I’ve been wanting to manage our household expenses better since we just got married but never got round to properly doing it.
I keep holding on to receipts with hopes that one day I will record them all hence being able to make all the lovely charts that I love so much.
Okay. My purpose isn’t all that vain. I promise. We’ll get to my purpose of doing this in some other blog.
Recording our expenses works the same way why we record our food intake. It helps make us more accountable and aware of our expenses and financial standing. I’ve read several local articles about how Malaysians, especially young adults are already so much in debt and that it is quite an alarming statistic especially if Na’uzubullahhiminzhaalik (God forbid) they should lose their job. One article even mentioned that some of them might not even be able to make it past their third month of unemployment! Now that’s alarming. So here’s a small step to being more aware and thoughtful of our spending.
I know that waiting to have it all nice and proper prior to sharing it with the public (via blog) isn’t going to make it happen either because that’s the must-do item to NOT get things started.
See what I just did there? Point is, do not procrastinate! Anyway, here’s my plan on how I should go about this:
- Use voice recorder
- Do not label expenses yet
- Write it down
- Use colours
Make Full Use of Your Phone’s Voice Recorder
Put ‘Voice Recorder’ on my phone’s homepage. Everytime I spend or receive money, record the item, method of payment and amount. If you’re a book kind of person, go ahead. Do what fits you best. I’ve tried the bookkeeping method countless times but it just wouldn’t last long. By recording my expenses this way, I don’t procrastinate. Even if I don’t have it in writing or have any physical proof of money going in or out, at least this helps for when I am going to account for it later. This method works best especially for one off cash purchases that you sometimes just can’t track like that time you bought cucur badak sedap from a gerai.
I almost forgot to advise you to not send voice messages to whomever your victim might be very because perhaps they won’t be very pleased with the potential hundreds of voice notes they might receive in the future.
Don’t Label Your Expenses Yet
You see. The main key to doing most things like learning how to cook, change a diaper, losing weight and becoming healthier is baby steps. If you’re the schedule, table and chart loving weirdo who expects a professional looking table on your Excel (guilty as charged), you most likely won’t get past the third week with this because of your somewhat perfectionist nature. It can get overwhelming and sometimes confusing to label every single expenses.
However, you must start recording this in a table of some sort but just hold off labelling them for now if you’re an utmost beginner.
Also, please remember that I said yet. It does not mean don’t ever label/categorise your expenses. It merely means don’t label/categorise for now. You will have to do it in the future once you get the hang of recording your income and expenses.
Put It In Writing
Or in a table. Your call. I love and use Microsoft Excel but really, if you love writing it down, please go ahead. That’s so romantic and courageous of you. Salut!
Colours Are Always Welcomed
Why? Because colours make me happy. Also, it helps you see your financial standing clearly.
Green for money coming in and red for money going out. At least those are my go to colours and what Excel loves giving me. At the end of the month you will see wether or not you have a surplus or shortage of money. Alternatively, you can just skip this last process entirely. It is quite important for me because I need colours to make my day (in fact I just spray painted my son’s highchair bright yellow this morning).
If you have tried this method I would love to hear how long and how you find it to suit your life. If you haven’t tried this yet, well you’re good to go!