Author Topic: How do you track spending?  (Read 12066 times)

astvilla

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Re: How do you track spending?
« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2014, 09:34:03 AM »
wow thanks for the replies everyone. i'm single and living with parents so i have very few expenses tbh. i'll probably use an excel sheet for now and then later look into ynab. i tried gnucash but it for some reason can't schedule payments? it's great software but seems like there's bugs and stuff that just makes things difficult unless I'm using it wrong.
ynab sounds good for families but i'm not really spending too much, but leaning towards buying it black friday half off.
anyone know the difference between ynab and quicken from experience? which they found more user friendly, and for what kind of person most appropriate for?

Spork

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Re: How do you track spending?
« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2014, 10:28:32 AM »
wow thanks for the replies everyone. i'm single and living with parents so i have very few expenses tbh. i'll probably use an excel sheet for now and then later look into ynab. i tried gnucash but it for some reason can't schedule payments? it's great software but seems like there's bugs and stuff that just makes things difficult unless I'm using it wrong.
ynab sounds good for families but i'm not really spending too much, but leaning towards buying it black friday half off.
anyone know the difference between ynab and quicken from experience? which they found more user friendly, and for what kind of person most appropriate for?

I'm not sure what you mean by "can't schedule payments."   If you mean: can it actually log into the bank and make them?  The answer is probably no as it is designed in Europe and uses their payment mechanisms (or did last I looked.)*

If you mean: can it self-enter a scheduled transaction?  Then, yes, it can.

*I work in network security.  I just don't want anything automatic or want anything tied to accounts that absolutely doesn't require it to be.  "Separation of privilege" and "least possible privilege" are fundamental security concepts.  Because of this: I don't have anything in gnucash that is physically tied to an account number -- and I like it that way.  YMMV.

fb132

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Re: How do you track spending?
« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2014, 05:33:59 AM »
wow thanks for the replies everyone. i'm single and living with parents so i have very few expenses tbh. i'll probably use an excel sheet for now and then later look into ynab. i tried gnucash but it for some reason can't schedule payments? it's great software but seems like there's bugs and stuff that just makes things difficult unless I'm using it wrong.
ynab sounds good for families but i'm not really spending too much, but leaning towards buying it black friday half off.
anyone know the difference between ynab and quicken from experience? which they found more user friendly, and for what kind of person most appropriate for?
How is YNAB good just for families??By the way, I also live with my parents and I use YNAB and I think it is fantastic. It saves your butt incase of an unexpected emergency bill to pay. I don't know where you got the idea that YNAb advantages only families.

carozy

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Re: How do you track spending?
« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2015, 11:39:08 AM »
I decided to get into the nitty gritty of tracking expenses to really see where my money went.  I started this April.

Mint:  Problem - had to re-categorize many expenses.  Treats transfers/ATM as an expense.  Calls all my public transit gas...etc, etc, etc.  I still use Mint but found a way to more accurately track my expenses...a Google sheet!  :)

YNAB: Problem - have to budget ahead of time.  This can tend to make me allow myself to spend money that I wouldn't if I didn't preplan it.  (Or at least, that's the fear.)  I am also already used to my Google spreadsheet "forecast" budget, which allows me to get a sky-view budget into the future based on future paychecks, if I feel the need to budget spending money at all.  (I tend to like budgeting saving money though.)

For my Google expenses spreadsheet, I have a Summary page and a Detail page, which has the categories lined out so it tallies the amount spent in each category.  I thought this would be very involved and too time-consuming, but it's not really that much time, once it's set up.  The other thing is, I'm spending money much less frequently than I used to, and I'm using the new Quicksilver card (for the cash back) for nearly everything.  This also makes it easy to record my expenses since they're already listed nicely in the Quicksilver website and I've been transferring them over to the Google spreadsheet every few days or so.

Another benefit of Google spreadsheets is that it's internet based, so I can record expenses at work or home and not have to worry about transferring a file.

Now I'm able to track the cash I spend, the credit card spending I do, my automated public transit expenses, etc...without much trouble.

I've only been doing this for a month, but I know my expenses for April down to the penny now.  Nothing is too small and I've color coded the categories, so I can easily find which category has how much, what the total is, etc.  I think I'll be continuing to track my expenses this way so I'll always know my exact expenses each month for each category, and I can figure out my savings rate much easier this way too.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 11:45:30 AM by carozy »

deirdre08

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Re: How do you track spending?
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2015, 11:54:33 AM »
Honestly the mint app has been incredibly helpful. Not only does it track my spending, but I also ported in my credit card, student loan, retirement, and betterment accounts so I can have a quick summary of my debt and assets easily available. Occasionally mint does miscategorize certain expenses, but then I just have to go through the transactions to recatergorize them in the right spot, which I actually prefer because then I have to look at each transaction individually which give me a better idea of where I'm spending my money.

I also have an Excel file that I use more as a scratch sheet for monthly budget stuff than an actual spreadsheet. It just helps me visualize my debt and monthly expenses better if I have it all in front of me.