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Mar 30, 2014

Obsessed with Tracking Our Finances

Hey, there! I haven't realized it for a long time, but my boyfriend and I are actively taking control of our finances and that makes me happy. I've never understood my financial behavior until now. I mean, I have drafted a lot of excel sheets for our personal finance trackers! Yes, and I haven't missed a day since.

I THOUGHT IT WAS CRAZY BEFORE!

I've heard, read and see people doing this. My co-worker who happened to be neighbor was soooo thrifty that he records his expenses up to the last cent. When we hang out before, he would do his excel spreadsheet before starting our Big Bang Theory series marathon. I thought he was crazy for doing so. Turned out he is planning on marrying his girlfriend. Well, they did a month ago.

I read a lot of Suze Orman too. Bought a copy of Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook on a book sale last year and on the first few chapters, she encouraged people to actually track their finances and I thought I couldn't make it. 

But, here I am now, happy with the financial tracking tools that we are using. It's pretty fun actually and motivating if you ask me. It helps me visualize my dreams more and it helps me to focus on what we want. It helps me to do more for my dreams.

OUR PERSONAL FINANCE TOOLS

There are lots of tools and even apps that I have found on the internet and I have downloaded a couple on our iPad. They were Toshl Finance, Wally and Expense 2.0. I found Expense 2.0 interesting. It has graphics which make the documentation more interesting. But, being somebody who is bossy and picky (lol), I decided to draft our expense tracker from Excel. It was easier and more secure that way. For our other tools, I have downloaded templates online through MS Excel.

Take a look at the snapshots of our tools below.

Expense Tracker
I've done it daily so that tracking would be easier. It'll just take a few minutes of your time. If you haven't spent at all, then you are saved from inputting.



I have been doing the expense for two months now and then, I merge the data. Here are my spendings. Am I a wise spender? You can see I have credit card dues. Well, they're plane tickets and phone bills and the likes. I like to do online transactions. Saves me time.


I want to see the trend for each component that's why I made this. Pink box covers the actual amount! Shame on me for spending a lot on food. Oh well. I have groceries and misc. food. Hah! I need to try the food here in Limerick. It's still your call when it comes to your priorities. 



Savings Tracker
Boyfriend and I are saving up for things like emergency fund. And we track our progress so we get motivated. This was a template I downloaded online. It's pretty handy and this is the only ready-made template that I'm comfortable using. We're close to our goal -- more than halfway there!


Asset Allocation Tracker
Lastly, I have decided to track my asset allocation since I want to see where I currently am. It covers everything I have. It's plainly cash and stocks only. Still have to work on my investments!


These are all I currently have. I am still missing the income-debt statements. I have some bills which come regularly in my credit card so I still have to track that down. Soon. I will. And I've seen how other people track their MF portfolio. Oh, I am coming there soon. :) 

Now, that I am tracking my expenses, I am more aware of where my money went. No more, "I must've lost a couple of bills on my wallet" thoughts. It's motivating and it's sort of fulfilling. You should try it some time.

If you'd like to purchase ready-made templates on the net, you could check the following templates below:

So, I hope I have inspired you to track your finances. I'll be making a detailed explanation on each maybe on The Boomlet Diaries and Finance Pinoy. But if you have any questions for now, just drop them off on the comment box below or just shoot me an e-mail. I'll be happy to help you. 

You could help me hone my associate financial planning skills too if you ask. ;) 

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Love is a Mutt is a lifestyle blog which highlights the importance of managing your finances as millennials while not forgetting to have a blast in your life. The author (a Pinay test engineer slash associate financial planner slash MBA student) will amuse you with her financial freedom conquest, shallow day thoughts, occasional frisbee, surfing + travelling stints and other 20-something things that millennialls do.
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