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Using Expense Software

Updated on January 10, 2011

This guide isn't about buying expense software, it assumes you have one, whether you bought it or not, there are many free barebones free editions out there, as well as full featured paid versions. It is rather easy to find such software around the internet, you can just click on interesting and related links.

Of course, once you have a software, you'll want to know how to make best use of it, and that is how this hub comes in. Some good and free software includes say Mint.com

Data collection is of course the first step, and can be done in many ways, either on their own or using different methods to complement each other. Here are some ideas you can use:

1)Creating either a list of a sms draft/template on your handphone, and fill it in throughout the day.
Separate it into different categories, simply add say $10.50 + $13.65 as the items add out as time passes, no real need for details at least until you've identified problems in budgets.

2)Helpful in keeping track, is also in storing receipts. Make sure to throw them away once you're done however, or you'll end up with unneeded clutter. If you're wondering how to get rid of them, here are some interesting ways. They include folding origami out of them, or using them as post it pads or scrap paper.

3)Or, you could simply write your expenses of the day on the back of receipts, usually its a blank page. You'll need a writing tool however, not everyone carries a pen or pencil on them. A pen is usually the better one for writing on the glossy paper some receipts use.

Now that you've gotten all your data, its time to enter them right in. If you're feeling rich, you might want to rope in helpers. This can be young kids looking for a quick job, to an intern you see idling around, or even to online helpers that you can "outsource" it out to.

For the rest of us, we'll have to key them all in manually. If you're feeling free, you might want to spend 5 minutes a day doing this mundane task for the first week. Following which you might want to tabulate the whole thing at the end of the week or so. Once again, using categories is the key to quick and speedy organisation.

Following which you would need to analyse your expense report, you can check out a sample expense report to help.

What some software looks like

As you can see, those bar are budget allowances, the expenditure of which you'll probably eventually manually fill. Clothing and room improvements are set at zero, which you'll very likely eventually toggle to a higher setting or move to a different category of budgets. When you've obtained a few weeks to a few months of data, you will be able to better refine your allowance settings and perhaps make some significant improvements in a short time!

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