So I recently decided to take a break from tracking my finances manually and online at the same time. I wanted to see if online only financial tracking would work out for me since I was so accustomed to doing it both ways.
I decided to track my financial progress on a monthly basis by only measuring my budget against Mint.com. To do this I had to stop using my spreadsheet, where I have faithfully entered my receipts for YEARS. I must say that it was difficult at first since some of my credit cards take a day or two to report to Mint when I make a transaction.
Under the old system of financial tracking I was able to enter a receipt at the end of the day and see exactly how much I had spent in one budget category and also see how much I had left to spend in that category as well.
With this new system I have to wait sometimes up to three days depending on the merchant and the card for the transaction to post. I no longer get the instant gratification of seeing the available budget but I think this has made me watch my spending even more carefully as I don’t want to get pushed over my limit when the transaction finally does post.
So after doing my financial tracking for the entire month of June I must say that it is not as hard as I thought it would be. I did feel a bit strange not being able to enter my receipts as soon as I got home but waiting two to three days for it show up on Mint got easier as time went on.
I think I will stick to this method and retire the spreadsheet as it makes my life so much easier now that I am not double tracking my purchases and my income. I do have to look back at the receipts to classify things properly in Mint but it is not as much of a hassle as I thought it would be, since I was doing essentially the same thing with the spreadsheet.
(header image taken from www.onehorseshy.com)