Tracking expenses & fortune : accounting nightmares I need help with

Hi yall !

Last year, my girlfriend and I started tracking our expenses. I’ve read a lot about it, and follow mr.rip’s blog and envy his capacity at keeping track of every cent on a well-done spreadsheet.

I copied a bit of his ideas, but simplified it for my own usage. I have a few “accounting nightmares” I’d like to share with you. Hopefully you have a few tricks to help me out !

So my girlfriend and I don’t share our accounts at the moment ; we have common expenses related to our household (groceries, rent, …) that we share equally. Some expenses are paid through my bank account (rent for example), and all groceries and other shared expenses are paid with our Cumulus-Mastercard credit card.

At the end of the month, we take 30 min to look at our expenses, and we split the costs and pay the credit card (actually at the beginning of the following month, since we get the bill for January expenses at the beginning of February).

For now, we use :

  • A spreadsheet for monthly common expenses, based on the one mr.rip uses.
  • We each have a similar spreadsheet, where we put our monthly personal expenses.

I’m currently making my own “net worth” spreadsheet, again based on mr.rip’s one (I actually got addicted to Google Spreadsheet and the options you have to configure something like that !!!) : that one should have a monthly summary of my net fortune : salary, expenses, 2nd and 3rd pillar, investments, well, all the informations !

Main problem is : how to account for expenses that occur one month but are billed the next one ? (as a reminder, our Cembra-Mastercard invoice covers the transactions of the previous month, e.g. from 5th of January to 1st of February, payable until 23th of February)

  • On the one hand, we want to track our expenses month by month : we therefore enter the credit card transactions of January in our “common expenses spreadsheet” under the month of January.
  • On the other hand, on my “net fortune spreadsheet”, I would have to put these expenses in the month of February (since I pay my share of the credit card bill in February, but I actually pay back the transactions of January…)

I thank you for your advice!

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Not really important IMHO - as long as it’s consistent, your (billed) expenses keep “flowing” forwards.
Jan ends up in Feb, Feb in Mar etc.

My CC bill gets closed on the ~15th, charged on the 25th, it involves expenses from two halves of two months.
I don’t really care much, just count what was “realized/charged” in a given month.

I wouldn’t get overly concerned or “anal” about it, definitely wouldn’t call it a “nightmare”. :slight_smile:
What will matter is some sort of a trend and EoY summary.

2 Likes

Maybe it would be a good idea to merge both of your threads.

Maybe you can think of an accounting software where you can import with camt053/54 all your movements and teach to software the assignments for the typical movements to safe time.

For bills coming in the next month I dont see any problem. It is standard to enter bills in the system when you get them as long as it is in the same periode. For that reason enterprises dont use weeks or months as accounting periods but years…

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You could do it annually. On year’s end, count what you own, deduct your liabilities and compare with previous year. Should save you plenty of pain and time.

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Have you considered using a tool such as YNAB? It is much simpler to use than Excel / Google Sheets and it allows monthly budgeting and handles credit card transactions very well (i.e. charging the budget and the corresponding credit card account and then again when you pay the credit card bill). It also includes reporting functionality (e.g. net worth report, etc.).

It’s not free but really useful and I saved much more money than what I paid for the subscription.

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+1 on this. To properly manage you would need different budgets / accounts. You could be able to mimic this through a spreadsheet but it’s a bit of a PITA imo (except if you really like to spend hours on this kind of things).
I’m using MoneyWiz and I’m happy to pay some bucks to reduce my burden :sunglasses:

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You could also balance out your credit card every end of the month (before you receive the bill), if your card issuer allows that. Thats the way I get around this problem.

Seem to be a very reasonable pricing indeed! And it supports multi-currency! Probs dumping YNAB!

Ok now I have a new tool to try, from what I’ve seen, it seems interesting !

Hello , I’m wondering one point .Does your bank provide you a camt ?
What 's your bank and what are the terms to have it ?
A few banks provide it only for companies accounts .

I am with UBS, they provide it when you ask. But not possible in retrospectively and I think you need to download it at least once a month. Apparently other banks are more flexible in providing these reports.

The most consistent way is to treat the CC as a separate account in which you register individual transactions when they occur, just like you would with normal bank transactions. Then paying the bill is -X on your bank account and +X on your CC account, i.e. net zero.