Tonight was book club night and I just got home, so a short post this evening.
We have been spending a lot of money lately. I bought an iPhone (which is supposed to arrive tomorrow – yay!); we just bought a new mattress; we spent a small fortune in Portland; we took the dog to the vet and that was $400; our electric bill for last month was $200 thanks to our crappy air conditioning…we have a lot going on this month, but when the dust settles, I think we need to go into financial hibernation for a little while. We’re set up well for this sort of thing – I manage our money pretty tightly, making sure money goes into various savings funds and retirement every month and we pay off all of our bills, including credit cards, in full every month (except for the mortgage and student loan, the only debts we carry) – but we’ve had a lot of top-dollar expenditures lately.
And so this always leads me to wonder how other people manage their money. I track ours very carefully in a spreadsheet put out years ago by pearbudget.com (they’re a paid online service now, but a few years ago it was just a guy and a blog and his free wonderful spreadsheet that I still use – I can’t find it on his website or blog anymore, but if anyone is interested let me know in the comments and I’ll email you the shell). Every week, I go through all of the receipts and login to Mint.com to track all of our non-receipt spending, and enter all the transactions into our spreadsheet. I see how close to or far off of our budget we are, and we curb our spending for the month if we need to. That’s also when I pay any bills that came in during the week. That may seem anal to some people, but it helps me feel in control of our money.
I feel like this is something people don’t talk about enough. Money is kind of a taboo subject, but I want to know! What do other people do? How do you make sure your bills get paid and you put aside some savings?