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12 Nov 2012

KEEPING TRACK OF EXPENDITURE

I am such a fan of keeping track of expenditure that I preach it everywhere I go. Its either that or drawing a budget. And I choose tracking my expenses. I shared this with my sister. Poor girl has had a headache since she started. She cant get over how she spent close to R10,000 in one day. She wouldn't have noticed if she was not tracking her expenses after each day though.
keeping track of expenditure

This started with my sis telling me that she has decided to have a better life. That meant reducing her monthly expenses and eliminating the stress that comes from her "hand-to-mouth" kind of lifestyle. I agreed so much that I let her in on my secret which keeps that stress at bay. I've been keeping track of my expenditure for a few years now. I am not a budget type of a person, but I've learned to master and enjoy my end of the month bank reconciliation. Its not always been like that. I changed my ways and I love it.

To make this task easy, I hardly ever carry cash. I charge most of my shopping from my debit card. That way my bank records all my expenditure in my bank statement as I go along. When I spend cash, I just record the expense under my withdrawals, so that I never keep track of every little expense. Cash items would be cheap buys like deli spending, a can of juice, one packet of nuts from the garage, etc. I typically make one withdrawal every few months to cover all the small cash bills. And that will simply be recorded as "withdrawals" in my spreadsheet. As you may see below, I don't really have a good way of grouping the expenses. I just write stuff where it makes sense for me. The extra on my home loan is not under real estate, but under investments and savings for example.


TOTAL INCOME
Salary 1
Salary 2
Rental Income
Interest and Dividends
Other Income
TOTAL EXPENDITURE
REAL ESTATE
Mortgage
Rates and Taxes
Water and Lights
Home Improvements
CAR/ TRANSPORTATION
Installment
Fuel
Insurance
INVESTMENTS/ POLICIES
Life Insurance
Retirement
Unit Trusts
Other
Other
ONLINE
Online Business Expenses
INTERNET/ PHONE/ CABLE
Phone
Internet
Pay TV
CONSUMER
Food
Personal Care and Beauty
Clothing
Homeware
Health
Books/ CDs/ DVDs/ Games
CASH/ BANK CHARGES
ATM Withdrawals
Bank Charges
GIVING/ CHARITY
Gifts
Charity
SAVINGS/INVESTMENTS
Emergency Fund
Car Fund and Extra on Mortgage

I try to be very detailed in my expenditure. I even add a comment on some items. Especially when I get to have a once off huge expense. I do this with a goal to spend less than 50% of my income on average. Its not always possible to make it, but it happens on months where we have no traveling expenses. November should be a great month, whilst September and October were really bad. I never let a bad month keep me down. 

My 2012 annual average expenditure will likely be above 50% of my income. But that is definitely far better than what it would be if I was not keeping track of expenditure. I would recommend this to everyone. Either this or budgeting. it works for me.
I would love to know if you keep a budget or track your expenditure.

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