"Budget Plan" Tip - Archiving Old Budget Plan

If you started a new Budget Plan sheet for the new year (you don’t have to, but some people prefer to), but still want to keep the old one around for reference, here’s a tip to speed things up a bit.

The formulas in the Budget Plan template are pretty intense and use a lot of processing power. Having multiple copies of the template is that much more work your computer needs to do. If you only want the sheet so you can see the data as it was at the end of the year, you don’t need the formulas to keep working, so here’s an easy way to get rid of them:

  1. Click on the empty ‘cell’ where the row and column headings meet towards the upper left corner of your Budget Plan sheet, which will select every cell in the sheet (you can also do a CTRL+A or CMD-A to select all).
  2. Go to the Edit menu and choose “Copy” (in Excel, click the “Copy” button) (you can also do a CTRL+C or CMD-C to copy)
  3. Go to the Edit menu to “Paste Special” and choose “Values Only” (in Excel, click the arrow under the “Paste” button and choose “Paste Special”, then “Text”)

This will replace all formulas with the results of the formulas, so the sheet will become static, no longer dynamically updating, and no longer needing all that processing power to display your information.
To save even more processing power, turn off conditional formatting (the colored rows in the monthly totals):

  1. Click into one of the cells in the monthly grid
  2. Go to the “Format” menu and choose “Conditional Formatting” (in Excel, click the “Conditional Formatting” button and choose “Manage Rules…”)
  3. In the sidebar that opened on the right side, click the trash can icon next to each formatting rule to delete it (in Excel, select each rule and click “Delete Rule”)

With those two changes, your Budget Plan sheet is now very simple, placing very little burden on your computer while still showing you the budget information you used last year in case you need to reference it.