Where’s My Money Going? Month

Welcome to “Where’s My Money Going? Month! This February 2009, I’m challenging readers (and myself) to track spending manually for 28 days. Even if you’re late to the party, you can always play along by doing it for any 28 consecutive days of the year. This page gathers all the relevant posts along with excerpts.

Want to get involved? Leave a comment on any post, write about it on your blog, subscribe here, send an e-mail, write a guest post, or just do it and don’t tell anyone! If you’d like, grab a badge from the sidebar!

Day 1) Where’s My Money Going?

An introduction to Where’s My Money Going? Month, how to participate, and a very basic spreadsheet you can use to track your spending.

Day 2) How We’re Tracking Our Spending

How we normally track our spending and how we’re going to be tracking it during Where’s My Money Going? Month. Also, a budget spreadsheet in case you want to plan your spending ahead of time and see how it matches up.

Day 3) The Only Way to Discover What Will Work for You

A guest post by a friend and reader who explains how he evaluated different types of budgeting/financial tracking software and discovered what’s right for him.

Day 4) How Much Can We Ask Our Spouses to Do?

Odds are that if you’re in a long-term relationship, your spouse/partner is responsible for about half of your spending. If they’re not as into finance as you are, what can you reasonably ask them to do? What are your responsibilities to them in return?

Day 5) Should We Change Our Spending Habits Now or Later?

Tracking your finances is an important step in controlling them. Should you change your spending habits right away or is it better to spend as usual and then make changes?

Day 6) First Spending Report and Observations

I’ve already learned some things about our spending patterns and the usefulness of the “Misc.” section. But don’t worry, I’ll be keeping track of each item that goes into it, to see if it should have its own budget area.

Day 7) How Often Should We Record Purchases?

How often should you update your spending log/Quicken/YNAB/financial software? How should you do it? Start by determining a goal and work from there.

Day 8 ) Reader Tips & Roundup

Through e-mails and blog posts, readers offer tips and insights about tracking their spending.

Day 9) Reviewing You Need a Budget

I’ve been using the You Need a Budget software in tandem with my own spreadsheet this month. In this review, I go over the basics of the software, its philosophy and its community.

Day 10) Knowing Where My Money Is Going is More Important Than Ever

Guest post from Mike, a reader who shares what he has learned from tracking his spending more intensely. Now he and his wife are able to save one of their salaries, a tremendous change!

Day 11) Online Money Management Tools: Mint and Geezeo

Reviewing Mint and Geezeo as online money management tools. Part of a three-day series about which free services are the best for keeping tabs on your money.

Day 12) Online Money Management Tools: Quicken Online and Yodlee

Reviewing Quicken Online and Yodlee as money management tools. Part of a three-day series about which free online services are best for keeping tabs on your money.

Day 13) Online Money Management Tools: Wesabe, Buxfer, and Expensr

Reviewing the final three online money management tools: Wesabe, Buxfer, and Expensr.

Day 14) 9 Lessons from Tracking Your Spending in Depth

A guest poster who has been tracking her finances since she was 16 shares 9 things she’s learned in that time.

Day 15) Halfway Through “Where’s My Money Going?” Month

Halftime report on our spending and observations about what hasn’t gone according to plan so far this month.

Day 16) How Much Do You Spend on Stuff?

A guest poster shares his system for tracking his money and how important it’s been for him to learn how much he spends on plain old “stuff.”

Day 17) You Need a Budget Pro Giveaway

Want to win a copy of You Need a Budget? Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on the giveaway post telling me what you’re currently using to budget and why you’d like to have YNAB instead.

Day 18) Why Not Just Start With a Budget?

Why track your spending for a month? Why not just start with a budget? I explain why tracking spending, especially in detail, gives you a number of advantages in taking charge of your financial life.

Day 19) The List: An Approach to Buying What You Want

You’ve got limited money but lots of things you want to buy. How I’m using a list to help me figure out what I’m going to buy and what I’ll save for later…or never.

Day 20) Break

Day 21) Planning Ahead for Big Expenses

If you’re trying to budget, those big annual expenses can really throw things off. Here’s how to prepare ahead of time!

Day 22) Almost There: Spending Report

The month is 3/4s of the way over. Here’s how it’s going for us.

Day 23) The Magic of No-Spend Days

One great thing about daily tracking is that you start to notice the days when you don’t spend anything at all. Take a moment to feel good about yourself for doing that. It’s helping you meet your goals!

Day 24) Finding Supportive Financial Communities

If you’re trying to keep up with your financial goals and looking for a supportive community, try one of these 5 forums. They have different emphases, speeds, and sizes, so you can find one that fits!

Day 25) One Stop Financial Dashboard Spreadsheet

A great all-in-one financial dashboard spreadsheet that’ll help you see all your finances in one place.

Day 26) Takeaways from Where’s My Money Going Month

What can you learn from tracking your spending for a whole month? What kind of impact does it have on your future spending?

Day 27) Turning Your Spending Report Into a Budget

Take the five steps that go into making a budget which fits your lifestyle and goals.

Day 28) Where’s My Money Going? Month Wrap-Up

Looking back over the last month of tracking my finances. What we did, what we could have done better, what we’ll do in the future.

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