I finally updated the spreadsheet in which I keep track of all transactions in my checking and savings accounts, for the first time this calendar year. Yeah, it’s been that bad.
Thank goodness, I’ve been recording the vast majority of the transactions (and all but two of the important ones) in my checkbook. I had added some random amount to the balance when I was supposed to be subtracting the amount of a check I’d written, so my checkbook and online statement disagreed regarding how much money I had. Updating the spreadsheet has resolved the issue, I think. There are still a couple transactions that haven’t hit the online statement yet.
While I might not be happy about the steady decline in my funds, I do see updating my finances spreadsheet as a return to functional humanity. Here’s hoping I can continue to keep it updated, and that soon the numbers will begin to (at least periodically) go up!
Ha, I don’t think I’ve ever kept track of my finances like that. Abstractions don’t work for me with how my brain works, I need finances to be concrete. My system is: some $ goes direct deposit to savings that I only touch in an emergency, some direct deposit to a second checking account for rent and utilities that only my checks connect to (not my debit card, and I can only use checks for rent and utilities anyway, so I know I’ll always have enough for these necessary things), and the rest gets taken out in cash and put into envelopes marked for different expense categories in my budget: toiletries, clothes, monthly unlimited bus/subway pass for $70, rats, etc. When the envelope is empty, I’m done for the month or week, depending on the category. If a particular envelope keeps emptying faster than I’d like, I can experiment the following month with either altering my spending or changing how much I put into each envelope (perhaps taking some from an envelope that I don’t seem to go through as fast).
So I say, it’s awesome that you have the capacity to write down your finances at all, but especially when you’ve been struggling with depression.
I will say, your system sounds very responsible and pro-active. It helps you be sure that you’re covering necessary expenses, and not spending beyond your means. You’re also saving money – that’s huge! Go you! Best of all, it’s a system that works for you and the way your mind works, instead of requiring you to do things don’t work as well for you.
My system helps me see how much money I’ve spent, after the fact (e.g. after I’ve paid my credit card bill). It helps me avoid overdrawing my bank account, but it doesn’t really help me use my money responsibly. For now I’m happy that I’m back to using my spreadsheet the way I had been before the depression got really bad, but as I continue recovering I’d like to develop strategies that help me make responsible decisions about spend money on.