Do you all write down everything you spend?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
39 replies 1.7K views


  • i made myself simple spreadsheet and log every single penny that goes in and out of my account.
    within the first month it opened my eyes to how much i was spending on absolute rubbish !
    Debt at highest £16k+
    Debt at lightbulb moment £14,800
    Current debt £6336
    Cleared £4206 in November 05 How ? Bye Bye PPI :)
  • kaz250kaz250 Forumite
    103 Posts
    I have been trying to do this for 3 years, yes 3 years. However i lack dicipline and always end up forgetting to this sometimes for 1 month then i'll start again . It's something i'll love to do religeously though.
  • GreyPilgrimGreyPilgrim Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    I only started using a spreadsheet for every transaction when I started using on-line banking because I was a bit paranoid about fraud. I kept all my receipts, and then would check them off my online statement every few days.

    Now I've turned it into a game...(*nerd alert*)...

    I only record card and bank transactions, so if I take out £20 from the bank, I'll record that down as a -£20 transaction (I won't go into detail about what I spent the £20 on).

    At the start of the month when I get paid, I put my salary in the "IN" column. Every time I make a new transaction I'll add that to a seperate page, but then I'll add up all of those transactions and put them in a "MONEY SPENT THIS MONTH" column. beside that I have a "SALARY LEFT" column, which shows me how much of my salary I have left (based on what I earned and what I spent).

    I then wrote a bit of code (*nerd alert again*) which works out how many days left I have in the current month, divides the "SALARY LEFT" by the number of days, and then shows me how much I have left to spend per day.

    Told you I was a nerd. I'll get around to tidying this up enough to post and make it's quite crude and MS Money will do things 1000000 times better but if you only have excel you're quite welcome to it.

  • stripeyfoxstripeyfox Forumite
    474 Posts
    There is a program available (free) called ACE Money (try googling it) which is pretty good. It does pretty much the same as MS Money but does not support downloading statements directly, but you can easily get around it by downloading as a .QFX file (Quicken) and importing it. It looks a pretty solid program all in all and may be of help to someone.
  • louise30_2louise30_2 Forumite
    177 Posts
    I think I have Ms Money on my computer - I might have to give it a go. I would love to be able to keep track of every penny, but I am simply rubbish!
    I can write things in a little book. Did it a couple of years ago and it was great. But I'be tried again this year and I have been - yes you guessed it - rubbish!
    Anyone got any tips on using Ms money for the first time? What do I do?
  • loopyloulou_3loopyloulou_3 Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    i dont have MS Money and would appreciate a spreadsheet if you have one GreyPilgrim


  • OK, you'll laugh now...I've been writing what I spend down in a little notebook for about 10 years!! (My husband says I was too severely potty-trained!)

    I don't write down every penny I spend on a coffee or a magazine, but I always get a receipt when I withdraw money from the cash machine and will jot down, along with any receipts from anywhere else, all my spending. I use one of those tiny cash books from WH Smith's. When my salary goes in I immediately write take out any regular direct debits and the balance on my credit card (I'm fortunate enough to pay the balance these days) and then I know what is left is really mine (I find I tend not to think about the 'real' balance sitting in my account and only think about the balance in my book).

    I have in the past written down every last penny I spent, but I kept forgetting things as well. I think it's a good idea once in a while though if you can keep up the discipline.
  • vixxenvixxen Forumite
    110 Posts
    I've kept records since I discovered this site and it has helped loads. Thanks guys!
    Holiday Savings = £270.00
    Credit Card = -£903.41
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 400 - Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts
    Last Update 23rd October 2007
  • Lucie_2Lucie_2 Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Rather than write it all down I used to go through the bank statement when it arrived & categorise every transaction on a spreadsheet under various columns - DDs, petrol, supermarket shopping, cash out & other stuff. I would then go through the "other stuff" & list everything to see what we were spending on - usually non-essentials. I did it for 12 months & were were fairly consistent in the DD, petrol, food & cash out columns, but I tried really hard to cut down on the "other stuff". It is a real eye opener to see where your money is going. I used to get really narky if there was an amount & I didn't know what it was. I haven't done it for about a year, maybe I should start again......
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