While I was moving into my new home I found a box with some of old notebooks from about 10 years ago which I used to keep track of my finances in. It was an eye opener for me how differently I managed my money then. I used to spend hours planning out money for the coming months, writing down each paycheck and the bills that would be paid out of it, logging my loans and deducting the principle each time I made a payment, and hand writing out my budget.
In addition to the notebook I would also enter every transaction into Microsoft Money, categorize it appropriately and carefully watch how I was tracking to my budget during the month. This made it incredibly easy for me to do my taxes at the end of the year or identify areas that I could cut back on to create more funds in my budget. It was Microsoft Money that informed me that I was spending $80 a month at the coffee cart by my house and that I should kick my coffee habit.
It made me think how my money management has changed over the years. I no longer keep a notebook or use Microsoft Money. Being recently married we still are working to find the groove in how to handle our money and we’ve been able to create some processes and find some tools that have really helped us. Still, I am realizing that possibly due to having time and a larger comfort level in what I’m doing I am not spending the time and keeping the same level of details I did 10 years ago. Since I’m one of those that really enjoys working out my budget and scrutinizing over where each penny I spend goes I wonder if I should maybe revert back to my old ways a bit?