>Aisa Waisa Paisa

>So you know how terrible I am at numbers and figures. But it wasn’t always like this. When I was a kid, I used to stash up my pocket money/money given on festivals, birthdays, etc. in different envelopes. So all my ten rupee notes would be in one envelope, twenty rupee notes in another and so on. And I would write the denomination and the number of notes on each envelope, I was so organised!

If you knew me from back then, you would be surprised to see what my wallet looks like now. You will find a note in each pocket of my bag, a little change here and there, a tiny bundle in the wallet. If you ask me at any point of time how much money I’m carrying, you will draw a blank. I never know the exact amount of money in my wallet and only have a vague idea of whether it’s “less” or “more”. And if someone ever flicked from my wallet, I would never know till the volume of notes did not change significantly. Pathetic, I know.

I wasn’t like this till very recently. Even when in college, I was so particular about keeping my cash well. I knew exactly how much money was in my bank account (and thankfully, still know that!), how much I was carrying with me in my wallet and would meticulously maintain the hisab for every penny spent, right down to the two rupees given to the PCO wallah. When I took a 360 degree turn from that and reached where I am right now, I have no idea.

And don’t for a minute think it’s because I have too much of it that I don’t care how much money I have with me. On some days, I feel so poor I can crib about it the whole day, nay, week. Some days, I feel super rich and splurge like there’s no tomorrow. You get the picture? Basically, I’ve begun to suck at money management. I never remember how much money I’ve spent, never remember how much something cost, never remember how much time the money I withdrew from the ATM lasted… I’m just so clueless about money.

And I don’t like it a wee bit. It’s like not knowing how deep the water is – whether it’s good enough to swim through, too much to drown yourself in or just ankle deep. Since I do not manage home finances, living in a joint family as I do, it’s not like I’m leading the family to financial bankruptcy because of my poor money management skills. I only have my limited resources to fool around with and that’s some solace!

I try to rectify my behaviour. Once in a while, I start putting down on paper how much money I spent on what and when, just so that I’m a little more organised, but the plan fizzles out soon enough. The problem is that since I do not have a steady flow of income that comes in at any specific time of the month, I do not have a time frame within which to evaluate my expenses and income. Okay, so that may sound like a lame excuse but it’s an excuse nevertheless.

Thankfully, The Guy is far more sensible with money than I am. He has an exact account of his money, wherever it may be. He knows how much we spent on an outing. He even remembers the prices of things we buy. As a couple we often resolve to budget our expenses, but it hasn’t ever worked out. We just roll along with the times – good or bad as they may be.

So tell me, how do you manage your finances? Do you have a monthly budget? Do you maintain a record of your expenses? Tell me, help me.


27 responses »

  1. >Money in my pocket jumps !!!!! lol… unless I am travelling outside the city.. I dont carry much money apart from a 500rs note as emergency… !! plus trying to lessen my smoking so I keep less money in my wallet… !!!

  2. >Well, the DH and I are terrible in money management which was the primary reason that we spent 2008 in debts.. Then we became like sooper stingy & spent practically no money and our only goal was to close loans & close them ASAP..Now, we have reached a healthy balance.. We save for 2 months and one of us can spend it on something extravagant like shoes, bags etc.. Save 2 more months and the other can spend on what he/she wants.. Sometimes, we save for 6 months straight and treat ourselves with a holiday.. We finally have nailed it (i think) after 25 & 28 yrs respectively 😀

  3. >oh i write it down everyday, if i spend :)every bit of it, down to even paisas!!! because at the end of it, i realise it helps in budgeting. once at the end of the month u sit and calculate, u may realise if u ve overspent on something or the other and next month are conscious abt keeping that expense in check. however, the expesnes for a month for me singly do not exceed 5k any month, or at least i try. except months where i buy books or i get new clothes stitched.. :Dbooks i tend to buy every alternate months ;-)clothes maybe once a yr.

  4. >Most of what you have written is true about me.. 😀 I cant remember to save my life, how much cash I have in my wallet. I dont even remember the exact bank balance. :-(But one things I surely do. From my salary account, transfer some bit of money to another account to make sure that I am saving compulsorily. And I never carry the ATM card of the 'other' account.. 🙂

  5. >Good topic …. ithink it happens with most of the people..Money??……hmmm…never…..Still every month i think that i should have a record of my expenses……but it never took shape…..I jus spend money when i have else i will become a sanyasi…..I jus feel that i should control money rather than letting money to control me….

  6. >sorry i wont be much help in this area 😛 lolno matter how much i earn,i manage to finish it before the 20th of every month. the last 10 days of a month are pathetic for me. I dont know how, but i need to learn too.

  7. >I am like you when it comes to money in every pocket of the wallet – and I know approximately how much I have there – it is more of less accurate – I think I have a running total in my mind 🙂 But I donot have any sort of a monthly budget -I really bad that way:( Husband used to be much better but now I think both of us have become lazy. But yes, I never go bankrupt or run out of money – I think how much I can spend is always there in my subconscious 🙂

  8. >I only use credit cards. And only one! So the statement sums everything up very nicely for me at approximately the same time every month. Earlier I used Microsoft Money. Was pretty good in summarizing things and helping you manage the cash flow.

  9. >@Hitch writer: Five hundred rupees in my pocket is time for me to head to the ATM.@Dee: Better late than never! 🙂 I don't remember saving for anything big in a really long time… I just indulge in the small pleasures of life and keep hoping someone will gift me the bigger things I covet.@Piggy Little: Clothes once a year?? Wow!@Soulmate: That's a really good habit. I used to save when I had a steady income – a salary, that is. Now, I just have enough to blow up!@Mahesh: Oh yes, money should definitely not control us. I hope I'm not letting it control me!@Mac: But at least you know you finish it by the 20th. I don't even know that!@Smitha: That's true for me too – I never over spend – always know when to stop. I know what will burn a hole in my pocket and what won't.@Aneri: I'm still not into credit cards. I hate using them because when you use it occasionally, you tend to miss the last date for clearning dues. And I hate having to pay extra as fine.

  10. >Changed my blog template and even till today I am missing some og the blogs I had on my blog roll. So added you back today.And now coming to the money matters.. Now a days, I have everything set up electronically, so I use a site called mint.com to track my expenses. But when I was in India, I used to use a diary to keep track of my expenses and income. One half of diary was for income ( to list whatever money I used to get, from job, from parents, any cash)and other half was for expenses.I sued to update them every night and then summarise them at the end of each month. It used to work out pretty good for me.Try it and you may like it.Good luck.

  11. >I was very organised for years but now for a while I am like you. I make plans to be organised but don't succeed. My one solution is to use Debit Card (not credit card) where ever possible – this way one can go online and see exactly what was spent, when and where. The disadvantage is one does spend more with cards than with cash 😦 Though we aren't really big spenders.My husband is the same. We are organised about investments, but in day to day life – terrible 😦

  12. >money?? what money?? I just open my parents wallet/purse/drawer take some money and tell them about it just when i exit the house 🙂 🙂 I will do that till i get my first salary :)After that I might give the managing finances a serious thought 🙂

  13. >My girl is more or less like you, when it comes to money,but i am quite organized, and this i guess comes to me from my dad. In the months beginning i jot down all possible sources of income – freelancing, FDs, salary, etc, figure out possible sources of expenditure, and whatever the 'predicted' savings turn out to be, i save them in another bank accnt,which i dont touch at all.

  14. >I used to be just like you. But then I started to live alone, and now I have: – a wallet with notes organized in decreasing denomination, at all times – a good idea of how much money lasts how many days – an excel mapping all my big expenses – a forecasting sheet in which i map any big expenses that i foresee in the next couple of months and what i might need to cut onYes, anal is me.

  15. >@Cynic: Oh well… you know I know how that goes…@Saima: Lucky you! Enjoy this phase of your life.@Peenuts: On hindsight, my parents weren't very organised with money too, I guess. So can I blame it on them? :)@Soul of Alec Smart: I guess if you know you have someone to fall back on, it increases your chances of being messy with your money… Maybe.

  16. >i'd say the reason is staring you in the face darl:"Since I do not manage home finances, living in a joint family as I do, it’s not like I’m leading the family to financial bankruptcy because of my poor money management skills";) at least that's what made me lazy after marriage … also:"The Guy is far more sensible with money than I am. He has an exact account of his money, wherever it may be"that helps too. 😉 P takes care of the finances, i have plenty other things in the house to worry about. Our roles are demarcated … not by choice … but it just happened. perhaps it's the same for you guys?

  17. >@Roop: First of all, welcome back!And I haven't analysed so much why I have become a scatterbrain about finances to agree or disagree with you. Maybe you're right, maybe not.@Goofy: It definitely went missing 😦 Didn't get to see it!

  18. >My first comment on this blog which I really like, by the way :)I dont think accounting for expenses daily is a good idea because it takes a LOT of self-discipline to do it regularly.I think the trick is to allow yourself a certain amount each week and withdraw only that much weekly. So that way, you know you cant be spending or having more than that unless you make big purchases. Gives you a fair idea, at least.

  19. >:-( I could have writeen this post word for word, except for the staying in a joint family bit.I think its marriage that spoils us- having the spouse to fall back on makes us careless about our finances…? also, would have helped if one of us were a Scrooge. Unfortunately (or fortunately), neither of us are. (and then of course, there are scrounging relatives too…)also spending on credit cards doesn't make you realise the amount you're spending..:-(No help here, only very very empathetic nods

  20. >I remember the day my mom made it painfully clear that I had no clue about the money in my wallet, when she took Rs5000 from my wallet and I realized not, until she had told me, many many months later.Nothing's changed though.Sympathies ;)B

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