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So, anyone who read the thread about my fiancee knows that I suck at keeping track of my personal finances. The basic problem is that I have a good salary and I'm not a big spender, so my income is always larger than my spending and I've never had a need to keep track of what goes in and out.
Clearly, this is not a smart way to go through life. In fact, it's a recipe for disaster.
To make matters worse, I have some professional budgets to manage as part of my job. Now these budgets are the opposite situation: very little income, and lots of things that need to be purchased. I've accidentally gone over budget, with no major consequences thankfully (only a personal check to the office to cover the difference).
So, I need a way to keep track of finances. My current method is to fill in Excel spreadsheets, which is rather limited because:
1. With multiple budgets to manage, multiple categories of items in each, and multiple items in each category, the size of the spreadsheets quickly becomes unwieldy.
2. Updating an Excel spreadsheet can be tedious.
3. Formula errors can happen and screw up everything.
So, I'd like to know of good ways to keep track of finances, both monthly personal finances and per-budget professional finances. Having the same solution for both would be awesome, but I'd also be ok with separate solutions for each problem. Either way, it should allow me (1) to both make budget predictions ("I should spend $X for this category of items") and to easily insert values of individual items purchased every day, (2) to compare the predicted value to the actual value for each category, (3) to keep a grand total of income, spending, and balance, (4) in the case of my personal finances, to keep a month-by-month history.