Posted by: jinoe | January 15, 2008

My Road to Riches – Tracking Numbers

One of my resolution this year is to track my income and expenses religiously.  I don’t do a detailed tracking for a long time.  I would often stop whenever there is a big movement or distraction in my cash flow like a loan, someone borrowing money, a big purchase, or I just dont have money to track.

So last year, I dont know my financial picture.  I dont know if I overspent or if I have people to run after my money.  What was important to me then was that I was not broke and I still have enough on the bank.  But this year, I have to make a change.  I am back to my savings mode and make sure I reach my target savings for this year.

There are several tools to do this.  I have my own excel sheet template that shows my income and expenses.  It is complete with the formulas and formatting to make it easy for me to read.  I also placed a budget planner and a simple way to alert me if I have exceeded my budget for the month.  I have placed simple graphs also to show the trends.

Then I remebered a software that can track my expenses.  I once used Microsoft Money and it was a good tool for personal finance.  It has everything you need to track your cash flow.  It makes good reports and graphs.  I liked that software.  And there is a more popular software, Quicken.  I have read good reviews about it and comparisons showed that it surpassed MS Money on several features.  I think its worth trying.

But a word of advise for those who want to buy or try a software.  Don’t be tempted to go for the premiere or professional edition.  A basic or home edition will work just fine.  And I guess for most people, the basic edition will be enough.

So this year, I will continue using my handy excel file and I might try a software to track where exactly my money is going.  I just might be surprised with the results.

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Responses

  1. Doing it like a true engineer ha. Complete with graphs pa! I also have my monthly budget on excel. What I do lack is the discipline to stick to it. 😀


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