Oct 01 2007

Microsoft Money knows that I spent a lot on gas last month

This weekend, my husband and I took a close look at our finances with the software program Microsoft Money. If you’ve never used it before, I’d strongly suggest you look into that or a similar program.

We’re able to track and categorize our expenses and project how much money we’ll have in the future, if we save X amount of dollars, or have certain expenses, etc.

We were able to see how much we spent per month on groceries, how much our electric bill was, how much unaccounted-for-money we were spending, and a variety of other things. I’m still learning how to use the software, but already I can see the benefits of tracking your purchases.

In addition, I have tangible goals for reducing our expenditures. We have certain fixed expenses, such as rent and the phone bill, but there’s a lot of wiggle room to reduce grocery and gas costs, for example.

Last month, I spent nearly $200 on gasoline. That’s a lot! Although, I did drive from Pennsylvania to Indiana and back–twice. There’s 1,600 miles in driving right there. But if we didn’t categorize the costs, I wouldn’t know I spent that much.

The point I’m trying to make is: Know where your money is going. Whether you use a software program, a spreadsheet, or your own system of tracking, it’s crucial to have a handle on your finances.

What systems do you use?



6 Responses to “Microsoft Money knows that I spent a lot on gas last month”

  1. My husband and I set up a pretty detailed excel sheet to track our cash flow. It’s been really helpful in keeping reigns around our spending. It’s also a great way to see which areas we can cut back in order to put more in savings. Hurray!

  2. Ok, “reins.” Being an editor, I was not about to let that typo slide. :)

  3. Hey SA! Thanks for stopping by my lil blog.

    I lol’ed about your edit. Totally know where you’re coming from! Or, is it “from where you’re coming.” uh… :)

  4. Great point, I have heard Money is good, thanks for the tip. I agree with you it is important to be able to track your expenses, I have found that by doing this I can easily figure where I can cut back in order to save more or pay off debt.

  5. I’ve used Microsoft Money in the past and was completely in love with it. My husband is a tad bit more simplistic. Now we use a budget book. And by the way welcome to menu plan monday.

  6. Don’t forget free alternatives…

    I was interested in trying out Wesabe before, but I never got around to it. It’s online, and it pulls in all of your bank information automatically, and then it recommends where you can save money.

    Yodlee is similar to Wesabe and was getting good mentions too on one of the sites I linked to.

    Other freeware:
    Buddi
    GnuCash, the Linux Gnu alternative
    Financial Freeware
    7 alternatives to Microsoft Money

    Shawn

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

Keep in Touch!
Like me on Facebook Follow Me on Twitter RSS Feed

Subscribe to my email updates:

Web Statistics