This is my first Works For Me Wednesday post. Click the WFMW banner to read over 300 great ideas from bloggers on the Rocks in My Dryer website.
What I want to share is how I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep up with what we spend.
I have struggled for several years with having a budget and tracking our spending. About a year ago I realized that the easiest thing would be to do away with the register in my my checkbook and create a spreadsheet that combined a register, along with columns for the different categories in our budget.
The top row of the monthly spreadsheet lists the amount of my husband's check (he gets paid once a month) and then the I break that amount down, funding each budget category. As I list a check, debit card transaction, draft or deposit in the first few columns that keep up with the balance in the checking account, I also deduct or add that amount to the appropriate category (or categories). It sounds complicated, but once it's set up one time, I just copy and paste to start a new worksheet the next month and it doesn't take that much time.
This way of keeping track of spending helps us to see at the end of the month where our money is really going...which enables us to make the changes that are needed in order to meet our financial goals.
If you would like for me to send you a sample spreadsheet just so you can get a visual of what I'm talking about, leave a comment with your email address and I'll get it right out to you.