Organizing money things

ericasjApril 21, 2005

Alisande's question on being overwhelmed, and the discussion about it, hit home with me. My big Linch-Pin right now is needing to find the extra money to get things done. One way to get $300 extra a year would be to use our cash-back rewards credit card for groceries and gas. But I have a terrible time keeping track of what I'm spending, and what I *can* spend.

We just had to do a balance transfer to a 0% card, and I don't want to start up using the rewards card again until I figure out a better tracking system.

I went back and looked at what I'd charged, and hardly any of it was impulse purchases. It was mostly just basic stuff.

Things seems to work ok if I use all cash and debit card. Or if I could do absolutely everything on the credit card. But I can't--there's always a certain amount of cash I need for little things, and places that take cash only. I can't seem to coordinate the two kinds of "money" so I don't overspend. I think maybe if I meant to spend $80 on groceries it was just hard to remember I already spent $20 in cash so I needed to limit the cc purchase to $60.

For now, I'm using categories in Quicken again and not using the cc; just wondered (again) how other people managed this. Notebook in purse? Check register? Index card? Some kind of techie reminder system?


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Well, the "techie reminder system" could be an expense program on a Palm (or Pocket PC) handheld. I actually do all of my expense management on the handheld, because my PC is rarely with me, but my handheld almost always is (if it isn't, I either get a receipt which goes in a pocket I empty nightly or I note the amound on a piece of paper and do the same with that scrap). It's the easiest way I've found to keep on top of my expenses.

You could just go the notebook or index card routes if you can establish the habit of putting the info in Quicken every night. The "problem" with that, though, is that, if you're budgeting, it's hard to know how much you have left to spend because Quicken may not be around when you need the info.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 11:18AM
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well, if you put stuff into Quicken each night ("emptying" the notecards or notebook into the program's database), you could then find out how much you have left, for the next day(and beyond).

And if you have trouble remembering, you could write that amount on the top of the new page in the notepad.

If I were doing this (I don't; I just spend willy-nilly), I'd have to use a notepad, because the individual notecards would get lost.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 6:35PM
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At the risk of being a real party pooper here.. unless you are not carrying ANY balance you are paying them for that $300 and there are MUCH better ways to save that sort of cash to get the things done that you need and want to do. Now if you are the type that can pay off each month then it might be a nice way to sock away a small bit.. but honestly.. the same can be done by just putting $1 a day in a jar and just keeping only your alloted spending cash on hand.

We have a couple differnt checking accounts for this purpose.. myhusband's paycheck is divide into each of them depending on what the account is for and it's budget per month. It makes it quite easy to keep up with things since each has a debit card.. so things are fast and easy.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 9:10PM
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I just tend to 'pay' myself each week for spending $$, and keep track when I spend money elsewhere (Supermarket, shopping, etc.). i make a spreadsheet and review it as often as i can to see where we stand for the month.

good luck!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 11:37AM
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