How to Track Your Personal Expenses

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Once every few days, I open up a spreadsheet on my computer that I’ve been using for many years. Into that spreadsheet, I type in several lines of information — places where I’ve spent money, how much I spent there, the date I spent that money and what type of expense that was. Once I type those things in, a few automatic calculations occur and I have a nice view of my expenses over the last 30 days, the last year and since I started tracking such information.

It’s a nice little system, one that I’ve customized for my own needs over the years (I was a software developer in a previous stage of my life, so doing this kind of thing is kind of second nature for me), but many of the ideas are borrowed from some commercial software packages.

I consider it one of the most powerful things I do in terms of keeping my spending in check. Why is that the case, though? And how exactly do I do it?

Here are six reasons why you should be tracking your per… Read More

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