Money, money, money, must be funny (when you don’t know what you’re spending on!)
I have been diligently tracking all of my finances via an application on a daily basis since 2016.
It started off as one of those rare New Year’s resolution that surprisingly stuck and has now become a part of my daily life.
How detail of tracking are we talking about here? Let’s just say some people, including my wife, call me crazy.
First off, I use an app on my phone called AndroMoney. I tried a couple of other apps when I first started, but I liked this one the most for its simplicity and flexibility.
I input the data on a daily basis as soon as the transaction happens. I know this may seem tedious to some of you, but personally, if I wait till the end of the day, I end up forgetting so as soon as the transaction happens, I take 15 seconds and input it right away whether it’s cash or a credit card expenditure.
The information, combined over the years, has given me a very detailed overview of exactly where my money goes and what I’m spending on.
Here is what the input screen looks like. The expense and income tabs have the same inputs. The transfer tab is for transfers of money between different accounts. For example, if I transfer money from my bank account to my credit card account (when I pay my bills) or if I transfer money between one account and another.
The categories that I have built up over time are fairly extensive. However, to be very honest, sometimes I miss-categorize things as well, especially for expenditures that don’t occur very often.
But, t doesn’t matter as long as I’m logging the transaction in - it’s good enough for me. I do balance the books with bank statements every now and then to make sure that the accounting is accurate. Additionally, the error rate is really small considering I’ve done over 10,000 entries over the past 5 years.
That’s about 5.5 entries a day. All off of it boils down to the following charts in case you were interested!
Some interesting facts about my spending:
Other than Investments Travel used to account for about 12% of my expenditures. After kids, it has all but disappeared.
The Baby category is also growing quite a lot in percentage Scary considering only one of my sons has started to attend school. Looks like I’m going to have to start saving more. Maybe I need to spend less on my car and motorcycle. My wife would love that!
68% of my spending on gas is at PTT while 20% is at Shell. The other 10% is a mix of Caltex and other small ones. I would chalk this one to the loyalty card and point collection that PTT has. Wonder if this makes me brand loyal?
My investments are diversified into property, gold, long-term funds, crypto, and stocks.
I have spent about 100,000 THB on diapers so far. That’s a crapload of money! Pun intended.
My year on year coffee expenditure is on the rise and the trend isn’t slowing down! This is definitely correlated with kids
One thing that I have found beneficial through this process of mine is that it has helped me really understand where my money is being spent and how much of it is being spent.
People don’t realize that when they spend here and there, all of a sudden, they have spent over 65,000 THB on coffee over the past 5 years, and are on their way for another caffeine trip!
This level of financial discipline in my personal life has really allowed me to understand finances and trend analysis which have greatly improved my ability to control the finances of my company as well. It is comforting feeling being able to pinpoint and analyze what you could have done better year on year for your personal life just like you would analyze your company's PnL.
Who knew such a small behavioral change would have had such a large impact over time!
If you guys spot any trends or are interested in knowing how much money I spend in any of the categories or sub-categories, feel free to ask as I’d be happy to answer any questions and help you sort out your finances too!