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should one keep detailed records of money received and spent

Most financial experts suggest that one must keep up-to-date records of money received and spent and generally people use sophisticated softwares like MS Money or Quicken to keep detailed track of their financial dealings.
However, I am unable to use these softwares to keep minutest track of my finances for a long time.Either I forget to record expenses, even to the penny, or I am just careless. I recently read somewhere that it is not essential to keep minutest track if one has broader aspects of one's finances in mind especially about money received and spent.
I don't think it's that important; I simply keep track of it in my mind.
Say I have $1000 in the bank, and I buy something for $198...
In that case, I just remember that I now have about $800 in the bank.

As long as your finances are not so desperate that you need every penny, you don't have to keep track of every penny.
define detailed Wink
but yeah, u gotta know how much you spent and earned in a week/month/year/whatever dude...
knowing on how to handle money is what separates a rich person from a poor one!
I think that there's a need to keep track of your money in depth only if you are paying monthly bills. I am living in my parents house and don't use my money for anything but gas for my car and any other things i want to buy so I just keep a rough estimate of what I have in my mind, but when paying bills you can be paying out so much that you lose track and don't have enough or something so keeping a detailed record is pretty essential
The only software needed is thought. Buy a notebook or a pad of paper, and keep your receipts. If you have to file taxes it's always best to keep your receipts....but that's up to you.
i agree 100% with ocalhoun, i keep track of things in my head and i always overestimate so that whenever i do check, i am pleasantly surprised at the balance!

this is only good if you don't live paycheck to paycheck, if you live this way then you need to save money, dawg!!! and better on piece of paper than anything else.
i used to do something like that because it seemed like money was just disipearing but now i don't. But I do keep track of it when it isn't in a place where i trust it 100% because i might lose it or it gets displaced or even someone mistakes it as theres. But its a good habbit if you can get it organized for yourself.
I keep all my expenses and pay slips for tax purporses. Though I keep track of money in my mind, I like to know how much money I have to the nearest 5 roughly. I think having internet banking has made it a lot easier to keep track though.
Freelance GD
Yeah I do the same. Keeping record is very important to know about your revenues and expenditures. Being a student of Business Administration, I do it and keep all entries in my own personal book. That helps me much in controlling my over expenses. Do it and you will keep doing it.
I've always been good at math, so maybe this is just me but I find that using anything other than my head and a shoebox full of receipts complicates things more than I can handle.
I only ever have to deal with about 1,500 in savings plus car and student loans though...

If i was dealing with a mortgage or more savings then i would definitely use some form of software or other
Thoeretically, we should. Tell you something, I used to have those clear records in my spending and income for the past 5 years, i found that the way I look after my monet is totally different from the time I didn't. I think the most important thing was that such practice would arouse your awareness in your money spending...not to be too far...

But these days I didnt do that. It's take so much time and effort to do so...
I've done like that, but now i stopped it, not only the datails ,but also the general I don't keep,
you will be very tired if that, and I mean, really tired!!
I think it's a good way so you can monitor the flow of your money. It's what most businessmen do... just like what my uncle does. Before, I get irritated when I see my wife listing the expenses we had during the day while we're about to sleep late at night after a very tiring day or travel. I haven't fully understood the real purpose of that.

Months passed, I got immuned with such actions. Then little by little, I came to understand it was a good way of keeping track of our budget so we won't wonder where and how our money was spent. From then on, we were able to budget our money efficiently. It's a very tiring and irritating work sometimes, though.
I think that it depends on you age,occupation and income. if your strapped for cash or on very tight budget then a budget is crucial whether its down on some fancy software in an old copybook. You will be able to see where you are "wasting" money you will be in a better position to fix your "leaks" Again the question of details is personal and it depends on your situation. I mean every little grocery tab or that daily cup of coffee will add up but you can probably lump them together either at the end of the month or a rough yearly estimate. Again it depends whether you need a weekly, monthly or yearly budget. Hope this helps! And by now means am I an authority as I am only a college student!!
I don't really track my every little expense. Most of these are charged on magic platic Rolling Eyes ... but I attempt to pay that every month... However, items that affect taxes this year ... or many years to come, these I keep pdf's of the statements and openoffice spreadsheets of the individual transactions. The openoffice provides a nice way to calculate everything. But the tax man believes the statements....
I just try and remember aprox what i have been spending, usually fine for me.
yes because better safe than sorry never know wat could come up
Of course, it's really a question of organization. Even if it's not important, it should still be done.

Sometimes I think I have $100, but I really have $50 because I spent $50 the other day and forgot about it. It just helps you to follow your finances so you don't end up in a pickle.

Plus it's a good idea to also keep your receipts. For my business, My accountant rejects all expenses that cannot be proven without a receipt.
I think it is very important for everyone...
But I did not do that.. oh .. How lazy I am...
Its always important to keep track of your money, otherwise you may think you have more money than you really have and buy something really big, then you end up in debit.
Michael McNeil
I keep track of everything that I spend throughout the current year through a database that I created myself. Preceeding years are filed away into an actual filing cabinet. I keep the last 5 years of everything. that way nothing can come back to haunt me if I happen to forget something.
I've tried numerous times to keep track of all my transactions, but I always find out I've missed something and then later I just forget to write down anything, but I find that I can remember rouhgly how much money I have, which is all that matters, I won't buy anything If I know i don't have enough money to buy it..
I've spent so much and earned so little, but still I don't need an account. See, I think I spend a lot, and make little, but it still works out in life, doesn't it Very Happy
You know you can never be to knowledgeable about your own finances. I really just keep an eye on my bank statements and credit card stuff especially on major purchases. On the other hand my husband keeps every transaction he does on an atm and receipts from minor purchases. He needs to be that handson.
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