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Day 22) Almost There: Spending Report

Welcome to Day 22 of Where’s My Money Going? Month! This February 2009, I’m challenging readers (and myself) to track spending manually for 28 days. Don’t worry if you’re late to the party, you’re still welcome to join. Consider tracking your spending into March.

This is the beginning of the end for my “Where’s My Money Going?” Month, the last week. Yours too, unless you started a bit late and are tracking into March. Two observations from this week: 1) daily tracking is more annoying than weekly/monthly tracking and 2) daily tracking makes me feel better.

There’s a nice paradox for ya. It’s more hassle, but with a greater payoff. Does it balance out? I don’t know.

I’ll say that this week I’ve really appreciated using You Need a Budget in comparison with my own spreadsheet. As one commenter in my YNAB Giveaway (go, enter!) said, it’s tedious to do all the spreadsheet stuff yourself even if it runs the calculations. YNAB and other similar programs clear up the hassle.

This week I did actually let some receipts lag. It was a matter of putting recording off until the next purchase followed by a couple no-spend days. Got everything caught up, though, and it wasn’t that bad. You’ll notice there was no post on the 20th, yep that was the guilty feeling blocking me from writing. That and work.

Once again this week, I noticed the importance of checking things online even if you save the receipt. As I mentioned yesterday, I have several accounts set up to automatically transfer money to help me budget for annual expenses. Because they’re 100% automatic, I had to login to notice they’d happened…I didn’t get a receipt. Right now we don’t pay any bills automatically but we’d have to keep track of those transactions too, if we did. I’ve set them up in the YNAB scheduler for next month, we’ll see how that works.

Otherwise no surprises this week, looks like we’ll have money left over in Food, Gas, Entertainment, and Misc at the very least. Oh, and some in clothes even if I buy a t-shirt. Some will go toward covering the extra medical spending and the rest will be snowflaked into the student loan repayment fund (doing a lot of internal linking today!).

What about you? How’s your tracking going and how’s your month shaping up?

This post was part of Where’s My Money Going? Month.


Aleriel February 22, 2009 at 11:10 am

My tracking is going well, but my month pretty much sucked. A few circumstances occurred earlier than planned, so I didn’t have the time I expected to have to save up for some expenses. I’m already over budget in some categories as a result, and there’s still two weeks to go in my budget. (It runs from the 6th of the month, since that’s when I get my first pay.)

The daily tracking is helping me along greatly, though, and I’m learning to appreciate the flexibility of not budgeting every single dollar (and thus building up a tiny monthly cushion).

DIY Joe February 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I like my tracking served daily (or near daily). I’d rather enter an item or two than wade through a stack of transactions. Of course, I have issues with procrastination, so it is better for me to just take care of it.
The month is shaping up well. I did have to raid the cash cushion to make up the difference between what I had saved for the electric bill and what the charge was.
The low point came when I tried to forecast the next few months. It was ugly.

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