Ahoy, money-makers! A lot of us weren't born obsessively organized Type A types—you know what we mean. Some of us are creatively flexible and really good at conceptualizing but at the same time, creating beautiful as well as ugly chaos in our own daily lives. The idea of "expense-tracking" and opening Excel spreadsheets for those among us is a quick turn-off given all the amazing concepts and ideas we dream up on a day-to-day basis. A lot of us are visually and creatively driven rather than logically driven. However, creativity does not excuse a lack of responsibility. There are ways to keep track of expenses in an organized fashion even if you are an artsy-fartsy, non-pragmatic sort of person.
FOR TECHIES: The Monefy Method
For the techies among you, meet the Monefy app, in FREE and Pro version (P119).
We've tested it out and so far are highly liking how we haven't stopped using it. Please note, this is purely a record-keeping app that has no connection to your actual bank accounts.
What you're seeing above is two screenshots side-by-side as the rest will be shown below. Instead of listing things on scratch paper that eventually turn into trash that you can't track in your handbag or on that notebook you get tired of pulling out with a pen you have yet to find, it only makes sense that the daily solution lies within what you use everyday, your mobile phone. There is a passcode lock-setting so when you minimize the app no one can check in or take a sneaky peek at your account balances. With Monefy you can tab and rename multiple accounts, so yes that includes your credit cards and cashflow.
You are also shown an overall graphic pie chart of your personal expenses together with your balance. All can be viewed by day, week, month, or year. It's the various contexts and options of managing the lists that makes Monefy easy to use. There is even a set "budget" and "carry over" option you can choose to use. Of course just as you can "minus" when you have an expense you can "add" when income rolls in to add to your balance like salary or a deposit which will be in green.
The category icons/widgets that you can assign and rename for your expense categories are what make Monefy personally fun to keep track of expenses with. Under the categories you can still write a sub-note to specify what expense that was. Sub-notes also reappear in a drop-down tab by the app if you've already typed it in before which is extremely helpful.
FOR NON-TECHIES: The Envelope Hack
Don't you hate making multiple trips to the ATM on a daily basis just to withdraw cash? If you're not a techie, shun credit cards when possible and try the envelope hack, a very common sense way to save money. This method makes more sense for students, new graduates on their first job, housewives, and freelancers who DON'T live corporate lives that are extremely mobile. Withdraw ONLY what you need for the week in cash, your set weekly budget (this will require extreme discipline but it's worth it). You can choose to leave the rest at home and daily put in the envelope only what you intend to spend for the day, each day has a budget.
efore the end of the day, the goal is to still have a certain amount of money left over in your envelope which you will set aside at home. The next day you begin again with an envelope and the same budget and the same goal, to have some left over in the envelope.
By the end of the week you will have accumulated savings that aren't to be touched and set aside to be deposited at the end of the month. It also helps if by the end of the week, you write how much you saved on the envelope for record keeping.
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