goal, reallocates funds when goals are met, and flags if your goals cannot be achieved.
1. Spreadsheet Structure:
We’ll start by laying out the structure of the savings plan. Here’s an outline of what we need:
- Savings Goals Section (Top of the Sheet)
- Savings Goal (e.g., Vacation, Car Repair, etc.)
- Target Amount (e.g., £3000 for a vacation)
- Target Date (e.g., 15/06/2025)
- Months Remaining (calculated as the number of months between the current date and the target date)
- Monthly Required Saving (Target Amount ÷ Months Remaining)
- Columns:
- Monthly Disposable Income Section (Below the savings goals)
- Month (January, February, etc.)
- Disposable Income Available (e.g., £500 for January)
- Allocated to Goals (Amount allocated toward your savings goals)
- Leftover After Savings (Remaining after savings allocation)
- Columns:
2. Dynamic Savings Allocation:
We’ll use Excel formulas to automatically allocate your disposable income each month, starting with the savings goal with the earliest target date, and adjust the savings allocation once earlier goals are met.
3. Flagging Issues:
If you don’t have enough disposable income to meet a goal, the formula will flag it so you know you need to adjust your disposable income or target amounts.
Example Spreadsheet Layout:
Savings Goals (Starting in A1)
Savings Goal | Target Amount (£) | Target Date | Months to Save | Monthly Required (£) |
1) Vacation | 3000 | 15/06/2025 | =DATEDIF(TODAY(),C2,"m") | =B2/D2 |
2) Car Repair | 1000 | 15/10/2025 | =DATEDIF(TODAY(),C3,"m") | =B3/D3 |
3) Wedding | 5000 | 15/12/2025 | =DATEDIF(TODAY(),C4,"m") | =B4/D4 |
Monthly Budget (Starting in A7)
Month | Disposable Income (£) | Goal 1 Allocation | Goal 2 Allocation | Goal 3 Allocation | Leftover |
Jan | 500 | =MIN(E2,B2-SUM(F$2:F2)) | =MIN(E3,B3-SUM(F$3:F3)) | =MIN(E4,B4-SUM(F$4:F4)) | Formula |
Feb | 600 | Formula | Formula | Formula | Formula |
Mar | 400 | Formula | Formula | Formula | Formula |
Step-by-Step Guide for Formulas
1. Calculate Remaining Months for Each Goal:
- In the "Months to Save" column, we use the DATEDIF() function:
=DATEDIF(TODAY(),C2,"m")
- This calculates how many months you have until the target date.
2. Monthly Savings Needed:
- In the "Monthly Required (£)" column, we divide the target amount by the remaining months:
=B2/D2
- This tells you how much you need to save each month to meet the goal.
3. Allocate Monthly Disposable Income:
- For each month, allocate the disposable income first to the goal with the earliest target date, then to the next goal once the first is fully funded.
- In the "Goal 1 Allocation" for January:
=MIN($B$2,$B$2-SUM($F$2:F2))
- This ensures that you allocate funds only until the savings goal is met.
For "Goal 2 Allocation":
=MIN($B$3,$B$3-SUM($G$2:G2))
- Similar logic is applied, ensuring allocation only happens if the earlier goals have been fully met.
4. Calculate Leftover After Savings:
- Subtract the sum of the allocations from the disposable income for each month:
=B7-SUM(C7:E7)
- This shows how much you have left after saving for your goals.
5. Flagging Insufficient Funds:
- Add a condition to flag if you don’t have enough disposable income to meet the goals.
- For example, if the total required savings for a month exceeds the disposable income, you can use conditional formatting to highlight it, or create a formula that shows a warning:
=IF(SUM(C7:E7)>B7, "Insufficient Funds", "")
4. Automating Adjustments:
As your savings targets, dates, or disposable income changes, all the formulas will update automatically to reflect the new situation. If you increase your disposable income for a month or reduce a target, the plan will automatically adjust.
5. Flagging When Goals are Met:
Once a savings goal is met, any extra income should go to the next goal. You can easily track this by summing the contributions made to each goal and comparing them to the target amount:
=IF(SUM($C$7:C7)>=B2, "Goal Met", "")
This formula will flag the goal as "Goal Met" when the total contributions reach or exceed the target.
Example Workflow:
Let’s assume in January, you have £500 disposable income:
- £200 goes towards Goal 1 (Vacation).
- The remaining £300 is allocated towards Goal 2 (Car Repair).
In February, you have £600:
- The same logic applies: more funds go towards Goal 1, and whatever is left goes to Goal 2 and Goal 3 as needed.
When Goal 1 is fully funded, the remaining disposable income automatically goes toward the next goal in line.
Conclusion:
This solution allows you to:
- Dynamically allocate your disposable income to multiple savings goals.
- Automatically adjust the savings plan as your disposable income or savings goals change.
- Track if there’s insufficient income to meet your targets in time, and adjust accordingly.
By setting up this structure, you’ll be able to effectively plan for savings across multiple goals, ensuring your funds are allocated efficiently while keeping you on track to hit your deadlines. I cannot open the Excel file for personal security reasons. The text, steps and the formulas were created with the help of AI.
My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!
Hope this will help you.
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Thank you so much for this response! Super detailed and gives me a template to work from.
I started trying to implement this template using just your figures and exact guidance on cell addresses etc, but can't seem to get past the first hurdle. I don't know what I am doing wrong and without understanding the formulas perfectly and what your intentions are, it's difficult to alter the formulas to try and get the correct results.
The image you gave with some of the formulas written out (starting in A7) doesn't agree with what you have typed further below? You are saying to refer to F$2:F2, but there isn't anything in this cell range? I haven't read further on your post to things such as 'Flagging insufficient funds' etc as I think I need to get this first bit right!
I'm so sorry but I am super confused! I appreciate your help so much; could you please view the attached and see where I am going wrong please? I really appreciate your time.
Thank you.
- NikolinoDESep 30, 2024Gold Contributor
Let's break it down step by step, so you can understand exactly how each piece fits together. I'll correct any inconsistencies from the original explanation and align everything properly.
Step-by-Step Walkthrough of Setting Up the Savings Plan
1. Savings Goals Section
This is where you'll set up each of your savings goals (e.g., vacation, car repair). Each goal has a target amount, a target date, and an automatically calculated number of months to save.
For this, assume that this part of the spreadsheet starts in A1.
A
B
C
D
E
Goal
Target Amount (£)
Target Date
Months to Save
Monthly Required (£)
1) Vacation
3000
15/06/2025
=DATEDIF(TODAY(), C2, "m")
=B2/D2
2) Car Repair
1000
15/10/2025
=DATEDIF(TODAY(), C3, "m")
=B3/D3
3) Wedding
5000
15/12/2025
=DATEDIF(TODAY(), C4, "m")
=B4/D4
Breakdown of Formulas:
- Target Amount (£): This is the total amount you need for the savings goal (you enter this manually).
- Target Date: When you want to complete saving for this goal.
- Months to Save: This is calculated using the DATEDIF() formula. It gives you the number of months left until the target date, starting from the current date.
- Formula: =DATEDIF(TODAY(), C2, "m") (change C2 for each row).
- Monthly Required (£): The amount of money you need to save each month to reach your goal by the target date.
- Formula: =B2/D2 (again, adjust for each row).
2. Monthly Budget Section
Now we set up the section where you enter your monthly disposable income and calculate how much is allocated to each goal.
Let's assume this section starts in A7.
A
B
C
D
E
F
Month
Disposable Income (£)
Vacation Allocation
Car Repair Allocation
Wedding Allocation
Leftover
Jan
500
Formula (see below)
Formula (see below)
Formula (see below)
Formula
Feb
600
Formula (see below)
Formula (see below)
Formula (see below)
Formula
Mar
400
Formula (see below)
Formula (see below)
Formula (see below)
Formula
Breakdown of Formulas:
- Disposable Income (£): This is the amount of money you have available to allocate to your savings goals for that month. You enter this manually.
- Goal Allocations (Vacation, Car Repair, Wedding): Here, we allocate your disposable income based on the target dates of your goals. The goal with the earliest target date will get funded first, and after that is fully funded, any extra money will flow to the next goal.
Formula for Goal 1 (Vacation) Allocation:
For Vacation Allocation in C7 (January):
=MIN($E$2, $B7 - SUM($C$6:C6))
Explanation:
- $E$2: This refers to the "Monthly Required (£)" for the Vacation goal (from row 2).
- $B7: This is your disposable income for January (cell B7).
- SUM($C$6:C6): This ensures that we account for any savings already made in previous months for the goal.
You can drag this formula down for each month (C8, C9, etc.).
Formula for Goal 2 (Car Repair) Allocation:
For Car Repair Allocation in D7 (January):
=MIN($E$3, $B7 - SUM($C$7))
Explanation:
- $E$3: This refers to the "Monthly Required (£)" for Car Repair.
- $B7 - SUM($C$7): This subtracts the amount already allocated to Vacation for that month.
Drag this formula down similarly.
Formula for Goal 3 (Wedding) Allocation:
For Wedding Allocation in E7 (January):
=MIN($E$4, $B7 - SUM($C$7:D7))
Explanation:
- $E$4: This is the "Monthly Required (£)" for Wedding.
- $B7 - SUM($C$7:D7): This subtracts the amounts allocated to Vacation and Car Repair for the current month.
Drag this formula down for each month.
Formula for Leftover Income:
In F7, to calculate any leftover income after the savings allocations:
=B7 - SUM(C7:E7)
This formula subtracts the total savings allocations from the disposable income for the month.
3. Flagging Insufficient Funds
If the total disposable income is not enough to meet the required savings allocations, you can add a warning system.
For example, in cell G7:
=IF(SUM(C7:E7) > B7, "Insufficient Funds", "")
This formula will show "Insufficient Funds" if the savings goals exceed the disposable income for the month.
4. Tracking Goal Completion
To check if a goal is met, you can add a formula that flags when the total contributions reach the target amount.
For example, in H2 (next to the Vacation goal):
=IF(SUM($C$7:C7) >= $B$2, "Goal Met", "")
This will show "Goal Met" when the total contributions for the vacation meet or exceed the target amount (£3000).
Summary of Key Steps:
- Set up your savings goals: Create a structured table that includes target amounts, dates, and the number of months to save.
- Allocate disposable income: Use the MIN() and SUM() functions to dynamically allocate money to savings goals based on target dates.
- Flag issues: Add flags to warn when there’s not enough income to meet goals.
Once you get this framework in place, it will dynamically adjust as you change values, so you can experiment with different income levels, target dates, and amounts. The text, steps and the formulas were created with the help of AI.