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Money Matters (Part 1 of 2)

Yes, money makes the world go ‘round; money makes me go ‘round the world.

This is a serious consideration for people planning to go on extended/frequent travel.

I’ve been saving up since I’ve been earning for both my short term travel plans (quick trips nearby), and my longer term travel plans (long-ish Eurotrip). I promised myself I’d do the Eurotrip before I turned 30, so computing monthly savings of P5,000 for say, 5 years = P300,000 (~$7,000). When you break it down into a monthly expense, it seems more easily digestible / attainable.

Likewise, I am also saving up for a Macbook Air, and if I break the cost down to a monthly basis, I could get it by saving P4,000/month for a year.

So whether you’re saving up for travel or other things, breaking it down to a per month cost really helps.

But you can take it a step further by considering monthly expenses as well, so you can compute for the actual amount of money you’d need to make and/or save to achieve your financial goals. Tim Ferris’ Dreamline Worksheet is a particularly nifty tool for this. I was amazed with how they customized the Excel sheet. (If you don’t know who Tim Ferris is, he wrote this book.)

But more important (though best if used with the Dreamline Worksheet), is really being anal about your expenses, because you can earn so much money, but if you don’t have the discipline to save or track your spendings, than you might not be able to achieve bigger financial goals.

I find that the best tool to help me track expenses and meet my financial goals is MoneyWell.

I tried several applications, but I swear by MoneyWell alone, and advocate its use to my fellow Mac-owning friends. I have to admit, there are times I failed to note all my expenditure, but it has given me a clearer picture of which expenses I can spend less on, and helped me stick to a specific allocation per month for each expense type. Oh, how I could go on and on about MoneyWell’s awesome-ness. If you can find a free download, good for you. (If you do, don’t install updates as this will limit the number of transactions you can enter, I think.)

I kind of fell off the practice since late last year when I would frequently come back home late and be too tired to update MoneyWell. But if you have an iPhone, MoneyWell for iPhone would make it exponentially awesome. Too bad I don’t have an iPhone. (Oh, how I desire you, Apple products.)

Hope this proves useful to someone new.
As for me, it’s time to get strict about my spending once again.
I’ve strayed for too long now. 😛

Also, to read on some measures I’ve taken to try to earn extra money so I’m not scrimping ALL THE TIME, read Money Matters (Part 2 of 2) here.

Paper, paper, money, money,