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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
and exchange ideas
It is currently Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:02 am




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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:27 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:50 pm
Posts: 51
Further explanation :

ING allows you to setup sub-savings accounts rather easily . I transfer to the following accounts every pay-period :

1. Emergency Account
2. Extraordinary Expense Account -- this is for extraordinary expenses during the year - new tires for car / pet reserve for vet / gifts / vacation
3. Xmas Account
4. Mad Money Account



**Marcopolo


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 883
Build an E-Fund of 3-6 months worth of expenses.

Consider using http://www.mint.com it has helped us a lot.

We use our credit card as a debit card (meaning we pay it off every month) and keep every receipt which I enter every few days into an excel sheet. The excel sheet has various budget categories which we track.

As a couple we go over the budget every month or so to see where there are areas for improvement and what our priorities will be for the nexte few months.

Just my 2 cents.

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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:32 pm
Posts: 9
Agree with practically everything said above, so pick what works for you out of that. :D

Personally we use a 10 year old software program called Microsoft Money to track our expenses and forecast account balances etc. you should be able to pick up a copy for $5 or less. It can import records from your bank and once setup a lot of the recording can happen automatically.
One of the most useful tools for us and the reason we still use it is the ability to forecast account balances out to whatever period you like, so we can tell when we are likely to be either tight of flush for $$ and act accordingly.

To cut down on the manual recording rather than trying to track every individual item, we track what is important to us and have an additional category called "blow money" which is where we dump all the ice creams, coffee, cash spending etc.. The stuff we consider wasted or discretionary.

Managing our finances this way takes no more than about 1 hour per week.

A recommended previously, we pay ourselves first.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:06 pm
Posts: 81
The easy way is to never use cash. The CC* statements and bank statements will then have everything you spent on them. It doesn't really matter if it's one month behind. The reason you track expenses is to see patterns and to do that you'll need several months anyway. You should be able to look at a few months worth of statements to figure out where all your money is going (eating out, cable, phone, utility bills, whatever).

Once you see your main areas of spending, you'll be able to come up with a plan for alternatives such as using pre-paid cell phones instead of having a cell plan that costs twice as much, install and use a programmable thermostat if your heating or cooling bill is too high, eat at home more often, etc...

Anyway, that's the easy way to track expenses.

*Yes I use a credit card, but I pay the balance off every month.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:21 pm
Posts: 2
If you don't have the discipline to do that, then you can try something called the "envelope method" or "envelope system." Look it up on YouTube or Google.
Your budget should always include a generous allotment for "miscellaneous expenses." A lot of miscellaneous stuff will crop up, and you don't want to get into the habit of dipping into your savings (see below) every time a little miscellaneous expense crops up: you should plan ahead for these in your budget.
You don't have to budget every little thing. A lot of people only budget the big regular expenses like rent, groceries, car repair etc, so that they know they will have the money set aside to pay them. You should keep pretty close track of your money for the first year or two, though. That will allow you to fine-tune your budget, and tell you where you can find money.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
frugalcoconut wrote:
CalendarBudget allows me to forecast my account balances at any point in time with various transactions factored in. For example, I enter my car insurance bill which I know will be debited at the beginning of next month ... and I can see whether I'll have a shortfall or if I'll have enough in there after taking into account the estimated deposits from my paychecks until then.


I do this with MS Money and its computer based and not at the whims of others on the web. I can tell you (currently up to a year in the future) what kind of funds I'll have at any given time. I guess when it comes to tracking my money I don't want to be at the mercy of others.

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I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
williams wrote:
If you don't have the discipline to do that, then you can try something called the "envelope method" or "envelope system." Look it up on YouTube or Google.


Agreed... I was ALWAYS going over by just using my debit card. Now I withdraw XXX amount out of each check for groceries and misc stuff. Once that money is gone... Im done till next payday or I have to decide if I want to take money from something else to fund the purchase.

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I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:33 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 98
What helps me, next to the great tips mentioned already, is an app for my phone from my bank. Quite frequently when I'm waiting for something (queue at the supermarket, water to boil) I'll play with my phone, like most people. But with this app I can get an instant overview of my account, money in and out. As I almost never use cash this gives a very good overview of what I've spend money on, and how much I have left. I now check this almost on a daily basis, just because it's so easy to do in a otherwise wasted minute.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! How to keep track of expenses
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am
Posts: 4
Location: Austin, TX
Hi, here are the tips on how to track your expenses. See the checklist below:

1. Set up your “accounting corner.”
- all you need is a couple of file folders and a box. File bills, receipts, canceled checks, bank statements, insurance documents, etcetera.

2. Avoid unplanned ATM withdrawals.
- It’s more efficient to set your total household budget, withdraw that amount from your ATM, and then divide your money into envelopes: “bills,” “supermarket,” “transportation.” For security, store the money in a locked cash box or drawer.

3. Do online banking.
- pay bills through the Internet. This is really convenient (no more long lines!) plus you don’t make the common mistake of withdrawing more than you need “just in case” and then spending the extra on…what was that again?

4.Use credit cards the smart way.
- Credit cards automatically track your expenses—at the end of each month, you’ll see exactly what you bought, how much you paid, and even which store you went to.

5. Set allowances.
- give a monthly allowance . At least you are able to budget that amount, and they learn to budget too. You should also set your own personal allowance—how much will you allot for eating out, going to the movies, buying books.

6. Lead yourself not into temptation.
- Where do you usually tend to overspend? Everyone has a weakness. Maybe you go nuts when you’re in a shoe store.

7. Give yourself a financial goal.
- It’s easier to save money when you know what you’re saving for. What’s something you really wanted but think you can’t afford? Set a deadline—“I’ll get this by this month, this year) and promise yourself you’ll save a certain amount each month. That way saving doesn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself, it’s actually a step towards getting what you really want.


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