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spreadsheet of photography expenses

Joe McInerney , Oct 11, 2008; 12:34 p.m.

Does anyone have a spreadsheet made up for photography expenses? I am trying to keep track of what I spend for photography from film (I shoot pinhole), matte board, lab work, inks for inkjets, etc all the way to digital camera, lenses, miles to a clients, internet, computer (Mac), software etc. I am hoping someone has one that I can use. I am not at all efficient in excel. One that is simple to enter amounts spent in certain columns that give total at the end. I am not in business as a photographer but I have a photography background and am entering more contests and shows. I work in a Visual Communications department of a community college and a few times a year I get small freelance jobs through contacts I made at work. Thanks for all that are interested, Joe

Responses

Gordon Lukesh , Oct 11, 2008; 12:36 p.m.

Get access to Excel and write one yourself! It will be customized they way you like it.

Rich Simmons , Oct 11, 2008; 01:27 p.m.

You probably have one already. Open excel and use a template. Or if it's open, go File->New from Template. They should have been loaded if you did a regular install. If you don't see anything you like, you can always go through the help system and excel will connect you to other available sheets. You can google it as well to find some stuff.

Mendel Leisk , Oct 11, 2008; 01:41 p.m.

Getting comfortable with spreadsheets is the name of the game. I use them semi-frequently and find it's not that difficult. If Excel's helpfile has you stymied, often the Internet will come through.

For example, yesterday I used a spreadsheet to track qty's of various connector plates on a bridge I'm itemizing. I'm really a novice at spreadsheets, but managed to get it do what I needed.

I made one breakthrough: locking cell locations within a formula so that regardless where you copy the formula in the spreadsheet, one or both values of the cell's location stay constant. You just need to preface the value with a dollar ($) symbol.

Typically, a formula starts with an equal (=) symbol, followed by an algerbraic function. For example:

To multiply cell A1 by A2, giving the result at A3, you put the following formula at A3:

=A1*B1

You don't need to type in all the adresses, just click on the desired cell in the course of filling out the formua, and it's added automatically.

There are a automate functions. I only use a few so far, such as adding (or averaging) a column or row.

Ellis Vener , Oct 11, 2008; 02:47 p.m.

If you are billing clients you might want to give Blinkbid, http://blinkbid.com/, a try. I have used it for about 3-4 years and despite some interface quirks I like it a lot and clients like how it is organized. It is customizable, built on a very sturdy database program-- Filemaker -- and does a really good job of tracking clients and billing as well.

Rich Simmons , Oct 11, 2008; 05:48 p.m.

If you're on a Mac you can also try Bento. From Filemaker, but it's only $50. $99 for 5 licenses.

Tony Clark , Oct 11, 2008; 06:33 p.m.

I have created my own spreadsheet with Numbers which is part of iWorks. After years of filing taxes I have fine tuned the categories that apply to my deductions. Pages is the word processing portion of the application and I have letterhead, estimate, invoice and terms and conditions and other documents ready to go.

Jerry Litynski , Oct 12, 2008; 12:39 a.m.

Aside from your interest in keeping very good records of your expenses, you may wish to contact a local accountant or bookkeeper, if you are considering having a number of expenses for your income tax filing.

Currently, money earned is considered income by the kindly folks at the I.R.S. If you have more expenses and not much income, you may be gaining a problem with the tax gals and guys. [The I.R.S. likes to have photographers contribute social security and self-employment taxes. Then you have a fair chance of adding photography-related expenses to your tax return.]

Greg Jansen , Oct 13, 2008; 04:01 p.m.

Here's mine. Feel free to use it, change it, etc.

http://www.gregjansenphoto.com/excel/template-expenses.xls

Joe McInerney , Oct 14, 2008; 09:36 p.m.

Greg, Thanks for the template. I am grateful that you have provided this. It succeeds by far anything that I would have been able to put together in excel. It would take me months to get to this point. Thanks again for all the answers and Thanks to Greg for allowing us access to it. Joe

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