I am one of those who also tracks/record every nickel. It started 20 years ago when I couldn't fathom why there was no money
left at the end of the month and I know I had not made any major purchases or costs that month. So using the "new" marvel of the personal pc I built a spread sheet (Lotus 123) and entered everything diligently. Each category did not add up to more than 5% of my income
, the only problem was I had 23 categories.
- - That spreadsheet accounting system has migrated through many versions of spreadsheet software
up to the current
Quattro Pro X-3 I use. But some people can budget
in their heads and stick to it, not me. I never believe I spent that much on that stuff unless I can open the spreadsheet and actually see the "bottom line." It is my way of damping down my urges to buy everything I think I need but really do not.
- - And it is why the threads about cruising on $1K or less per month are just put up by folks who really do not know how much they are spending and where it is going. They are looking at the tips of the icebergs and ignoring the reality of that huge mass underneath the water
. Same with sailboats - they look so sleek and sexy floating on their lines - but pull them out of the water and put them in jack-stands and suddenly they look so huge and sometimes fat.