Note: This article is part of my toolkit newsletters↗️ where I share resources about building things.
I use Notion for almost everything. My use cases include client management, remote tool, portfolio tracker and most recently — personal finance tracking.
One of my goals this year is to get better at money habits and personal investment. And tracking my personal finance activities become the first step that comes in mind.
Today, I will share how I set up a finance tracking tool in Notion. I will also include my template, so you can duplicate for your own use.
1. Starting point 💡
In this case, I want to solve my own problems:
- update my income, spending and bank amount in one place
- sort by category with search
- reference documents or receipts
Before I design the tool, I outlined things I want to track:
- Personal vs. business spending
- Income vs. expense
- Related banking account
- Attach receipt and reference
- Item, person or organization
2. Set up Notion 🏭
BTW I have no affiliation with Notion (maybe I should apply their affiliate program if they have one LOL).
Anyway, you can create a free account on Notion.
- Start a new workspace in Notion
- Create a database by choosing “Table” option
- Start editing your Table, just like Excel or Google Sheets
3. Add a ‘Date’ column 📆
You should always attribute a date for all your financial transaction. For example, when is the money spent, earned, transferred, invested, etc.
Add a new column
- Click on “+” next to the first Column of the table (I leave it empty because it’s for title by default)
- Rename your Column as “Date”
- Under “Property Type” select Date to create date database
Now make your first entry on an empty cell. You should be able to see a calendar selector:
4. Personal vs. Business spending 💼
If you have a solo business entity, you should separate your business related tracking from personal purpose.
Without creating 2 separate spreadsheets, I simply create a “switch option” on Notion to differentiate transaction type.
Add ‘Tag’ column
- Click on “+” to create a new Column, rename it as “Tag”
- “Property Type” is “Select”
- Type in “Personal” & hit enter, then do the same when creating a “Business” option
Now you should be able to switch between “Personal” and “Business” options for future transaction record.
5. Banking account 💳
I have 3 dedicated banking accounts that I use actively for these purposes:
- Bank 1 (personal spending and grocery shopping)
- Bank 2 (business income and expenses)
- Bank 3 (investment transaction)
One thing I always get frustrated about transaction is where the money is transferred since I have different banking accounts.
Therefore when I create this tracker tool, I want to be able to easily refer to the relevant accounts.
Following Step 4 above, I set up in my Notion table with 3 Tags that I refer to Bank 1, Bank 2 and Bank 3.
👉Get my Notion template here
6. Attach receipts ✍️
You can create attachment database (files, images, links) within a Notion table.
In this case, I wanted to refer transaction to the relevant receipts or statements. This can include:
- Expense receipts (personal & business)
- Bank statements (income & spending)
- PayPal receipts
Add ‘Files’ column
- Set up a “Files” column and set “Property Type” as “Files & Media”
- Make your entry in an empty cell, you should see “Upload” or “Embed Link” option
- I use “Embed Link” and it connects to my Google Drive link where I upload my PDF and scanned receipts
6. Income vs. Spend 💲
Again, following Step 4 above, I created a “Type” column with 2 Selects options —” Income” and “Spend”.
So I can easily refer each transaction whether it’s the money that I spent or earned.
Add ‘Amount’ column
Every transaction comes with an amount dollar. You can create a new column next to Income/Spend with “Property Type” set to “Number”.
Add ‘Organization’ column
Give a reference to whom you have paid to or receive income from. I make this simple by creating an “Organization” column with “Property Type” set to “Text”.
👉Get my Notion template here
7. Sort, search & export 📥
One way to get an overview of your spending or earning is to analyze based on your financial tracking entries.
In Notion, you can hover on the name of any Column. You can modify your view of data based on:
- Add Filter (i.e. personal vs. business; income vs. spend; bank A vs. B)
- Sort Ascending
- Sort Descending
You can also export your income / expenses data based on the filtered value into these formats — PDF, HTML, Markdown & CSV.