One of the reasons that I’ve not been blogging as much as I would have liked to these last few weeks is that I’ve been trying to get my head around our finances. It’s not been a particularly easy task, but it’s been very rewarding.
Like many people, I imagine, for many years I’ve had a rather unhealthy approach to managing my finances. It’s involved largely of two key components:
- Ignoring them
- Saying things like “We’ll be fine …!”
Because I’m a computery kind of a guy, I’ve been using Microsoft Money 2004 to manage the data about all of our accounts, transactions, withdrawals and deposits. It’s been laborious and time-consuming but well worth it. Our accounts in Microsoft Money go back to 1998, when I was a lowly theology student in Edinburgh.
I love how Microsoft Money allows me to run reports on existing transactions, set up ‘what if…’ scenarios and set budgets. It keeps me right. It’s just such a shame that
I’ve discovered all sorts of things like the house insurance we were paying for 3 years on a flat we no longer lived in! And the breakdown cover on the washing machine that went to the tip 6 months ago. Ahem!
I was amazed too at how many transactions I remembered making, even going back 5 or 6 years.
Here are a few totals that took me a little by surprise. This is table of the accumulated totals spent between 1998-2010 at the following stores:
|Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op
I love that we’ve spent more at the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative than paid car tax to the DVLA.
But those Tesco total and Co-op totals … that’s an awful lot of Clubcard and Dividend points.