accounting

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.

2013/14 Year Review [Part 1 of 4]

The College Dropout

 

The College Dropout

Sitting in my friend’s garden in Johannesburg, I realized that I just made the biggest fuck up of my life. I was about to fail my first semester into my last year of degree. The plan has always been to finish my degree in 2013 and make my parents proud. Instead I achieved the total opposite.

Before I set off for Johannesburg in February for my last year of full-time studies the goal was pretty simple: study your ass off and get the degree. In 2012 I was working and doing a high school subject because of some technicality about having a first language to get my degree and I hated every minute of work. I knew getting this degree would make things so much simpler.

I hardly got started and already life was throwing me curve balls. I could not find accommodation. My scholarship would cover for tuition and accommodation on campus, but I gave my application in too late which meant I had to look for another place off campus.

My family is not well off. They hardly made ends meet. While I was working, they didn’t have to give me money for anything. This was my last year though. They were willing to dig deep and help me out one last time. The money just wasn’t there though. Fortunately my friend let me sleep on his couch for a couple of months until I found a place.

Getting to campus was a mission since I did not have a car and I did not want to burden my friend any further because he was doing so much for me already. I missed classes and tutor lectures. The big snag came when I didn’t meet the required admission percentage for a certain class and they didn’t allow me to write my final exam after much begging and pleading. The rules were the rules. They aren’t changing it for anyone. And just like that, my world came to a crashing halt.

All I had to do was one thing. Get this degree no matter what. I blamed everything and everyone but myself. I could not believe how much I screwed this up. I hardly made it to the half way mark and already I had to call it quits. When I got back home I knew what was coming for me, but first I had to have one of the most difficult conversion of my life with my folks.

They were very understanding and supportive. It made things a lot easier on me. The next group I had to face was the company that gave me the scholarship and employed me the previous year. My accounting hopes were hanging on a thread.

I remember that day so clearly. I just woke up and did my routinely rounds on the internet. Check Twitter. Check Facebook. Check emails. And there it was, an email from the company saying that they won’t take me back. My employment and my scholarship contract have been terminated and they will contact me with regards to repaying my scholarship. That was the worst day of my life and the start of my new life.