Month: January 2017

January Finances – Quick Update

My finances for January 2017 is almost, even my cash account. No big unrecorded expenses in my income statement. Every single expense has been accounted for. How did I manage that? 

When I started with the cash account, there was N$1500 in it but N$7 of actual cash left in my wallet. I started with the receipts I kept in my wallet whenever I pay for something in cash and I don’t record it on a smartphone app. After I recorded all of those I still had a lot of cash to make up, close to N$900.

I used a smartphone app for like a week to record my cash expenses. There was something like 8 transactions but it only accounted for about another N$200.

Finally I remembered the two big cash expenses that I didn’t record, which was a N$200 donation to the church and N$400 spent on accommodation when the wife and I went camping after new years. 

There’s only a couple more transactions that I have to record like the N$200 cash I withdrew the day before yesterday, which I find take into consideration when I was reconciling. 

Last night I figured out how I should record prepayments and accruals. I get my paycheck the 25th but I’m actually supposed to get it the 1st day of each month because of use the month I get from my paycheck to pay for the expenses in the following month. 

When I do receive my paycheck, I record as normal, but at the end of each month I will debit Income: Salary and credit Prepaid Income and the first day of the next month I will reverse that transaction. 

I know there is still a week to go in January but I can’t wait to share my income statement and prepare my budget for February because GNUCash provides very nice reports. It’s a proper accounting system. 

Until next time. Thanks for reading. 

January Blues

Money

Recording and keeping track of finances isn’t an easy job, even after a whole year of recording each and every transaction. It’s especially harder if you lost your phone where you kept track of all your expenses.

The thought of reconciling all the excel spreadsheets that I exported at different times and figure out what I didn’t record was a daunting. Each day I would tell myself that today is the day that I am going to do it. I only lost two weeks of transactions in January, it’s not that big of a train smash. And besides, most of the transactions are on my bank statements. So all isn’t lost, right?

This past weekend I managed to start with reconciliation and finally closed off 2016. There were some transactions in 2016 that belonged in 2017 so now it’s throwing my opening balances a bit. Not a bit, actually I have no idea what my opening balance for my check account is supposed to be.

This year I want to record my expenses on my computer instead of on my cellphone. The only transactions I want to record on my cellphone and then export to my computer later are the cash transactions. Everything else should come from my bank statements and statements from my creditors.

I looked for a free open source piece of software to serve all my personal finance needs and ended up with Money Manager Ex and GNUCash. Money Manager Ex just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t very clear from the get go how I would record all my transactions. I didn’t know how to import CSV files. The software was just a bit iffy. That’s the best review I got for you.

GNUCash seems like the complete accounting package. It’s much more complicated than anything I’ve ever used before but I have hope for this one. I struggled for hours to figure out how I’m going to export my bank statement and just import it into GNUCash. I tried tweaking excel spreadsheets, tried new formulas and downloaded plug-ins before concluding that I will enter everything manually from the printed bank statements.

I haven’t recorded a single transaction yet for 2017 and I am already at the end of January because my paycheck for work done in January 2017 has already hit my bank account. So, during my lunch hour I am going to try my best to just start recording everything.

As for the cash, I have no idea what to do. There will be so many expenses that will go unrecorded. I’ll probably have to just create a transaction type called “Unrecorded expenses”. The longer I go without recording my finances, the bigger the unknown. It will come to a point where I will probably not record anything this year and just call it an off year. Ha-ha.

Just a little update on my cellphone that got water damage. The repair people don’t have a replacement screen for my phone. It’s a weird Chinese brand that only starting making phones very recently. The repair shop tried to clear all the water from the phone hoping that would work, but it still didn’t. They didn’t charge me a cent for cleaning out all the water. I was prepared to pay N$900 for it.

I googled searched for a place in my city that could maybe repair my phone and instead stumbled upon AliExpress that could ship a replacement screen to me for US$20. That was great news because the repair shop would’ve charged me US$180 for the replacement screen (including labor) if they had one available. Now I just need to pay them for the labor (which I hope shouldn’t be more US$40), which is a third of the price I was quoted at the start. Only problem is my package will only be arriving in 45-60 days from China. It’s going to be a long ass wait, but it will be totally worth it in the end.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

I’m Back and I’m an Idiot

It’s that time of the year again where everyone reflects on their lives and try to make an improvement. This year will be no different for me. I’m going to give this blogging thing another go just to realize later this year that I actually don’t have time to blog and fail miserably.

I’ve set a lot of goals last year and the main ones that I’m very happy about achieving was that I’ve kept track of all my income and expenditure. I make a budget every month though. When I received a bonus in August, I had so much money that I didn’t feel the need to keep checking my budget to make sure I’m still on track.

I’ve also managed to pass all my subjects in 2016. If all goes well I will graduate at the end of this year. Semester 4 has to go down as one of the toughest semesters. I just never had enough time to get everything done, but I still managed. I was ready to quit school twice. I got angry and upset with the school, especially with my Distributed Systems Programming lecturer (more on that on a later blog post).

Last year saw me change positions for the third year running. 2014 I was promoted from clerk to supervisor, 2015 I was promoted from supervisor to manager and in 2016 I switch from finance to IT and now I’m a computer analyst (or business and data analyst to be more specific). I got news about the switch to the new position in June but it only took effect in December. It was a very frustrating period in my career, but I’m happy to finally be in the field of IT.

No big no-no’s last year. Being married to my wife was smooth sailing most of the time. We hardly ever had any arguments. Our relationship is growing stronger and stronger with each passing day. We understand each other better. I’m mostly the guilty party when it comes to arguments because I show my anger a lot.

I didn’t get my driver’s permit last year, but I am starting to drive. I’m driving almost every day now. It’s just a matter of time before I do get my driver’s permit. Then I can share the driving load with my wife. She is a very impatient driver and gets stressed out a lot by traffic. If I can lighten that load on her end, she’ll be an even happier wife at home.

Last thing I’d like to mention before ending this post. I am the world’s biggest idiot. Last month I bought myself a new smart phone. I was very excited about this. I saw a video online of the same model phone as mine being submerged in water for a minute with no consequences at all, but there is no mention that the phone is waterproof or water-resistant by the phone manufacturer.

This past weekend my wife and I, together with her parents went camping. We went for a swim, I took my phone with me. I took a couple of selfies in the pool. I so badly wanted to take an underwater photo. My wife told me not to. I didn’t listen. As I came out the water, my phone was black. I put the phone in rice. When I turned it back on, the phone wasn’t reacting to any touches on the screen. Now I have to take the phone in for repair and hope it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to fix it. I am so upset with myself. WHY DID I NOT LISTEN TO MY WIFE? I think that’s not the last time I’ll be uttering those words this year.

Happy new year and thanks for reading.