It’s nice to know how much you’ve spent each month in real time. This helps keep your spending in check and is just a good way to keep track of finances. For the longest time I’ve been posting receipts and writing amounts on this dry erase / cork board. No more.
It frequently gets cluttered, is a hassle to tabulate at the end of the month and doesn’t go into much detail about expenses.
For about $200 bucks I bought this thing called Neat Receipts. This system is supposed to digitally organize all your receipts….I originally saw it while browsing Sky Mall in a plane.
I’vebeen using it for a few weeks now, and it’s amazing! The whole system consists of a piece of software and this small scanner which fits neatly on my desk….it’s about the size of a TV remote control:
I was originally going to buy it, try it, and return it…but I’m actually very impressed. Just insert a receipt and the software AUTOMATICALLY reads it, tabulates tax, total price, tells what store the purchase is from, keeps a scanned copy, shows date of purchase and categorizes it!! Online receipts are also very easy to enter in. I was very impressed at how much information the program accurately picks up from each receipt.
You can I can see in real time how much I’ve spent for bills, investments, fun etc. in real time without having to input each purchase in an Excel sheet.
During tax time this thing will be extremely helpful because it basically tells you how much was spent for groceries, investments, transportation etc, and you can easily search for receipts digitally which beats rummaging through a large accordion folder full of them.
I’m sure for most people an Excel chart would be fine, but anyone with a considerable amount of purchases per month would benefit from this little system. This is personal finance for the 21st century!