As the end of the year approaches, I just realized that I was able to consistently track my expenses with an Excel sheet.
I usually start a month by copy-pasting the “Template” (that contains my mandatory expenses like bills payments, EMIs, etc.) and naming the sheet to the current month’s name. This has helped me to keep track of “things I have to pay” and “things I already paid” the current month.
I recently discovered Julian’s blog where he tracks media consumption every month. That’s a nice way to build up a collection of quality things over time.
While I always thought that it is difficult to achieve such a level of consistency, I just surprisingly found out that I had consistently done my expense tracking for more than 2 years now.
I started this habit when I was trying out notion in 2018.
But around August 2019, I hit my max space limit on the notion free tier and I was not able to upgrade to a paid plan at that time. So, I thought I should just use an excel sheet in google drive for tracking this.
A lesson that I can infer from this activity just while writing this blog post is “we can achieve consistency while trying to be consistent in something that is really useful to us”. The expense tracking was useful to me because without the tracking I might miss paying out bills on time :D So, I think I was able to be consistent with it.
I am thinking of some modifications to my process
- Track non-mandatory expenses (like a one-time purchase). I haven’t done this yet because having them in my sheet didn’t prove to be helpful when I tried doing them) previously.
- Use one excel workbook for all money-related stuff. I had been using one excel workbook per year but I just figured out that we could do excel formula across different sheets in one workbook. This helps to arrive at useful results like “total expenses for a year” - feels much like how companies move toward monorepo while maintaining source code :D
- Leverage the data more. We will try to squeeze out more information by analyzing the data.
Personal finance is becoming a topic of interest to me more and more these days. If you track your expenses or have some productivity tips about personal finance, do share them with me :)