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Thread: Tracking my spending

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    SteveinMN:
    BUT, I believe that adults can become uncomfortable and feel overly-controlled if there is a demand that they report everything to the designated manager of the family finances..
    I am the money manager in the household but do not control ALL of the money, just the money I bring into the household and 'common' money. My husband puts an amount in the household account for house and home expenditures which I then disburse but beyond that whatever he brings home is his to spend as he wishes. I am the frugal one and record all my pennies spent and and he just spends with no accounting. Fortunately it works for us.

  2. #22
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    BUT, I believe that adults can become uncomfortable and feel overly-controlled if there is a demand that they report everything to the designated manager of the family finances. So to maintain a higher comfort level, I say that I am not "obsessive" about this... I am not trying for 100% accounting for every cent. There can be ATM withdrawals or "cash back" on debit card purchases which aren't necessarily explained. If I ask, it is OK with me if the expenditure is called "walking around" or "jingling" money. In my experience cutting open-ended slack is not a budget-buster. I enjoy the voluntary co-operation of my dear wife, and she can spend a little money on a guilty pleasure when she wants to. I think that's the way I would want it if the roles were reversed. While my records and analysis are not 100% accurate, I am quite certain I have a handle on where more than 98% of the family expenditure is going.
    Exactly. Apparently I didn't present my "issue" clearly. DW is a responsible adult. For many reasons, I've chosen not to pursue the amount of DW's monthly spending that ends up tagged "Miscellaneous". I'm sure the supermarket and Target are giving DW receipts; I don't ask to see them.

    My point is that, from a tracking/reporting standpoint, shoving $250 month into a generic category like "Miscellaneous" does not illustrate what we're spending that money on. For us, that would be like choosing not to keep track of what we spend on utilities every month (about the same amount). But we do it because we are adults.

    Missing data points complicate reporting. It's a downside of the way we've chosen to track our money. It certainly has nothing to do with controlling anyone. Nor is it a matter of obsession. It's just that the person who manages the finances worked 30 years in IT managing data and knows that you can't well manage what you can't (or don't) measure.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #23
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Missing data points complicate reporting. It's a downside of the way we've chosen to track our money.
    I agree.. if you want to track your money, you have to figure out a way to account for those "blinded" expenditures.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I agree.. if you want to track your money, you have to figure out a way to account for those "blinded" expenditures.
    We put $300 a month cash in the drawer. The column is labeled Cash! It's our blow money and we're good with it.

  5. #25
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I track only at the macro level. I record money going out each month. Last year we spent $61,000 and of that $12,000 was on health insurance premiums.

    This year we are on track to spend $70,000 and that is with greatly reduced health insurance premiums thanks to Alan who subsidizes our health insurance costs. The bump up in spending is a trip to Europe.

  6. #26
    Senior Member The Storyteller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Hey OP, good for you! I retired from the city library system here 2.5 years ago.

    Please tell me you arent going to be one of those people who retire on a Friday and come into the library the following Monday to volunteer for whatever. Those people always made me go "hunh?"
    Thanks! No, not right away at any rate. But there are things about the place that drive me nuts that I might come over and fix after I retire, on an informal basis. First thing I want to do at the library, though, is come in here and just hang out as a patron all day long doing nothing at all but read. Just for a day or two.

    Long term, I'll find some other volunteer possibility, hopefully. There are museums, parks, and homeless and rehab shelters all walking distance from my house that I will eventually look into.

    And yes, I know what you mean. Once a librarian, always a librarian.
    "There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

  7. #27
    Senior Member The Storyteller's Avatar
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    Thank you all for all the excellent advice. Much to ponder here. I'm rereading YMOYL and some of the other titles recommended (have loved All Your Worth by Warren since it was first published and long before she was into politics). I'll go over your suggestions one by one and take in as much as I can.

    Thanks again! It truly is much appreciated.
    "There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

  8. #28
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    I've been using Mint.com for about a year, and I like it a lot. My only complaint is that sometimes there is a lag between the transactions at my credit union and them showing up at Mint. I complained to customer service at Mint about this and they said they are going to look into it and see if it can be fixed.

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