Many times it helps to hear how other people do the things and to use their examples to best fit your needs. That is such a question that came by e-mail the other day regarding how to budget:
I know that one of my problems is my lack of organization when it comes to everything and this is hurting my budget. I’m wondering how people keep track of their money and all of their budget information so that is easily accessible?
I find that my receipts and up all over the place most of the time, and if I am able to get them all into a single box for a month I feel that I have been organized. This doesn’t help my budget very much since it’s more of a headache to go through all the receipts than to just forget about them. I know that I need a good system to help me so that I can start to form a budget, but I have no idea where to start.
I have tried using computer software (Quicken and Microsoft Money) in the past but it seems to be even more complicated than just doing it by hand. I realize that it crunches the numbers better than I can by hand, but the extra step of having to input all the information means that it’s doomed from the start for me.
Is there a very simple way of keeping track of everything? I don’t want anything fancy at all, but a way to keep everything organized so that I can get a true picture of my budget and what I am spending. At this point I’m willing to try almost anything since everything has failed up to this point.
Finding a way to budget that fits your needs is an essential part to getting your finances in order. If you have a simple way that you keep track of your expenses that you think can help this reader, please leave a comment with an explanation of how you go about doing it. If you have special tricks that have helped you in the past, I think all the readers would appreciate hearing them as this is a difficult point for many people who are just beginning to get their finances in order.
(Photo courtesy of Colin Kinner)