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Esther from Sorted

How do you track your spending

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Budgeting is so important to getting on top of your money. But the other side of that is tracking your spending - where it all actually goes.

There are lots of tools and apps out there to help you track your expenses - TrackMySpendMonnySpending TrackerGoodbudget, Mvelopes & lots of others - do you have a favourite? Do you use a spreadsheet? Or just good old fashioned pen and paper? 

Leave a comment and let us know how you keep track of what you're spending! 9_9

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sunnysideup    7

I've tried Buxfer and Pocketsmith in the past ... but now I just use the inbuilt spend tracking in my online banking (ASB), since basically all my transactions are in there!

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Jackie C    7

I used to use Excel to create the budget, but there was no tracking. ASB shows where the spending goes, but I wanted something that would help me plan for future spending and to get out of debt.  I now use and love YNAB (https://www.youneedabudget.com/).  

Why I love YNAB:

  • Only $50USD a year
  • Is easy to set up and use
  • Brings in my bank and credit card transaction feeds (a 'must' for busy people) and once it knows how to categorise them - does so automatically (which you can change)
  • Allows me to create a budget/spending plan for each month. 
  • Once a few months data is collected, shows your average spend per category
  • Comes with a standard set of budget categories, but you can add and edit these. We like to track things quite granular (down to saving for our annual purchase of firewood) so love the flexibility here.
  • Has a mobile app so you can check whilst you're out shopping whether or not you have enough funds 'budgeted' for that item before you spend the money
  • Is supported by training, articles and advice on getting out of debt.

In the last 14 months, the YNAB tool coupled with the 'snowball debt' method has helped us to pay off two HPs early, paid off our credit card debit and started an 'emergencies' fund plan - something we've never achieved before.

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Chris W    5

I have used YNAB since 2013 and it has totally changed my finances around.  It does track spending but more importantly it allows you to allocate to the future.  I have gone from paycheck-to-paycheck confusion to stable control and increasing wealth.  And it has reduced the stress I feel over money by a huge amount.

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Spendin    69

Another big fan of YNAB here. It completely turned around my financial life. Every dollar I've spent on YNAB I've received at least a 100X return on. 

Bank feeds have historically worked with ASB, but have started to be a bit buggy for me recently. To the point that I've turned off auto-import for my credit card and manually import the transactions with a Quicken file. Still nice and fast.

My favorite part about YNAB is that it's all about looking forward. Rather than focusing on what you've spent, it's focusing on what you're going to spend. Not a lot of value to be gained by guilt tripping yourself over last month's transactions in my opinion. YNAB has given me a total sense of freedom with my money - couldn't live without it.

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I use CAP Money to work out a spending plan of how much cash I need to take out each week for things like food petrol entertainment.  When the cash is gone it is gone so I don't track this part of my finances.   However I put a certain amount away for expenses which I know will come up in the future like car repairs.   I use cash book complete a new Zealand product which is free on my PC to download this bank account to keep track of how many spending in this area is going.   You can find it from a website acclaim.co.nz   it is awesome.  

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Tina    20

I am the old fashion type I guess but I have upgraded to making my budget and yearly planner on Microsoft Word9_9 works for me

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SarahN    0

I'm another YNAB fan - nothing else even comes close, and I've tried a few other methods.  I do wish I didn't have to pay in US$ for the service, but it's worth every cent all the same.

BTW Sorted technical folks:  I saw a Facebook sponsored post about this topic.  I wanted to comment from there (using my android mobile), but when I tried to create an account it just took me to the main sorted.org.nz website, and my other attempts to login gave me an error message - something about not being allowed to log into this community post.  Weird. 

Anyway I hopped on the desktop, navigated to this site, searched for this community post all so I could make a comment about YNAB.  That's how great it is. 

 

 

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RichLife    47

What makes YNAB better than a reasonably complex excel spreadsheet? I actually bought a copy of YNAB (YNAB Classic, no subscription) a long time ago for about 10 bucks on sale but I'm pretty happy with Excel at the moment. Any major reasons to switch? Would possibly consider it if it can import BNZ feeds - Buxfer is out for me because I have more than 5 accounts that I would want to track.

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Wgtn    0

Another fan here to jump on the YNAB bandwagon. 

The latest version of YNAB is a website version, rather than a software download. It's got a pretty amazing mobile app that compliments it, meaning you can have up-to-date information on your budget no matter where you are. 

Their methodology is based on zero-dollar budgeting and a kind of envelopes system. Whilst you could do that on excel, it would be pretty complicated to set up.

It's also free for students which is a great plus.

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RichLife    47
2 hours ago, Wgtn said:

Another fan here to jump on the YNAB bandwagon. 

The latest version of YNAB is a website version, rather than a software download. It's got a pretty amazing mobile app that compliments it, meaning you can have up-to-date information on your budget no matter where you are. 

Their methodology is based on zero-dollar budgeting and a kind of envelopes system. Whilst you could do that on excel, it would be pretty complicated to set up.

It's also free for students which is a great plus.

The classic version also has an app (and no subscription) - Also new YNAB is only free for students for a year.

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Rhonz    0

Hi everyone,

 

I can't see anywhere in sorted where you track your spending against your budget.  We have used sorted to identify the budget, would it not be practical to use that to track spending as well?

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RichLife    47
2 hours ago, Rhonz said:

Hi everyone,

 

I can't see anywhere in sorted where you track your spending against your budget.  We have used sorted to identify the budget, would it not be practical to use that to track spending as well?

Good idea, you could make a request in the News & Announcements subforum for that functionality. Alternatively, there have been quite a few suggestions of free and paid apps in this thread you could use.

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On 13/09/2017 at 8:51 AM, Rhonz said:

Hi everyone,

 

I can't see anywhere in sorted where you track your spending against your budget.  We have used sorted to identify the budget, would it not be practical to use that to track spending as well?

Hi Rhonz. Thanks for your feedback! At this stage the Sorted Budgeting Tool doesn't support spend tracking, but it is something we're considering for the future. For spend tracking I recommend you check out some of the great options suggested in this thread :)

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dustychick    0

Hi everyone who uses the YNAB, I have signed up for the 34 day free trial but I am having trouble transferring files.  I am with ASB, if anyone on here could help me it would be most appreciated.

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Spendin    69
On 15/10/2017 at 8:04 AM, dustychick said:

Hi everyone who uses the YNAB, I have signed up for the 34 day free trial but I am having trouble transferring files.  I am with ASB, if anyone on here could help me it would be most appreciated.

I don't link YNAB directly with my accounts - I find that functionality a little buggy. Instead I just export Quicken files from ASB and drag/drop them on to YNAB.
Example of how to export these below :-) 

asbexportscreenshot.png

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