Anyone want to write a money diary?

Discussion in 'How to use Askaboutmoney' started by Brendan Burgess, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    It is no real surprise that regulars on this site have a spending diary, or have kept one in the past - and in my case for years !!

    However, outside of this site I would expect very different answers and people look at your like you have 10 heads if you said you kept a spending diary for 10 plus years.
    Delboy likes this.
  2. losttheplot

    losttheplot Frequent Poster

    I do a balance sheet each month, listing assets and liabilities. Using the credit card for everything makes it easy to track expenditure.

    Only ever put 45 litres in the car, so can tell how much fuel I use annually and can work out the fuel efficiency too (since I know the mileage). Shows me how much I would save by switching to an electric vehicle.

    I was surprised by what I spent on take aways.
  3. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    Consider getting a fuel card - you normally get a few cent off the listed pump price, but you also get a bill showing the price per litre and the number of litres purchased !
  4. losttheplot

    losttheplot Frequent Poster

    I intend to be fully electric soon so pumps will be a thing of the past. Total fuel for last year was about €1500 (4.04 litres/100 km).
  5. tallpaul

    tallpaul Frequent Poster

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    I'm another secret spending diary keeper!! Have kept detailed account tracking for over ten years in annual spreadsheets. I categorise my spending so I know each month, and averaged over the year, how much I spend. I find it invaluable as I won't buy anything until I have saved up for it. I will take it as far as if I want something for €200 I will start a mini-savings campaign to save the €200 even though I would have plenty of money already in my accounts. I like the discipline!! :)

    At the petrol station, I always take a photo of the odometer of my car when filling up. I also reset the trip computer to zero so I know how far I travel on each fill. I then put this information into a spreadsheet and keep track of km/l, mpg etc. A bit sad I know!!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    mugsymugsy, Monbretia and losttheplot like this.
  6. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    This is fantastic. A safe space for money nerds.
    We have kept a money diary for years ( luckily both of us are data / number nerds, so no tension). Every Jan, we plan the year (income, what work do we need to do on the house, holidays etc. ) I couldnt tell my siblings , they think I am really tight (one car, no budget for tans or nails, packed lunches). However, I have a pension pot, a small mortgage and we go on plenty of holidays so its all a matter of priorities.

    It started when we were saving for our first house and continued when the money was flowing, when the money was tighter (kids, tax increases, unpaid maternity leave) and now that we are more comfortable but thinking about uni fees and the pension pot.

    Seeing as how we are boasting about cheap car costs - the 11 year old car is going strong, we both cycle to work. I fill the car so infrequently that I dont know how much I spend, or how much peterol costs.

    Next year I will pay a childminder for the last time, which will be a major source of celebration.

    Also, I know we were the lucky generation.
    My first rent was 100 a month, my first house was 70K.
    I really feel for people in their 20s trying to save for a house, its shit out there.
  7. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    My daughter's generation just wouldn't get this money diary thing at all although I have her fairly well indoctrinated, she is great with money and while doesn't keep a spending diary she does have a record of annual/monthly bills and saves weekly to cover these. She started that account off with a lump sum from wedding gifts to cover the first year.

    I worked briefly with a budgeting agency and the concept of spending diaries was just unheard of to most people, again I think we need to get them early, should be a transition year type project.
    mugsymugsy and Annie51 like this.
  8. Cervelo

    Cervelo Frequent Poster

    I often wonder now how a person on 50K, which I would have considered a good salary, can buy a house, save for their pension, run a car, have health insurance, enjoy a foreign holiday, pay all their utility bills, save a rainy day fund and still have a bit left over for a social life???
    arbitron likes this.
  9. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Registered User

    You have inspired me to start making one. Interesting to see and now I hate the ATM transactions as I can't remember what I spent it on which can't be a good thing.

    Easy to download from bank and then quick bit of excel work. Should only take 15 mins every month.

    Another nerd has joined the club
    gnf_ireland and tallpaul like this.
  10. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    First step is keeping a spending diary
    Second step is coming up with a budget
    Third step is slowly squeezing the budget to direct money into savings/expensive purchases

    after that, it gets dangerous !!
  11. Blackrock1

    Blackrock1 Frequent Poster

    well in Dublin they cant. but 50k isnt really a good salary any more
  12. David1234

    David1234 Registered User

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    I agree that it would be quite difficult to do all of this at once on 50k but it is all a matter of priorities in my opinion. A lot of what you list above are luxuries. Some of these will need to be sacrificed in order to achieve whatever financial goals you have. A salary of €50,000 is enough to purchase a 2 bed apartment in some areas of Dublin if you cut back on all of the luxuries. As per daft today there are 412 properties for sale in Dublin for under €200,000. This will require a deposit of at least €25,000. The maximum mortgage to someone on €50k without an exemption is €175k.

    A €50k p/a salary will net you roughly €3,050 per month. If you cut out all luxuries and rented a room in a house you should have no issue saving €1,250 per month. In 2 years you will have a €30,000 deposit saved.

    Once the apartment is purchased you can rent out the spare room tax free. The additional funds could then be used to loosen the purse strings a bit, contribute to a pension, lead a more active social life, have private health insurance, save a rainy day fund and take a modest holiday.

    Obviously this all would require some sacrifices but nothing too outrageous.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018