Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Keeping track of my expenses....and budgeting

I do keep track on my expenses. I started doing this about 8 years ago. Back then I used Excel to record them. Filled the rows with categories -salary, petrol, car installment, education, grocery, mortgage etc., and the columns with months. One sheet for one year's worth of expenses.

But towards the end of 2007, I found Acemoney Lite and been using it ever since. I find it very easy to use. It generates expense reports, scheduling, budget reports, cash flow etc., complete with charts with just a few clicks. I can also do bill scheduling. Good, free stuff. I did try another software, forgot the name already, not as good.

My purpose of tracking my expenses is not for budgeting, but more towards wanting to know where my money goes. I rarely analyses the expenses, but knowing the data is there when I need it is somewhat comforting. For me the most important stage in this whole process of expense tracking is when I manually I enter each expense into the computer, because I think that time is when my awareness regarding the expense is at the max.

Into the subject of budgeting, the reason I don't budget is because I think my expenses are under control, that is to say my income is more than enough to cover the expenses and some savings. I'm not saying my income is big, it's rather my expenses that is small. And one more thing, I don't buy on impulse. I'm not a type of guy who go out to the mall one weekend morning and come back with a Cell Phone Handset in the afternoon, just because it's on sale. Buying this is simply not prudent, financially or otherwise.


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