Monitoring spending

Hello Friends,

One of the challenges I’ve faced since trying to live a simpler life is how to monitor my spending.  I started off a long time ago using a little notebook to record my spending and then added it up at the end of th month.  Later I moved on to spreadsheets on the computer and have kept these up so I have several years records of where the money has gone.

This is fine, and helps to plan ahead, but it hasn’t helped me to know how much I’ve got available.  I spent some time early this year trying to design a spreadsheet to help me know where I am on a daily basis.  I think I’ve finally got there and now have 3 spreadsheets on the computer.

The first is my regular spending record.  The second is a record of our household account so I know exactly how much is available at all times.  It means I’ve accounted for spending, even if cheques or other payments haven’t cleared the bank account.

The final spreadsheet brings both budgeting and spending together.  It sets out my spending plan for the month, then I have a column at the top of which is our total income.  As I spend against the budget, I enter the amount and this is taken off our income so I can always see what is left.

It all sounds a bit complicated, but seems to be working and is easier to track my money.

How do you keep on top of your budget?

Until next time, Tawney x


Monitoring spending — 4 Comments

  1. Small book in handbag to note daily purchases. Small book to record credit card purchases – and I ask my bank for the statement dates beforehand so that if necessary I can delay a purchase. Master book to plan up to 3 months in advance. Of course, there is always an “unexpected” crisis somewhere along the line, but I make sure always to have at least one month’s pension in hand and hang on to this through thick and thin. It really is the only way to manage on a shoe string.xx

  2. I’m a pen and paper girl, can’t be doing with spreadsheets so we have both as DH is a spreadsheet guy. We have the master page which has all the fixed costs – house, insurance, savings, council tax, utilities, phones etc. We give that a quick check over in case the phone bill is bigger than usual or whatever. We deduct that amount from our income so we know what’s left for all the other spending.

    We tally that up with our list of things we want to do (decorating, housey, car stuff, rugby, social events) and divide the budget up and that’s that. Once it’s on the budget that’s it.