This morning I’ve been re-acquainting myself

with this beast that I have occasionally danced with in the past. And in the past, I’ve usually come away from those dance sessions tired, irritated and convinced there must be an easier way. But I’m happy to report that either I’ve gotten smarter, or Quicken has gotten more intuitive, in the last year or two (I’m betting it’s Quicken that has gotten better, not me getting smarter). I was able to get the last month’s worth of both personal and business expenses, and basic debt information, completely squared away in less than 2 hrs (starting from a brand new file that needed to be set up and everything). My next task will be to go as far back this year as I can without doing manual entry, so that we can get a running total. I also need to bring all the utility bills into the system and get those squared away. I’ve been doing those for the last number of years either at the bill vendor’s website, and/or from our bank’s bill-pay page. So those records are kind of spotty and hard to wade through. Having it all in one place will be nice.

I guess let’s hear it for cold, rainy days when I have a whole lot of time available to sit at my desk and churn through this sort of thing. Keep those cups of tea coming……..

As some of you know,

I’ve been putting a fair amount of time and energy into getting organized around the old homestead. Organizing my projects, organizing my time. And for most of this year, my DH and I have been trying to stay organized with money too, with a lot more success (thanks to DR and y’all), than in previous years. We have a well defined and predictable weekly cash flow budget, we’ve set budget limits for expenditures in this-and-that categories, we have pared down or eliminated a variety of monthly expenses, we have a good feel for monthly cash/income balances, our bills are current and paid, our overall debt is doing DOWN, and happily not too many surprises now that we know Murphy is pretty much a regular visitor (the only surprise is what he’s going to break next).

The one weakness we’ve had in this whole thing, was that between the farm, the household, the debts and various other life events, we have so many transactions to log each month into our homemade budget spreadsheets, we were getting behind. We felt like we had a very good general idea of where the money was going, and we knew how to get at the specifics. But those specifics took a painfully long time to document.

So, we’ve reluctantly both come to the conclusion that we are going to abandon our very-detailed-but-too-demanding-to-maintain homemade spreadsheets, and instead do everything in Quicken.