Archive for November, 2008

Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 4

November 29, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

On the logistics side of things, I’ve deleted the column entertainment, because it only contained a beer expense, and I put it in the dining out column. All the drinks will be considered dining out.

I’ve also created a new tab on the file called “Receivables”, to make sure I don’t forget to chase for the money that I think is owed to me.

Anyway, I was having a conversation with a friend today who knows I’m doing this trial, and we were asking ourselves: how on earth do we keep our networks of friends without spending? I like the friends I have I don’t want to change them… I’ve realized I lacked creativity when it came to having fun with my crew without spending a lot.

Here is where I stand today:



Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 3

November 28, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.


Spending is out of control!But it’s all stuff that I deemed necessary…

Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 2

November 27, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

Today, I was out of the office for the whole afternoon, visiting a warehouse. In the middle of it, I really felt like spending my money in their soda vending machine, but then thought that it would be accounted in the evening, and therefore, I lost the will to buy a can.

I decided to account for expenses that I have made, but that I expect to be reimbursed: such as work expenses, or an overpayment of utilities that my landlord will give back to me. Why? Because accounting for it makes me want to chase it more, instead of just giving up on it. Also I am probably paying interest on those expenses (haven’t quite yet recovered from the post-MBA period of unemployement) and therefore, it will be good to see the extent of my interest expense.

As of day 2, here is what constitutes my spending:


I am a bit afraid at the amount I have spent in only 2 days, even though I know I’m going to get a lot of it back…

Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 1

November 26, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

For this trial, I thought that I would profit from that MBA Accounting class, and use some of the techniques learned in that class, adapted to my own needs.

I created an Excel sheet, and I named the first tab “Accounts”. There, I created a page with T-accounts for all my bank accounts (i lived in UK and France, so I have several accounts here and there). I also created a T-account for “Cash”. This was made with the advice of a friend. T-accounts allow you to use Debits and Credits. On these accounts, anything coming into it is on the Debit side, and anything coming out of it is on the Credit side.

For those who do not understand this, a T-account basically have two columns: the left one is called the Debit side and the right one is called the Credit one. To simplify the explaination, imagine that I have only one Checking bank account. I create another account for cash, here is what it looks like on Excel:


Now, let’s imagine that I go to the cashpoint, and take out 20 € from my checking account in cash. According to what I said earlier, I would enter this:


Now, I create a new account that is called “Expenses and Revenues”. I put Expenses on the Debit side and Revenues on the Credit side. So now I have three accounts, and it looks like this:


So if I use 7 € to buy myself a sandwich, I enter the following:


If I get paid 1000 euros by wire transfer directly onto my bank account by my work, I write this:


Finally, if I use my credit card to pay 15 € for a CD, that money goes straight from my checking account to the expense account and it looks like this:


This is an adapted version of the double-entry accounting system, used for my personal finance. The total of all the numbers on the Debit side must match the total of the numbers on the credit side.

Right now, I won’t deal with account opening and closing balances, as the goal is to watch my expenses.

I have decided to categorize each expense, so that I can see what my money goes into. I have decided not to publish the amounts, but to publish the percentages of the allocation of my spending. As of day 1, my percentages stand like this: (it doesn’t mean anything, since it’s day 1)


Let’s see how this evolves over the 30 days…

Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 0

November 25, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

Ok, back to business.

And talking about business, this third trial is very businessy. It’s also very serious and analytical. Oh well-

I was going to start another one, but I couldn’t bring myself to, and yesterday I decided that this particular trial was more something that I need in my life at this moment. I have a very poor record of watching what I spend, and today I have no clue what I spend my money on (although I have a feeling it is mostly spent on entertainment, and in that category, beer.

I don’t know what to expect in terms of what I will write about. I mean, in my two previous ones, I talked about my feelings, my thoughts and emotions etc. This one will be more mathematically oriented, but who knows, maybe some feelings will also express themselves. So without further ado, let us start!

3rd Trial coming soon!

November 3, 2008

Ok, I know it’s been a while I haven’t posted anything, but getting a grip on my new job has been quite demanding.

Last week, I have started to try and apply the 100% success method to the management of my team. We’ll see if they respond to it as well as I did. It’s a challenge to sell the theory, but it’s good because it’s teaching me how to explain it to others!

Anyway, I have had the idea for the 3 rd trial and need a little bit of preparation for it. I actually just need to go and buy something 🙂

So stay tuned…