:: Personal Financial Accounting ::
It started about three months back. October, to be exact.
That was when I started tracking my expenses.
While I was positive that I wasn't overspending, I thought it be nice to see
My expenditure patterns. This was without doubt encouraged by the fact that I have
Friends around, who are probably spending relatively more on food and dining.
And while thinking about what they were doing with their funds, I thought
I might as well know if I could spend a little more where it matters.
The first step was to find the right software, or mobile app. I researched and tested
Several applications, from Manilla, to Mvelopes (which I used for a month before giving up),
As well as Quicken, MyExpenses... the list goes on. Each app has its own strengths, catering to
The specific needs of the user. For me, what I wanted was:
1. to be able to record my expenses on the fly
2. to allocate a monthly budget
3. to monitor and track if I was exceeding my daily budget
4. to monitor my general monthly expenditure
5. ultimately, to know when I can spend a little more (without worrying
too much about the rainy day).
Budgeting is about discerning the forest from the trees, methinks.
I feel that it is totally alright to pamper oneself, as long as one has allocated a
Reasonable budget for the month. And then based on the allocation, dedicate
An amount for investments or savings. For those that spend too little, this
Will create more confidence and comfort to spend a little more on the "trees".
And for those that spend too much, the restraint imposed by the budgeting will
Allow one to save on the "forest".
After toying around with several apps, I eventually settled for TOSHL, which
Require a minimal monthly fee. I realised that I needed to use TOSHL together with
An excel spreadsheet to be able to really see my month-by-month financial health.
In fact, what was most difficult was to decide on the budget. I had necessary expenses
As well as discretionary expenses. Thus, based on my monthly fixed income, I had to break the
Percentages into the following:
Healthcare / Toiletries
This seemed to work very well for me, and while it took me quite a while
To work on the budget, as well as a daily effort to record my expenses
And to balance the accounts every week or fortnight,
The discipline definitely paid off, and since we are almost at the end of 2013,
If you intend to build your forest, perhaps you could join me and start
Growing your money trees!