How to Make a Wall Chart in Excel

The Wall Chart, as described in the book, Your Money or Your Life, and in the Financial Integrity Program, is a visual representation of your income, expenses, and investment income. When YMOYL was first written the wall chart was made manually with pen, pencil, and graph paper. But technology has changed significantly since then, and using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, makes tracking and graphing your finances even easier.

Here’s a guide to creating your own Wall Chart using Excel.

Step 1:  Gather at least a few months worth of data: your income and spending, and investment income if you have it. Arrange it in Excel like this:

4 excel columns of dates, income, expenses and investment income, with numbers

Note: Make sure to include the date column and column headings (income, expenses, investment income).

Step 2: Select your entire data range, including the column headers and dates.

select all the data from all four columns

Step 3:  Click the insert tab.

select Excel Insert tab

Step 4: Select the line graph icon.

select the line graph, then the specific type

Step 5: Select either of these options that show overlapping lines. I like the one without data points for a cleaner look.

select one of these two line graphs

Your chart will invariably embed itself into your current sheet.

Step 6A: Move your chart to its own sheet. Left click in the blank area near the title, then right click to bring up this drop down menu. Select Move Chart.

left click on blank space, then right click and select move chart

Step 6B: Select new sheet, name your sheet if you desire, click OK.

Wall Chart 7

Now your chart will be full size and ready for printing. However you may want to make some changes such as larger fonts, wider lines, or different colours.

Optional Steps:

To change any of the text elements, click them until a grey box appears around them. Then right click to bring up a menu.
Wall Chart 8

Selecting Font will  bring up a dialogue box allowing you to change the size, colour, or other font elements.

font dialogue box

Similarly, if you select a line element, then right click you can change the line colour or the width by selecting outline, then picking a colour or a different line weight (thickness).

how to change line elements

Step 7: To print your chart while you are on that page, make sure that active sheet only is selected.

select the active sheet only

Here is my actual household wall chart from January 2009 to September 2014:

my wall chart

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if there is anything missing from this demonstration so that I can improve it.