- 4 years ago
I feel a little silly asking this, but I’d rather do this than fudge my way through and possibly screw things up…
So, my SO and I just bought a house. Yay! This will mean a lot of “firsts” for the both of us. This will be our first time living together, the first time either of us have lived with a SO, and the first time either of us have bought a house… But for me it will also be my first time out of my parents’ house and paying my own way. Now, one of the things I’m most uncertain about is keeping track of expenses. I’ve never had to do this before — well, for me personally I have not had to, though keeping track of expenses is something I do at work — so I’m really not sure of the best approach. My SO can’t really help since he doesn’t track his expenses. Luckily, he is good with his money and doesn’t overspend at all (he doesn’t have a penny worth of debt), but he just doesn’t care to track and file his expenses/receipts.
Though I’ve never done this for myself before, I know that it is generally something people are supposed to do. Plus, I’m kind of a control freak, so now that I’m going to begin paying my own way and needing to allocate a certain amount of money every month to certain expenses that I’ve never had to worry about before (mortgage, insurance, utilities, food, etc.), I really want to make sure that I’m meticulous with tracking things.
So for keeping track of all receipts/payments, what is your preferred system of organizing your personal expenses/finances, and why? At work I input income and expenses into software that sorts everything by category, and then by date within each category. Once things have been input, however, the cheques/receipts/statements are filed by month. I occasionally need to pull specific receipts from the files, and as you can imagine it is a pain to sort through an entire month’s worth of receipts when, if it were organized by category, I could probably find them much faster. But at the same time, I don’t know… Would I ever need these for my taxes or something? I don’t even know… Come tax time, I’ve always just handed my T4 to my mom who gives it to her accountant and he does his thing… But I don’t know if I’ll now need all this other stuff for my taxes now that I am no longer a dependent living with my parents..? And if I do, what system would an accountant prefer? Ugh, I don’t know how any of this works. Just asking all this makes me feel stupid, and like I’m in over my head…
Can any finance savvy bees help a lost 22 year old out? I think I need a finances for dummies crash course.