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Spending Diary

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
32 replies 18.1K views
LuciferLucifer Forumite
173 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
How do you do your spending diary?

Might be a dull question, but do you put £10 cash for example, or do break that down further for eg: £1 Magazine, £2 Sandwich etc :confused:

Since Christmas I have had a book in my handbag where I put ins and outs, but I have never broken it down and just put £ cash.

Any other tips would be magic

Thanks
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"I will be debtfree":p
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Replies

  • This is how mine is set up.

    I have 4 columns, date, description, type (cash vs credit/debit) and amount. So if I bought a magazine, it would be

    27.2.06/ Prima /cash/ £2.30

    This helps me see just how much I spend on what.

    Mind the pennies and the pounds will mind themselves!

    Hope that helps.
    I'm an American living in Oxford using the exchange rate to my advantage. (As of 4 Oct 2006: 1USD=1.88GBP)

    Debts at highest November 2004: $29,464.51 _pale_

    26 June 2006: Down to $17,701.27
    Private Student Loan: $3,073.61 (7.83%)
    US Federal Student Loan: $14,627.66 (5.3%)

    4 October 2006: Down to $11,622.66
    Private Student Loan: PAID IN FULL!
    US Federal Student Loan: $11,622.66 (5.38%)

    Debt Free Date: 27 September 2007, my 25th birthday!
    :dance:_party_:dance:
  • LuciferLucifer Forumite
    173 posts
    Thanx Kateelizabee, do u do it as you go, or just once a day?
    "I will be debtfree":p
  • georgiasmumgeorgiasmum Forumite
    390 posts
    I have been religiously using this since December 05 and I write down everything. So if I take out £50 I record that and how it was used because when I look back I can see if it was well used or frittered needlesly. It is a bit anal at first but becomes easier as you do it. It is my way of becoming debt free and accountable for every penny I spend. I have paid off, since Nov 05, 1 credit card- £1900 balance, reduced another from £4500 to £780, reduced an (interest free) catalogue from £1200 to £415 and have paid for my 2 week summer holiday doing this. I still have a £500 o/d to sort out but the rate is reasonable for the time being and it helps with the other things. I have 2 loans which I will snowball in earnest once my smaller debts are repaid but psychologically all of this has made me disciplined and proud of myself!! :j
    THE LONG AND THE SLOW ROAD SEEM TO APPLY TO DEBTS AND DIETS... THE TWO THINGS I WANT TO SEE THE BACK OF...:D
  • Lucifer wrote:
    Thanx Kateelizabee, do u do it as you go, or just once a day?

    I do it as I go, but sometimes I'll make a mental note to do it later. So far I haven't forgotten anything.

    It sounds like your book is in and out, would it be easier for you to just have a spending diary like mine? Yours sounds more like a ledger you have to balance, maybe it's too complicated a system for you right now. I keep my budget separate from my spending diary.

    BTW, If I took out £10 from the cash point, I wouldn't record the £10 itself, I would records the £5 on lunch, £3 on the bus and the £2 on a magazine. Putting it in twice would just confuse things.
    I'm an American living in Oxford using the exchange rate to my advantage. (As of 4 Oct 2006: 1USD=1.88GBP)

    Debts at highest November 2004: $29,464.51 _pale_

    26 June 2006: Down to $17,701.27
    Private Student Loan: $3,073.61 (7.83%)
    US Federal Student Loan: $14,627.66 (5.3%)

    4 October 2006: Down to $11,622.66
    Private Student Loan: PAID IN FULL!
    US Federal Student Loan: $11,622.66 (5.38%)

    Debt Free Date: 27 September 2007, my 25th birthday!
    :dance:_party_:dance:
  • georgiasmumgeorgiasmum Forumite
    390 posts
    Good point about the ledger book thing but I find it keeps me strict with myself! I'm a teacher and I guess I like rules!!
    THE LONG AND THE SLOW ROAD SEEM TO APPLY TO DEBTS AND DIETS... THE TWO THINGS I WANT TO SEE THE BACK OF...:D
  • Georgiasmum, yours sounds complicated for someone like me, but it seems to be working perfectly for you. Thank you for showing us that no two spending diaries have to be exactly the same for different types of people.

    Well done on achieving your goals :j
    I'm an American living in Oxford using the exchange rate to my advantage. (As of 4 Oct 2006: 1USD=1.88GBP)

    Debts at highest November 2004: $29,464.51 _pale_

    26 June 2006: Down to $17,701.27
    Private Student Loan: $3,073.61 (7.83%)
    US Federal Student Loan: $14,627.66 (5.3%)

    4 October 2006: Down to $11,622.66
    Private Student Loan: PAID IN FULL!
    US Federal Student Loan: $11,622.66 (5.38%)

    Debt Free Date: 27 September 2007, my 25th birthday!
    :dance:_party_:dance:
  • LuciferLucifer Forumite
    173 posts
    OK thats what i'll do - I will go and buy a new book 2moro, and when I have done my budget later today, I will start as I mean to carry on. I think I will draw out £10 cash and allow that for my spending money and write in the new book exactly what I spend it on.

    I take lunch to work, and I am home straight after picking up kids from school. Therefore I shouldn't need much money (unfortunately never stopped me in the past!!).
    Thank u soooooo much for helping me in my quest to be debt free.
    "I will be debtfree":p
  • Amanda65Amanda65 Forumite
    2.1K posts
    1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    I've started an excel spreadsheet from Feb and am adding new columns as I go. One breakdown that I am findning quite useful is supermarket shop vs Londis (my local convenience store) I go in there to pick up things I have forgotten at the supermarket and inevitably end up with a magazine / bottle of wine etc. This adds to my general spend and is showing where I am missing out when calculating our food spend each month. It is also teaching me that if I work out a menu and make a list, not only have I always got what I need, I don't waste as much either
  • LuciferLucifer Forumite
    173 posts
    Thats a good idea too Amanda65. I have Microsoft Money (only ever used it for current account), might try and use some more of the facilities on there. Got it free when we upgraded the pc last year. Hopefully that will tell me the same as your excel spreadsheet.
    "I will be debtfree":p
  • serenaserena Forumite
    2.4K posts
    Hi Lucifer,

    rather than buying a book why not get a diary? They are selling very cheaply now!

    I use a free diary which came with Family Circle before Christmas (very MSE!), which has useful size spaces for each day and a blank notes page each month just right for doing the monthly addup.

    I fill it in as I go, but I haven't done any analysis on it yet - ie transferring it to a spreadsheet with the totals for petrol, plants, chocolate, food shopping (yup, in order of priority!)etc

    There is a daily 'How much have you spent today' thread on this board, which is great for keeping you on track - I mean, how many times a week are you prepared to confess in public that you spent £5 on chocolate and magazines? :D
    It is never too late to become what you were always intended to be
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