3 Reasons I Track Of My Spending

by anne on July 21, 2011

spreadsheet for tracking numbersYou probably won’t be surprised when I say I don’t like bookkeeping, but I do track my earning and spending. I call it keeping my numbers.

It’s a royal PITA, even with the computer. But I do it most of the time, and when I get behind I work to catch up.

  1. I hate going into a store not knowing if my debt card will clear.
  2. I don’t want bounced check fees – they have become punitive.
  3. When I know how much money I’ve got I can quit worrying about it.

In other words, actually knowing my bank balances on a daily basis makes my life easier, not harder.

When someone first suggested I log in all expenses I thought they were nuts, or so I said. But deep down I sort of knew that it would make better sense to know how much money I had then spending so much time in fear. And I was in fear a lot of the time.

I had to learn some bookkeeping

When I decided to start tracking numbers I knew I wanted to use the computer. Some people can add and subtract and use a paper system, but my arithmetic is anything but reliable.

I started with a spreadsheet, but soon found I was totally lost because I couldn’t see the whole thing and it was beyond me to figure out where I was.

So I bought QuickBooks. I’m comfortable learning software and it did the adding and subtracting for me. Of course, I had to enter the numbers correctly. I also had to simplify my categories which took some time.

My initial attempts were far from perfect, but gradually I made progress.

Today, while my system isn’t perfect, I know where I am. I enter my spending almost daily and I balance my checkbook almost weekly.

I no longer am in fear when I go into stores or write a check because I know where I stand.

It turns out that tracking numbers is way easier on me than not tracking, and once I’d figured it out I spend about five minutes a day six days a week, and another 20 minutes once a week to reconcile.

How do you keep track of what you’re spending?

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