More than a year ago, Junkii started collecting data on everything that we spend. Kudos to him; it's been a good system for tracking how well we're doing with our budget. But part of the process involves saving ALL our receipts – grocery receipts, restaurant receipts, housewares receipts, you name it – and inputting that info into a big spreadsheet so we can check our spending trends.

It was boring work, but it was working well until March. Partway through March he got busy, and we went to Arizona, and he got sidetracked from inputting the data. And the receipts just continued to pile up.

So this weekend, while he beavered away on his schoolwork, I put the receipts in order – three months of receipts. what fun! – and last night we sat together and input the data into the spreadsheet.

Talk about a lively Sunday evening. We were gonna rent the last James Bond movie, but decided this would be more productive.

I have news: "Productive" sucks. But the job is done and we're all up to date. Now I just need to see if there's enough money left over to buy one of those fancy accountant hat/visor thing-a-ma-jigs.

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3 responses »

  1. Welcome to my life! Saving receipts gets to be habit, but I still HATE it when I fill the car with gas, and I pay at the pump, then the receipt doesn't come out, and I STILL have to go inside and wait for a receipt- usually behind grandma who is buying 40 scratch off lotto tickets. And it gets more fun when I have to drag the kids inside with me- because then I have to deal with the candy aisle too…..yea- i feel your pain brother boy.

  2. margotinto says:

    I'm totally impressed by this. Ya Junkii!! I've tried this in the past, and could never keep it together. Instead, I gave myself a spending budget, and just stayed within it (sort of). Paid all my bills as soon as I got my pay cheque, and whatever was left was what I had to spend. Your method is likely much more productive.
    Now that I have a business, however, I'm getting much better at saving receipts, but I still have a bookkeeper who comes over every few months and patiently inputs everything for me, as I frantically run around the house trying to find every bill and receipt I can use. The good thing is, my business books are all up to date, and it is great to be able to see where I have spent most of my money (and where it all comes from). I'm still scared, tho, to take a regular draw on the money for myself, so the next time the bookkeeper comes, we're going to figure out how I'm going to actually, finally, pay myself.
    But the question is, what have you learned?? Define Productive. Surprised by any spending habits? Plan to make any changes? Outcomes, I need outcomes!!

  3. I'll let Junkii define some of the outcomes of this project. He keeps
    track of things like our water bills and heating bills, and he's notice
    some trends around those – more than just higher energy bills in the
    winter. I think he said we use more water in the summer months. But I
    remember him telling me about some of the trends around our other
    spending as well – food spending and such. I just can't remember it.The
    idea of having my own business scares me. I don't know that I could get
    around the idea of having to take care of my own business
    expenses/taxes, and all that goees with it. I'm not budget-minded,
    unfortunately.

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