Sunday, 11 January 2015

Running Totals

Following on from my post about my theme for this year being Keeping It Simple, I have decided to initiate a new method of recording my expenditure this year.

In previous years, I have noted every penny spent, dividing this into different areas of expenditure. I then created monthly totals and at the end of the year would collate the figures to provide yearly expenditure figures in the various areas.

When I was feeling particularly analytical, I would sometimes compare figures from one year to the next and see if I'd made any savings, but for the last year or so I haven't actually done anything with these figures.  This has rendered this process very wasteful of my time and not particularly useful in the long term.

I gave up on this way of recording my spending last year, as I suddenly became very bored of keeping these overly cumbersome records, after over 10 years of doing it this way. It was time for a change and for the latter part of last year, I didn't record my spending at all, thereby giving myself a complete break.

However, I do like to be able to compare spending year on year and it is interesting to see where and on what your money goes, so I've decided to devise a new simplified method this year.  I'm no longer particularly interested in recording food, pet care, cleaning and toiletry product expenditure.  We need what we need, I buy what we need and I don't think I'm particularly excessive in doing so.

I am still interested in keeping track of my expenditure on things like gifts, clothing and other house and garden items, so I'm going to keep track of just these areas of expenditure from now on, by keeping running totals of purchases. I'm hoping to use the information gathered to set myself  proper budgets for these areas in years to come and stick to them. (Hopefully).

I'm really looking forward to tracking these few areas, as it will be a lot less laborious than my previous system and expenditure on these items is a lot less frequent than the everyday stuff of life.   I am hoping to keep up to date and accurate records without it becoming too much of a chore, once I get into the new habit of it.  In addition, keeping track of expenditure in fewer areas, but putting the figures to good use, seems much more useful to me, than tracking lots of areas and doing nothing with the information.

Sometimes, less really is more.  Keeping It Simple in 2015.

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