I will admit that I am a bit of a hoarder.  It is necessary for me to downsize.  After making copies of so many articles that seem very important for saving money and making my life productive, it seems impossible to find anything--even my budget.  Thus, I am going electronic for my budget.  The downside is that when your phone or computer does not work or takes a nap, you can't get to what you need.

My question is this...Which works better for you.....Paper/Binder or Electronic?  I cannot wait to see which works better for everyone else and why.  Thanks!

 

Kimberly

Original Post

Although I have not successfully had a budget up to this point, 2020 my wife and I plan to change that and stick to a budget and a financial plan for the year.

For me personally, I have found that seeing the numbers written down on paper helps me to better visualize where all the money is going. My wife and I have tracked our expenditures this way for several months and I just find it better to see it on paper.

Also, the fact that I do a lot of work on the computer means it is easier to simply forget about or overlook the financial files when it is convenient to do so.

But having it on paper means you have a constant reminder if you are doing well or not so great.

Timely post because my life partner and I just finished cleaning out 2 business file cabinets and the papers are going into a bonfire as I type! 

My personal financial tracking is PC spreadsheet with reliable electronic backup.  Since it's an expense tracker, I'm only into it once or twice a month.  I wish I had started paperless years before I did.  Some of the paperwork we are burning today went with some hesitation because our professions have statutes of limitations for our liability, and where do you draw the line?  We'd need a warehouse!  But if it had been saved electronically over all these years, we could save all of it.

Moore Income posted:

Although I have not successfully had a budget up to this point, 2020 my wife and I plan to change that and stick to a budget and a financial plan for the year.

For me personally, I have found that seeing the numbers written down on paper helps me to better visualize where all the money is going. My wife and I have tracked our expenditures this way for several months and I just find it better to see it on paper.

Also, the fact that I do a lot of work on the computer means it is easier to simply forget about or overlook the financial files when it is convenient to do so.

But having it on paper means you have a constant reminder if you are doing well or not so great.

I wrote a response to this, and it is still not here.  I have always loved the feel of paper when I am recording something of financial value and otherwise. Unfortunately, I am a hoarder specializing in papers and notebooks.  Thinking that if I have a budget binder like none other, it will be different.  

mintjulep posted:

Timely post because my life partner and I just finished cleaning out 2 business file cabinets and the papers are going into a bonfire as I type! 

My personal financial tracking is PC spreadsheet with reliable electronic backup.  Since it's an expense tracker, I'm only into it once or twice a month.  I wish I had started paperless years before I did.  Some of the paperwork we are burning today went with some hesitation because our professions have statutes of limitations for our liability, and where do you draw the line?  We'd need a warehouse!  But if it had been saved electronically over all these years, we could save all of it.

I can relate to what you are saying 100 percent!  I have papers and notebooks everywhere.  Downsizing is a top priority.  It seems that I go back and forth over between putting info on paper or online.  They both have something good about them.

Yep, downsizing is on my list for the new year. I have so much paper, it's an embarrassment. However, I have 2 ways of looking at my budget: I use Mint to track my expenses (I did create a budget there but really use my spreadsheet more ) because I can link accounts, flag select items for taxes, and see a calendar of bills for the month (I also list my bills in Google Calendar); I use an Excel spreadsheet with lots of categories to track everything I buy, pay, or owe. How else was I to find out that I was quite the overspender for eating out, snacks, too many grocery shops, etc. When you see what you spend all laid out, it is eye opening. I list items religiously, rarely letting one day go by without entering receipts. Now that I've found out about Fetch on the PennyHoarder, I also input my receipts there to make a little change, and then go over to my spreadsheet and list them there as well. It sounds like a lot of work, but really isn't; it's automatic to me now and just takes minutes. Now, the biggie, I also have a spreadsheet for my debts, and that is what I will use to get out of debt in this new year.  I love this forum!

Ms Kimberly, I personally love keeping written checkoff lists so paper notes will always be a pleasure for me! My desk is filled with various size lists and notes, jotted down as I go through emails and daily newsletters on the computer.

I have notepads and pencils or pens in every room except the loo! I enjoy writing, wish letter writing would become popular again!

MsKimberly posted:

I will admit that I am a bit of a hoarder.  It is necessary for me to downsize.  After making copies of so many articles that seem very important for saving money and making my life productive, it seems impossible to find anything--even my budget.  Thus, I am going electronic for my budget.  The downside is that when your phone or computer does not work or takes a nap, you can't get to what you need.

My question is this...Which works better for you.....Paper/Binder or Electronic?  I cannot wait to see which works better for everyone else and why.  Thanks!

 

Well for me I've tried the electrical budgeting but like you said what happens when the electric is out you revert back to paper. So I have stuck with a budget book, I sit down and write every thing out and then I goto my next task of budgeting my food for the month. I have not quite gotten the food budget to be right on the penny but I'm pretty close. I do have to make my dollar stretch for a full 30days. I hope this helps.

sthom posted:

Yep, downsizing is on my list for the new year. I have so much paper, it's an embarrassment. However, I have 2 ways of looking at my budget: I use Mint to track my expenses (I did create a budget there but really use my spreadsheet more ) because I can link accounts, flag select items for taxes, and see a calendar of bills for the month (I also list my bills in Google Calendar); I use an Excel spreadsheet with lots of categories to track everything I buy, pay, or owe. How else was I to find out that I was quite the overspender for eating out, snacks, too many grocery shops, etc. When you see what you spend all laid out, it is eye opening. I list items religiously, rarely letting one day go by without entering receipts. Now that I've found out about Fetch on the PennyHoarder, I also input my receipts there to make a little change, and then go over to my spreadsheet and list them there as well. It sounds like a lot of work, but really isn't; it's automatic to me now and just takes minutes. Now, the biggie, I also have a spreadsheet for my debts, and that is what I will use to get out of debt in this new year.  I love this forum!

I love this forum, too!  It sounds like you have your finances tackled.  I find that so admirable.  It is so inspiring.  You can be sure of one thing.  I am right behind you!

mintjulep posted:

Ms Kimberly, I personally love keeping written checkoff lists so paper notes will always be a pleasure for me! My desk is filled with various size lists and notes, jotted down as I go through emails and daily newsletters on the computer.

I have notepads and pencils or pens in every room except the loo! I enjoy writing, wish letter writing would become popular again!

I have always had those since I was little.  My mother and grandmother did, too.  Now, I have them on paper and on my phone.  It is convenient on my phone and easy to change, but I love my check-off lists on paper.  The paper lists have more detail.  Oh yes, everyone gives me those little pads they get from charities...and I pick up pens everywhere.  It is such a shame that writing letters seem like a thing of the past.

@MSKIMBERLY Funny you should say the word "tackled." I have visibility of my state of finances tackled; not the debt tackled...hope to get there though. And, I still overrun my grocery and eating out budgets (but, hey, at least I know it!). There are some things I still do with notepads. I keep my grocery lists on paper and frequently my "to do" work lists as well because like others have mentioned...I really enjoy physically placing check marks next to completed tasks and checking my list in the grocery store. I tried using Notes on my phone for my grocery list but it's not as rewarding as using a pen to strike out, is it?

That is funny--but at least I know it! LOL  You are so right.  Some people really do not know it until they see how much debt they have.   You are also right about how checking off those items on a piece of paper is so rewarding.  I am wondering what it is.

SThom, thanks for sharing that spreadsheet!  I wish I'd had that a few years ago.  I found some on the net but they weren't applicable for me then.  I ended up creating my own and it's darn close to your link with tweaks to make it personal.

MsKimberly, I know 1 thing about Excel and that's how to make a spread sheet and I learned that 1 thing from the net. There are tons of simple how tos out there and on YouTube for financial spreadsheets; you'll learn a couple of Excel formulas to  create a great spreadsheet for tracking and budgeting. There is a free program that works just like MicroSoft Office called LibreOffice (download). Now, I create spreadsheets for several things! Great time savers!

And those handwritten checklists, I think they are just little medals for accomplishment with the grand prize being able to throw away the entire list! Love them!

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