Author Topic: Do you know where your money goes?  (Read 758 times)

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Offline Jade Sinapu

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Do you know where your money goes?
« on: September 07, 2021, 12:16:33 pm »
I used to be VERY good at knowing where each penny I earned went.
These days, I have gotten lax.

I grew up using paper checks and keeping a checkbook register.  That was 2008.  Now I am mostly digital.  I do not keep my own register of transactions.
My bank can send my info to me for a small fee.

But still somehow, the old ways were SO much better for me.
I would FEEL the money come in and FEEL it worse when it was spent.  It was exciting to get a check, and painful to pay a bill.  Now I feel nothing.  It is all automatically done.  Some weeks I do not know what is happening with the money.

I am thinking of returning to my "roots" and doing more on my own.

So

Do you feel similar at all?
Do you keep a record of your own transactions, aka a register?
Do you know where each penny came from and where it went?

Feel free to share any thoughts on money management here.

(One thing that spurred me to revisit this topic is the fact I want to down-size my life, and to do so, I need to know what my exact income and outgoing are.
I want to re-train and possibly do another type of work, one that lets me have more me-time.  I expect less pay, but more time.  So finances need to be carefully controlled.)
Bear your soul and take control
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Do you know where your money goes?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2021, 01:43:19 pm »
The first time I used a credit card I felt like I was stealing the items. Now it's normal. I make a spread sheet. All my normal bill have a separate column. There are also columns for everything else.  Each column is summed at the top. This is then totaled. There is also a section of columns of income. The two sections are summed. I used to divide all this up by months with separate math for each month. But never actually used the information. At one time I kept it within pennies of my back statements. Now i use my back statements to correct the things I forget to add to the lists. :)

it takes a bit to learn to use and set up a spread sheet. Microsoft and others have made things a lot easier. Once you make a working spread sheet you can copy it every year you want to use it. Once and done. Years ago trying to divide on a spread sheet meant you had to make long lines of math. Because any time you imputed a zero your equation went tilt. So you had to ad 'if equals greater than' to every line.
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Offline DDD

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Re: Do you know where your money goes?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2021, 06:14:26 am »
Good to hear you are wanting to keep a budget and plan!
I do a lot of budgeting stuff with Microsoft Excel (spreadsheet software).
There are open source software packages that are free that do similar stuff (eg Apache Open Office).

I don't own any credit cards, I use a debit card (similar, but draws money that is already in an account), and all of my transactions are free to view or download from my internet banking account. (I am with one of the major Australian banks).

I also did a lot of budgeting work after reading a few books on savings and good life practices, so I can highlight some of those points with you.

In the spreadsheet, you want to start with your income - what you earn.
You then want to list the regular bills/payments that must be made.
The remaining money can be split up into a few different categories such as:
Long Term Savings
Short Term Nice Things
Buffer For Large Payments

With my internet banking, I have set up scheduled transfers the day after I am paid from work which separates the remaining money into different accounts which helps me adhere to this.

I usually keep $2000 AUD in the buffer account, so that if I have to pay car insurance, or repairs, I can do so without having to draw from long term savings.
If my buffer account balance is low, I try and spend less on short term nice things, and use some of that money to get my buffer account balance back up to $2k.

Another thing I can do is I can download all of my spending from my debit card as a CSV (comma separated variable) file, and import it into Aware.
This will show each transaction on its own line, with a date, short description, and an amount in separate columns.
I can then divide those transactions up into things like...food shopping, fuel, take away, fun stuff etc.

If I notice myself spending too much on take away, I will try and adjust my spending habits.

Finally, instead of hoarding my long term savings in a bank account which pays very little interest, I invest in shares which pay a much better dividend/have good growth. So instead of getting say, 1% interest from a bank account, I can get an average of say...10% with shares.
NOTE: Don't go and dump your money into shares! I do a huge amount of research, and talk to a lot of wise people before I choose which shares to invest in. If you do not research this properly, its no better than just gambling it on a game of chance.

Always happy to help you set up a budget or give you some tips on MS Excel!

DDD
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Those who can walk, but cannot imagine, are limited to walking.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: Do you know where your money goes?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 04:20:19 pm »
I don't own or use a credit card as I don't want to be burdened with debt, have a bad credit score, etc.
I also don't want to have a credit card because I don't want to fall into my mother's footsteps with the all the problems she used to have with her credit cards.

I do have a debit card, but I hardly use it that much for online or other purchases. I always prefer to pay in good old cash.

I don't have that many bills: Rent, electric, phone/internet, monthly bus pass, prescriptions. All of these are pretty low with the exception of rent and my phone/internet. And since I can't own or drive a car due to bad eyesight, I don't have to worry about paying for car maintenance, gas, insurance, etc. :)

If I have a bill for example like electric which is $33.68, I will usually round up and pay $34 instead. The extra bit I overpaid gets credited toward my next bill and helps to lower that one. I do the same for my phone/internet bill too.

I cut grocery costs by going to 2 food pantrys. But I still have to buy some stuff at a regular grocery store from time to time.


Offline Rocket T. Coyote

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Re: Do you know where your money goes?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2021, 12:23:44 pm »
I now use my credit card instead of writing checks and mailing bills. I've almost had my water shut off when payment was lost in the mail. The checking account is drawn from to pay my electric bills. I pay off my credit card balance each month and collect reward points. Rewards are then redeemed for $50 gas cards which are saved to use for travel to cons and festivals.
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